I work for a county metro park system. Our programs & activities couldn’t be as successful or run as well as they do without the help of our wonderful volunteers. Recently one of our volunteers, 91yr. old Reita, passed away.
I didn’t know Reita very well, in fact our paths rarely crossed, but in the few brief encounters I had with her I could tell she was one incredible woman. At 91, she was still active, still full of confidence & had no desire to slow down. She was always accessorized to the nines (hats, scarves, pins…how can you not love that!) and always had a smile on her face that you couldn’t help but give her the biggest smile back.
Reita lived a full life, per her obituary, she was a licensed pilot, had her Masters Degree in Social Work, was a retired Special Education Teacher, was a restaurant & business owner, & an active member of many clubs (seriously, the list of all the clubs she belonged to took up 1/2 of a column!) including an wilderness & hiking club that researched bears! Her hobbies were endless; country line dancing, hang gliding, archery, shooting guns, bowling, swimming, it goes on & on. All of which she participated in until her death. It truly sounds like her children, grandchildren & great, have lost an adventurous spirit in their family.
Talking to another co-worker about Reita’s passing, she mentioned that her own mother was in her 90’s & was sitting around just waiting to die with a bad attitude, making the lives difficult for those that came to visit. Nothing was physically wrong with her mother to prevent her from being active, she was choosing to be miserable. That is so incredibly sad to me that during the final years of her life, she’s given up on living.
God-willing I’ll make it to 91, but even if I don’t & my time is shorter than that, I want my obituary to be full. Full of cool, fun, & adventurous things to show that I never stopped living. Things that will make people smile & say, “Now that’s a life lived. That’s someone who never wasted a moment or took a moment for granted” when they read my little designated area in the obits summarizing my life into words.
My bible is my absolute, most prized possession. Stuck throughout the pages I have my most treasured momentos; letters, cards, pictures, bookmarks I’ve made from special flowers I’ve saved & pressed…obituaries. Reita’s obituary has a permanent place in my bible, setting an example on what to strive towards. Showing that no matter how many years are on my shoulders, keep being active & having fun.
What will people say when they read your obituary one day?
Will people say that you had a life-well lived?