I enjoy meeting new people, and today I had the good fortune to meet a woman who was so full of life, it was contagious.
As I sat and listened to snippets of her life, I was in awe of how much this woman loved life, and how contented she was to be herself. Many people I have met seem happy with their life, but I think this is the first time I have met someone whose happiness seems to flow from every pore.
For almost an hour she chatted about a wide range of topics. Good things, bad things, fun things, tough things, but all of it was shared with such amazing spirit. I have no idea of the woman’s age, although I know she is at least seventy (she looks decades younger), and her zest for living left me breathless. Her optimism seemed almost tangible – like I could reach out and touch it.
This woman’s husband passed away six years ago, and she has lived alone since then. Her days are filled with volunteering, family and reading. She is passionate about learning. She has created what I would call a ‘living legacy’ for her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren – she doesn’t want them just to inherit photo albums, she wants them to know the stories, warts and all, of the lives of their ancestors. Plus she has a few fun surprises planned for them for after she passes.
A close relationship with God is something she holds dear, but she told me she had come to understand the religion she was raised in was just man-made, so she says her prayers and worships in private. She has been hurt by ‘church-going, Christians’ enough to know that going to church does not make a person ‘good’.
I could have sat and listened to this woman for hours, but unfortunately had another appointment to attend. Meeting with her again in a few weeks is something I am definitely looking forward to.
I can only hope that one day I might be able to have even a quarter of this woman’s joie de vivre.