At 92 years old, Jean Roper has lived a long life. When she learned she was dying of kidney failure and had just weeks to live, there was one more thing the Alabama resident wanted to do before she passed away and that was to meet her first great-great-granddaughter, who was going to be named after her.
But, based on the baby’s due date, she’d probably miss the birth by a few weeks if her doctors were right.
“She was over the moon with excitement,” Kayla Tracy, Roper’s great-granddaughter told People magazine, “And she kept telling everyone, ‘I just want to live long enough to see that baby girl.’”
According to the magazine, Roper and her husband, 94-year-old Edward, have three children, seven grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren and 11 great-great-grandchildren. Roper’s excitement over the new baby seemed to fortify her, and Tracy, a professional photographer, was inspired to document her transformation.
“She’d been battling depression since losing her oldest son four years ago to the same thing she had—kidney failure,” Tracy told People. “But her whole attitude changed when she learned about that grandbaby.”
Magnolia Jean was born on Jan. 21, and Roper was clearly overjoyed to get the chance to meet her. Miraculously, Roper’s health has only seemed to improve since the newest member of her family arrived.
“She shot right up out of her rocking chair—and she hadn’t been walking at all!” Tracy told NBC’s “Today” about her great-grandmother’s reaction to meeting baby Magnolia. “She had a walker and could barely get out of bed. But the day that baby came, she walked from her bedroom all the way down to the hall to her front door to greet them, which was outrageous.”
And that wasn’t the only milestone Roper stuck around for. On March 5, she and Edward celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary!
Of course, Tracy was on hand to capture that special moment as well.
What a sweet story! Here’s to many more years of special moments for Jean Roper and her family.