© Andrew Savulich/New York Daily News Frances Abbracciamento celebrates her 105th birthday at her home in Breezy Point, Queens… By LAURA D...
By LAURA DIMON, LEONARD GREENE, New York Daily News
On her 105th birthday Wednesday, in the presence of family, friends and a woman playing the harp, Frances Abbracciamento shared the secret to long life.
She says it’s kindness, gratitude and a good amount of pasta.
“I don’t look over my shoulder,” Abbracciamento said, dispensing the wisdom that comes with more than 10 decades of living.
“I always feel nobody is better than me and I’m not better than anybody else. You have to give and you have to be responsible for who you are.”
What Abbracciamento gave on her birthday was a real good party, complete with music, a ton of stories and enough cake to open a bakery.
With the sun shining brightly on her tiara and the deck of her Breezy Point home, Abbracciamento reminisced about a full life that included raising four kids, running three restaurants and meeting the president of the United States.
“I lived through World War I, World War II, Vietnam,” she said, noting that she once met President Dwight Eisenhower. “At this time in my life I’ve never seen the condition our country is in.”
While she doesn’t blame any one person, Abbracciamento said America has gotten away from its creed.
“Help the people and don’t be so egotistical,” she said of today’s politicians. “The United States was not built that way. It hurts my heart. It really does.”
What advice would she give in these troubling times?
“All you have to do is be honest and never fear life,” Abbracciamento explained. “The truth will always lead you. If you’re not going to live and do the right thing, then you don’t belong in this world.”
Abbracciamento still belongs, and she doesn’t plan on going anywhere soon. Not with two great grandchildren on the way.
“We’re a close family,” said Abbracciamento, whose husband died when she was 50 years old. She never remarried.
“We’re 38 all together. I’m so blessed,” she said. “I’m so excited for those two new babies coming into my life.”
She’ll stay busy until then.
“I read all day. I text. I do puzzles,” Abbracciamento said. “I read my iPad at night. I read novels, I read history. Anything that's interesting to me I can read. And I'm an opera lover.”
Abbracciamento said she's a devout Catholic. It is difficult to get to church now, so she watches mass at 10 a.m. on TV every day.
“I cook from my chair,” she said, describing how she'll tell the person cooking exactly what to do.
“But it never tastes the same. I eat a lot of fish lately. And, of course, pasta.”