I’ve attended three funerals so far this year. Not good odds since the year isn’t even half over. All three were ladies who had aged slowly, lived fully and had few if any regrets. I admired each of them in their own way. The first was my grandmother who died in February at the age of 96. From her I learned how to cook, how to keep my mouth shut when I had nothing good to say (although I don’t always follow this advice), to speak plainly and to love family without fail or condition. (She's the lady holding my little dog.) The second was a distant relative, Bernice. From her I learned what opossum stew tasted like (I DO NOT recommend it!) and not to giggle like a lady, but to burst forth with a full bodied belly laugh that shakes windows and has tears flowing. Finally, there was Helen. Helen and my grandmother were Bingo Buddies. From Helen I learned that “family” encompassed much more than simply blood relations, if you want good, ripe tomatoes, you need to use compost, and every plant, even the weeds, hold a special beauty and purpose. She would have turned 100 years old in October.
So, why do I begin today’s blog with such depressing thoughts? Simple. I don’t find these thoughts depression, but motivating. These ladies, strong and beautiful each, left an impression on not only me, but upon all whom they came in contact with. Perhaps one of their most admirable qualities, at least in my mind, is that they had no regrets. These were determined, formidable ladies who had survived two world wars, the Great Depression, the Beatles, several Stock Market crashes, marriages, children, poverty, hardship, joy, friendship and love. They set goals and either accomplished those goals or attempted to accomplish them to the best of their ability. I want to be like them.
So, I decided it was time for my own Bucket List. Since I’m fairly right brained, though, I’m sure the List will change. Also, I’m not sure they would approve of everything on my list, but I know they’d approve of me trying my best to accomplishing that which I desire.
1. See my sons graduate from college.
3. Publish at least one book a year.
4. Take a cruise
5. Visit Oxford
6. Go to Ireland again
7. Make love on a beach
8. Successfully change a tire
9. Take a vacation to Hedonism
10. Dance naked in the rain
11. Kiss the face of my grandchildren
12. Spend one whole week naked and doing nothing but eating, sleeping and making love.
So, what’s on your Bucket List?
Oh, and did I mention that today, June 8, would have been my great-aunt’s birthday. Her name was Rose and she put both my brother and me through college. She would have been 110 today.