90-year-old Seilaoa credits God for longevity

A 90-year-old mother from Nofoali'i has credited God for her longevity, saying it was due to her obeying and taking care of her parents.

The family of Seilaoa Tanuvasa Kelemete celebrated her 90th birthday on Friday at their residence at Nofoali'i.

She has 13 children with 99 grandchildren and great grandchildren.

“I feel very blessed to be here today and I owe everything to God for blessing me with 90 years to serve him, my family and our country,” she said.

The family of the 90-year-old held a small birthday party to mark the milestone.

“Seeing all my children come here and celebrate my birthday is one of the greatest treasures I will cherish in my heart and one of the greatest gifts God has blessed me with.”

Fighting back tears, she said that she did not expect to see all her children’s faces.

“I didn’t know I would be seeing all their faces again at one time or maybe I did, but I forgot somehow but I am just very speechless and excited. I have to say that I’m very proud of the kids I call my own for they have never once abandoned me," she said. "I am a proud mother and enough saying happy birthday because I already am having such a happy and exciting birthday.”

The mother of 13 said she believes her obedience of her parents is the reason why she has lived this long.

“I obeyed my parents back in the days and raised them with all honesty and love. Back then, we would always do whatever it takes to make our parents proud and because we didn’t have that much we have right now back then, life was simple and struggle free," she added.

“We were free from the influence of this internet that the youth is putting most of their attention at and we saw how great the world is without facing our phones 24/7.”

She also advised the youth of today to love their families unconditionally and to obey them.

“My advice to the youth of Samoa is the same advice I give my children everyday face to face with my children who live here with me in Samoa and on the phone with my children who reside overseas.

“Life isn’t that simple right now as the world is becoming crueler but if we value the nine months our mothers carried us in their wombs and the years they struggled just to give us the best of best.

“God will reward youths with years of living and that’s what’s important.”

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