SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - You may have heard the saying "age is only a number", there are many individuals who prove there is truth to that.
Two women, living very different lives, both surrounded by love, each married to their late spouses for more than 57 years and still full of life. They won't let a number define them.
At age 80, Je'Nell Blocher stays very active and involved. She volunteers for numerous organizations and has a job.
"I've been a real estate agent for 35 years and still a broker, in fact I still had a sale last week and in this economy that's pretty good," Blocher said.
She takes vitamins, eats properly and keeps her mind and body active by walking or swimming daily and playing lots of Saduko.
"It's addictive, more so than crossword puzzles or anything, so I think that keeps my brain a little active," Blocher said.
Blocher has spent much of her life caring for others, including her husband who lived with Alzheimer's disease for more than seven years before he passed away.
"I take him for a drive every afternoon, and we came home one day and he said, 'You are a very good driver, would you like to come in and have a drink with me and my wife,' and that tears you up," Blocher said. "Things like that you have to learn, you laugh or cry and you have to choose to laugh, for your own sanity."
In addition to laughter, she said adventure is another way to stay young at heart. Last summer she went for her first jet ski ride and she said it will not be her last.
So it was no surprise to those that know Bloucher that she dreamed up something big for her 80th birthday.
"I wanted to do something like Bush and jump out of an airplane or something, but my kids told me, 'Mother you have two new knees. We don't want to damage those, so no airplanes, no hot air balloons, nothing like that.' So I thought I might as well do something that means something," Bloucher said.
In honor of her husband of 57 and a half years, she walked 80 miles. Even continued on after falling and busting a rib.
She raised around $3,000 for Alzheimer's research.
Like Bloucher, Marian Powers was also told she could not jump out of an airplane.
Powers was born and raised in Illinois, after graduating high school she went to sew in a dress factory.
"I worked there for a couple of years and I decided, I don't want to sit here the rest of my life," Powers said.
Her family did not have enough money to send her to college so she enlisted in the Navy.
"I was the first female parachute rigger in the Navy, I made chief on the 11 of January 1946," Powers said with a smile.
After three months in parachute school she graduated with a certificate allowing her to jump solo, but there was one problem.
"They wouldn't let the women jump, so we watched the men jump from the blimps, that was before they used aircraft to jump," Powers said.
But that did not stop Powers, nearly 60 years after graduating from parachute school, she never gave up that dream.
"We had gone to visit our daughter in Palatka, Florida and we saw them sky diving, so I said to my husband, let's see where they are jumping from. We went to the airport and I made my reservations for my first jump that day," Powers said.
She jumped on her 80th birthday and again on her 83rd birthday.
"There is nothing like it, you have to do it yourself to find out, but it is thrilling," Powers said.
So thrilling in fact she has made reservations for November 3 to jump again on her 90th
"I plan to be around for another ten years, at least," Powers said.
When Powers is not jumping out of planes, she enjoys spending time with her fellow residents at The Armed Forces Retirement Home.
She embroiders flags to hang outside their rooms and makes her own jewelry.