By: Jen Russon
With laughter from generations of family and the lively pace of a smiling home health aid named Judith, the cheerful bedroom in Martha Oster’s Ramblewood East apartment looks nothing like hospice care.
Her granddaughter, Jennifer, is there, along with Martha’s two great-grandchildren, Allison and Jordan. The three visit their Grandma often, especially as she prepares for her 104th birthday on September 23.
Attached to an oxygen tank, the year has not been easy for Martha, whose doctors say she doesn’t have long.
“We’re optimistic,” said Allison, who takes time off from being an attorney at Berman Law Group to sit at Martha’s side.
Not yet 30, Allison passed the bar exam and travels from Boca Raton to visit. She said she knew Martha would get a big kick out of being written about in Coral Springs Talk.
“Grandma doesn’t realize she’s in hospice, and she’s beat the odds before. Being in local news might make her feel better,” said Allison.
She described how Martha sailed through open-heart surgery when she suffered a heart attack at age 90, surviving a quadruple bypass at what is now Broward Health Coral Springs.
“What did Dr. Garfield tell you after your surgery, Grandma?”
Tucked under the covers, Martha sits up a little as she tries to remember the past.
“He said, ‘I think you’re gonna live to see 100,” she grinned at Allison and the others.
They pat her on the knee and congratulate her on making it long past that prediction.
Jennifer, Martha’s granddaughter, said they celebrated every birthday with her in Coral Springs, except for her 100th, when they toasted to her longevity at Maggiano’s in Boca Raton.
“Grandma loves Coral Springs and can tell you what the soup of the day is at the local diner every day of the week,” said Jennifer.
“It’s Sunday, so stuffed cabbage!“said Martha, who drew a round of laughs from everyone crowded around her bedside.
The centurion added she not only loves to eat at the Coral Springs Diner but can always count on the Chabad, her place of worship, to take care of her when it comes to food.
“The Chabad of Coral Springs takes such good care of the Jewish people in our community,” she said, “they bring me borscht, which I love.”
Martha was born in Brooklyn in 1917, the only surviving member of a large Polish family. The youngest of 10, she moved to Coral Springs when her late husband, Sydney, hoped they could retire. They said that during her lifetime, Martha has been a wonderful mother to her three children and nine grandchildren.
Never one to sit idly, Martha said she worked in retail before moving to Coral Springs in the early 80s as a spry 63-year-old.
“I worked at Macy’s. I never smoked. I was considered a very, very nice girl.”
To send a birthday card, address it to Martha Oster at 4272 NW 89th Avenue, Apt #107, Coral Springs, Florida, 33065.
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- Jen Russon has been a staff writer for Talk Media since 2018. She is also a novelist, copywriter and editor at Swallow Publishing, LLC.
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