Six-Mile Daily Round-Trip on Foot Doesn’t Faze Near-Centenarian
By Ken K. Gourdin
99-year-old Luther Younger of Rochester, New York, (his surname is less ironic than it is apt; keep reading) is a new hero of mine. His wife, Waverlee, has been hospitalized for several years with a brain tumor. Luther’s home is a six-mile round-trip to and from Rochester’s Strong Memorial Hospital, where the love of his life is being treated for brain cancer.
As reported by CBS News’s Caitlin O’Kane (see here, last accessed September 6, 2018: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/99-year-old-man-luther-younger-walks-six-miles-a-day-to-visit-his-wife-in-the-hospital-rochester-new-york/) Luther makes his daily trek no matter the weather, numbing cold or searing heat, snow, sleet, rain, or shine.
While others may consider what he does on a daily basis noteworthy, Luther warned Ms. O’Kane that he would deflect the spotlight where he firmly believes it really belongs: “I don’t want to talk about nothing but my wife,” he warned her.
While some might consider Luther’s daily sojourn a sacrifice, Ms. O’Kane reports that he, by contrast, considers it a privilege. He credits Waverlee with making him the man he has become in their nearly 50 years together. When Ms. O’Kane showed up at Luther’s residence to make the trek with him, he solidified his claim to fitness for his daily walk by dropping to the floor and doing several perfect push-ups.
In fact, not only did Luther walk the three miles to the hospital without difficulty, several times, he broke into a run, forcing Ms. O’Kane to keep up. For my part, I can do no more than salute the spry, intrepid Luther handily and say, “You go, Luther! You go!” All the best to you and to your sweet Waverlee.