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Sunday will mark one year since former President Jimmy Carter entered hospice care, returning to his longtime family home in Plains, Georgia and forgoing further life-prolonging treatments.

The anniversary is another testament to the 99-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner’s grit and steadfast determination even in the twilight of life, after he beat cancer in 2015. 

Carter was last seen publicly in November, when he rallied to attend his wife Rosalynn Carter’s funeral at Maranatha Baptist Church where they worshipped, saying his final farewell to her after 77 years of marriage.

Family members say that he was determined to hang on even after entering hospice care, in part to ensure that Rosalynn was never left alone

‘He was really honored and glad that he made it to the end with my grandmother, and that was a real treasure for him,’ Jason Carter, a grandson and chairman of the Carter Center board,’ told the New York Times on Saturday. 

Former President Jimmy Carter and Rosalynn Carter are seen in 2015. Sunday marks one year since Jimmy Carter entered hospice care, forgoing life-prolonging treatment

Former President Jimmy Carter and Rosalynn Carter are seen in 2015. Sunday marks one year since Jimmy Carter entered hospice care, forgoing life-prolonging treatment

Carter is receiving hospice care in his one-story home in Plains, Georgia, which he built himself and has owned for six decades

Carter is receiving hospice care in his one-story home in Plains, Georgia, which he built himself and has owned for six decades 

‘I think that for whatever reason, the way he approaches this is from a place of enormous faith. And so he just believes that for whatever reason, God’s not done with him yet,’ he added.

Rosalynn’s funeral was the only time Carter has appeared publicly since entering hospice, and his frail appearance at the service alarmed friends in the church and well-wishers watching on television.

But Jason Carter told the Times that remarkably, his grandfather’s condition is little changed since he first entered hospice care a year ago.

Although he eats and drinks little, and is not especially talkative, Carter still clearly makes his wishes known and is able to absorb information about the world. 

‘One of the things that has driven home to me is there are things about life and the spirit that you just can’t understand,’ Jason Carter told the Times.

‘I don’t know what it’s like for him right now. I don’t know what it’s like to face this moment in the way that he has been facing it for the last year. But that’s been liberating for me to know that I just don’t know. And that’s OK.’ 

Carter spends his days in the home in Plains that he has owned for more than six decades, where caregivers attend to his needs and friends and family visit

Jimmy Carter at the funeral service for his wife Rosalynn, wearing a red lei in her honor. The November service has been his only public appearance since entering hospice care

Jimmy Carter at the funeral service for his wife Rosalynn, wearing a red lei in her honor. The November service has been his only public appearance since entering hospice care

The two-bedroom, one-story ranch house was built by Carter himself, and is worth about $240,000. 

‘I walked in the other day and he smiled, and we were talking to him about a meal in the future, and he told us exactly what he wanted to have for dinner the following night,’ Jill Stuckey, a longtime friend from Plains who visits him regularly, told the Times.

Stuckey is the superintendent of the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site, which plans to host a panel discussion on Carter’s life on Monday, in conjunction with President’s Day.

Historians Dr. Larry Cook, Stanly Godbold, Jr., and local Mayor of Americus Lee Kinnamon will discuss Carter’s local, national, and international impact. 

The discussion at 10am ET is open to the public and will also be available to view via livestream on the park’s Facebook page

‘He’s been a record-breaker for decades — the oldest-living president, the longest-married president,’ said Stuckey. 

‘It’s always been on President Carter’s terms. That’s how he’s living, and that’s how he’s going to die.’ 

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This post first appeared on Daily mail

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