Manuel Resendez has lived on this earth for 91 years, 16 of them at Silver Lake Retirement Community in Sealy.
He’s had a heart attack and a stroke. He can’t hear too well and his speech is at times difficult to comprehend. Yet he knows he’s going to be just fine.
“I’m comfortable,” he said. “I’m a happy man.”
Resendez is pretty confident that the reason he’s had such a good life is because of his faith in God.
“[God] says, anything you want and I’ll give it to you,” Resendez said. “If you have pain, I will pray for you. If you believe, you will be healed. That’s the way I live my life. My wife has pain and I say, ‘Mama, give it to Him.’”
Resendez’s wife Frances is much younger than him, he explains.
Frances Resendez is 87.
The couple has been married for 67 years and they have eight children and more grandchildren and great-grandchildren than they can count. Their home at Silver Lake is decorated with family photos and they spend time together watching television and tending to their garden.
Resendez stays active by riding his bicycle – gifted by a Silver Lake employee who asked not to be named – for about a mile each day.
That came to a bit of a halt Tuesday morning when Resendez was hit by a car while bicycling. He went to the hospital but is more concerned about his bike than himself, said Shirley Meadows, property manager at Silver Lake.
“That bike gave him freedom,” she said. “It makes him so happy, and that makes my heart happy.”
While it may just need a new tire, it may have to be replaced altogether, Meadows said. Residents can donate to a fund to repair or replace the bicycle, and more information will be forthcoming once the damage is assessed.
Resendez said that years ago, after he had a heart attack and stroke, he couldn’t move his fingers and felt partially paralyzed.
“I said, I can’t do it. I can’t get up,” he recalled.
The former landscaper and cowboy said at that moment he turned his life over to a higher power.
“I gave my life to the Lord,” he said. “I have no pain at all.”
Taking long walks – a common form of exercise for senior citizens – causes him shortness of breath and joint pain. He prefers getting on his bike – rain or shine – and waving to people as they pass by.
“I feel happy when I ride my bike,” Resendez said.
And when asked if he has any advice for the younger generation, Resendez doesn’t skip a beat.
“Believe in the Lord,” he said. “He’ll tell you what to do.”