90 Plus: “I’m happy, cher.”

A 102-year-old Eunice woman may be the oldest African American woman in town. Mary Hester Thibodeaux celebrated her birthday this month. Not only is she living a long life, she’s living it with style and grace. 
“I asked God to let me live as long as I can,” she said. 
Thibodeaux is also the proud mother of 13 children. 
She said she was raised in Lawtell. When her children were young, farm life was the family’s bread and butter.
“It was cotton, potato and all kinds of stuff,” she said. 
Between raising children, she said she found time for herself. 
In her home are photos on her being recognized as having the largest number of children in one school and serving as the grand marshal of a Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade. 
in between raising children, she found time for herself.
Her home is not just a celebration of her life, but the life of her family. The photos on display all have special meaning and moments to be remembered.
“I’m happy, cher.”
That’s what she wants for her family, she said. She wants them to be happy like they made her. 

 “Have a good life like I do. I’ve had a good life,” she said. 

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