by Jossette Sookie
Olive Este, at 107, is the oldest member of the Northwest Dade, Fla., congregation. She was born March 28, 1904.
When paying Este a visit, the first thing she will say to you is, “I’m deaf and dumb.” It is true she can no longer hear very well, and her eyesight is also failing, but she continues to have a kind and indomitable spirit. At her age, she still makes her famous and delicious fruitcake for church potlucks.
“I’ve known her for most of my life,” says Jossette Sookie, friend and fellow church member. “Every encounter has been a positive experience. She has always lifted my spirits with just the power of her smile. We have had many conversations over the years, and these are the lessons I have learned from Sister Este:
- Love deeply. Loving God, family, and those around you is everything. Nothing matters as much.
- Have faith in God. When her son was dying, she poured out her heart to God the night before his surgery, then went to bed, and slept soundly knowing she had left her son’s life in God’s capable hands.
- No matter what, smile. Be a positive force in this world; it’s what Jesus would do.
- Be a friend. Everyone needs someone, sometime. Befriend someone, think about others. The best way to avoid depression is by helping someone else.
“My goal in life is not to live to 107, but rather to have a good spirit and a kind and loving heart as Sister Este has modeled throughout my life. She has also been a wonderful example to her church family of what it means to live a Christ-like life.”