CHARLOTTE, N.C. — One hundred years on this Earth is reason enough to celebrate, but for the family of Charlotte’s newest centenarian, the pandemic this year has given them a newfound perspective on their fortune.
“Who can last 100 years and make it through everything?” Matt Knox asked proudly.
Knox was speaking about his mother Betty, who celebrated her 100th birthday over the weekend.
“I feel blessed to have a mother for 100 years,” he said. “It’s a wonderful thing.”
Betty Knox sat bundled in a jacket, scarf and gloves Saturday, a warm smile on her face.
“It has been marvelous, just great,” Knox said.
For two hours, friends, family and neighbors drove by to celebrate Knox’s birthday.
“I have known Bee since the ’70s and she’s like a surrogate mom to me,” Cameron Wilkson, a close family friend, said. “I feel older than she does!”
Some of the people who stopped by offered flowers, others honked horns and waved signs out of their sunroofs.
At least one offered Knox something she has spent the last year missing: a hug.
Knox lives in an assisted living home. For the past year, because of the pandemic Knox, has had limited contact with the outside world.
“We used to go in there every other day and last year we got to go in there four times,” Matt Knox said.
On her 99th birthday, Knox stood on the second floor of her assisted living home, waving through the glass, while her friends and family waved and held signs below.
This year, she was able to sit with them for two hours and hug them.
“Looking at the year we had last year just makes you feel really blessed,” Matt Knox said.
Knox celebrated with cake, refreshments, live music and the parade of well-wishers.
She said she was grateful for every moment.
I really enjoyed it; I’ll dream about it,” Knox said. “Happy, happy, happy day.”
When asked what her secret was to long life Knox said: “Enjoy every day and take care of yourself.”