Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Lucille Samia Turns 104 at Fauquier Health Rehabilitation & Nursing Center

Lucille Samia stands in front of her favorite oil painting.
An artist, dressmaker and lifelong learner, she turned 104 on September 27.

Lucille Samia smiles easily and listens intently. Her laughter is infectious. The three-year resident of Fauquier Health Rehabilitation & Nursing Center (FHRNC) celebrated her 104th birthday on August 27; she says she owes her long life to exercise, strong relationships, and a diet that includes lots of vegetables. She is the poster child for clean living.

Mrs. Samia uses a walker to hustle to the different activities she engages in at FHRNC, but she moves well without it. “It gives me a sense of security. I don’t want to fall,” she said. But Mrs. Samia can get around pretty well if she wants to. When she heard that there was going to be luau at FHRNC last Friday, she even obliged with a convincing hula dance (sans walker) just to get in the spirit.

Her favorite activities at FHRNC involve exercise. “They have classes for stretching and bending. They keep me moving.” She also spends time reading. “I am so lucky that my eyes are good. They have a good library here, and I am never without a book.” In the basket of her walker is her current choice, Nicole Jordon’s romance, “Master of Temptation.”

Mrs. Samia also has enjoyed painting activities while at FHRNC. She explained, “One day my husband and I were walking down a street in Florida. We passed a shop with paintings. I told him I’d love to paint, and he said, ‘If you want to do it, then do it!’ ” She painted hundreds of oil paintings since that day, decades ago. Her son, Frederick Samia, and daughter, Joyce Najjar, have most of her creations, but she keeps a couple in her room at FHRNC. “This one is my favorite,” she said, pointing to an oil painting of a sunset on the beach. “It just pulls you in. I love it.”

Although her husband, Fred, passed away years ago, Mrs. Samia still talks of him as the most important person in her life. “He was a wonderful man, a wonderful husband, so romantic. Even after we were married, he would leave notes around the house for me to find. I remember he used to tell our children, ‘I love you both very much, but your mother comes first with me.’ ”

The couple met when Fred Samia’s date needed a dress for a big dance. He sent her to Lucille, who was a talented dressmaker. Later, he came into the dress shop and asked her on a date. They were married in 1940.

Mrs. Samia’s daughter comes to see her almost every day, often with her three grandchildren. “She takes me shopping, because I don’t drive now.”

Mrs. Samia offers a few words of advice: “Make the best of life and try not to hold grudges. It makes life so unhappy.”

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