Birthday celebration for Indiana woman turning 103 takes place outside her nursing home window

Coronavirus

INDIANAPOLIS – A great-grandmother in Indiana has celebrated her 103rd birthday with her family standing outside her nursing home window.

While Agnes Brake was inside and they were outside, that didn’t stop the party. Nanny, as she’s known, wore a crown and sash, and with help from staff, she used an iPad to chat with her family.

“Isn’t this a wonderful birthday? Wonderful, wonderful,” she told them.

“Couple years ago we wouldn’t be able to do this but this 103-year-old is on FaceTime and that’s pretty incredible, pretty incredible,” says her granddaughter Kelly Brake.

Also incredible is everything her grandmother has seen and lived through.

She was just a baby when the 1918 flu pandemic killed millions. She also survived two world wars and the Great Depression.

“Remember the depression.. lot of people out of work?,” they ask her. “Oh yes,” she replies.

She also remembers how her parents helped neighbors in need.

“Mom used to invite them to the back door to have lunch,” she recalls. “They’d come to the back door and she’d feed them.”

Agnes’s son Dennis says despite any hardships, his mom always stayed positive.

“What’s your secret?,” he asks her. “Just taking care of yourself, that will do,” she says. “Anything to do with liking cheap wine?,” he jokes with her. “Oh yes,” she tells him.

But most importantly, he credits her Catholic faith, love of family and trust in a better tomorrow.

“Keep putting one foot in front of the other, accept help when offered and do your part in helping others,” says Agnes.

She’s already looking forward to celebrating her next birthday, in person, with plenty of hugs.

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