(WBRE/WYOU) — A Northumberland County woman was marking quite the milestone Wednesday. It was Irene Novak’s 102nd birthday.
“There’s not one person, even if they hate me, I love them. Yes I do,” Novak said.
Novak was celebrating her 102nd birthday. She’s gone through a lot and seen a lot in her lifetime and she says faith, family, and friends are what keep her going strong.
“We laugh, we sing, we cry, but we don’t forget each other. You know, if we can help each other, they come up to me, I go to them. We don’t forget each other,” Novak said.
Those who care for Irene at Life Geisinger of Kulpmont tell us she is their oldest patient and is an example for others.
“She’s the first that we’ve had that has reached 102, so it’s just a beautiful thing in terms of being able to honor her birthday, but to still have her home where she wants to be,” outreach and enrollment coordinator Wendy Rishel said.
Irene shares her home with her parrot, Paulie, who she has had for nearly 20 years, and together, their bond is unstoppable.
“He’s my companion, for years, and when I’m going to bed, I say ‘Paulie’. He says ‘Huh?’, I say ‘now we’re going to sleep and then he gets covered up. Paulie says ‘mhmmm’. I have a certain way to cover him. My daughter will cover him and off he goes,” Novak said.
“We didn’t think a dog was a good idea, because she would trip when she was home, yet so I suggested a bird and she’s never had a bird before,” daughter George Ann Katchick said.
“He comes and sits on my shoulder and just tuckers around, won’t bite me and he’s with me all day,” Novak said.
Before leaving, Novak had one final thing to say…
“I pray. I still pray. When I can get there, I get to church,” Novak said.
Irene tells Eyewitness News she can’t thank her family and friends enough for all that they do for her. She also says she appreciates them each and every day.
Happy birthday Irene!