Fannie Mitchell's family and friends celebrated her 100th birthday on Monday. They say being able to have such a fantastic woman in their lives for so long is a gift, and there's only one word to describe how the family feels.
"Blessed," Ms. Mitchell's granddaughter Sylvia Bell says. "Blessed to just have her here because you have so many youngs who left and she's 100. So that's a blessing with everybody. We just love her to death. Just give God all the praises because that's who got her here."
Ms. Mitchell was born March 31, 1914 and is originally from Epps, Alabama. She moved to Emelle in 1974, and throughout her long life, she's seen her family grow to include 11 children, 48 grandchildren, 98 great-grandchildren and 48 great-great-grandchildren. And her descendants say she's made a major impact on their lives.
"She had grandchildren and her great-grands around her," Bell says. "She always tells us 'Don't eat from around nobody, don't take nothing from anybody, when you're on the road, look out for yourself and them, too. And honor your mother and father that your days might be long.'"
Ms. Mitchell still looks out to the trees she planted in the yards decades ago. Once saplings, now towering overhead. She's still able to enjoy her surroundings. Her family says she suffers from mild dementia, but otherwise her mind is good. And if she's ever not feeling well, there's one surefire cure.
"If you give her some candy, she's good to go," Bell says. "She loves to eat, and she loves candy. That's all she wants. If you give her some candy, you won't have no problem."
Her family says they look forward to as many more birthdays as God will allow.