The best time of her life is now

Kay Falvey, 89, a mother of 13, grandmother of 27, and great-grandmother of 3, says life has never been so good.

“It always makes you happy to see new life coming and to see your children happy, having their own families,” says Kay, who lives in Larchmont, N.Y., and was married for 60 years before losing her husband in 2012.

“And seeing the grandchildren themselves, and enjoying them, and seeing them accomplish all the things that they do.”

“And laughing with them. They have a lot of funny things to say.”

“I’m really content with where I am now. Things are pretty well settled, and I can still do a lot of things that I want to do.”

The Falvey clan in 2012. Kay and her husband, Richard, are seated in the center. They raised 13 children just outside New York City, where Richard owned a dental practice. Their eldest child, Richie, died in a car accident at age 20. “His memory has been kept very much alive because we have always spoken of him, and his siblings have talked about him to their children,” says Kay. “All the grandchildren speak of him as if they knew him.”

“I live by myself, bowl, drive locally, ask for help if I need it, and enjoy being kept current through sharing in conversations with all the members of the clan from the oldest to the youngest. I learn a lot—like ‘fashion suicide.’”

“I have also been left speechless by a reply that I got from my 8-year old-granddaughter when I asked her about her little friends in school. She mentioned the names of a few girls, so I asked her about the boys. She very calmly raised two fingers on each hand to represent quotes and replied, ‘Well, I’m in a relationship with Charles.’”

“I’d like to learn Spanish. Whether I have the discipline or not, I don’t know. And I don’t know how long it takes to learn a language. I just feel as though I’m not with it because every place I go, people are speaking Spanish … The girl who comes to clean here, she speaks nothing but Spanish and I have to go through this sign language with her. I did find a site on the computer that translates English to Spanish aloud. [But] I just feel as though I’ve missed out.”

Otherwise, “I just want to enjoy the day—do something that’s good that day.”

“I’ll take each day as it comes, see what presents itself.”