A little while ago, I went to a memorial service for a woman I knew from aqua aerobics. I’d known her for years, and by known I mean saw, smiled at and said hello to.
I didn’t really know her at all.
Penny, it turns out, was amazingly accomplished. She played four instruments. She sewed well enough to make wedding dresses and theatre costumes. She was very active in her church to the point that they referred to her as a prayer warrior. She played weekly with musicians from her church and participated in several other prayer groups.
She practiced Tai Chi.
Family, neighbors and friends took turns talking about what she meant to them and how much she’d done and shared with them.
It was inspirational.
It made me wonder what would be said at my memorial. What have I accomplished? Attained level 163 in Candy Crush?
What would be said about how I spend my days? She watched Charlie Rose every morning and spent too much time on Facebook. She made lots of lists. She had great ideas, but lousy follow through. She tried to help people but was sometimes really bitchy about it.
She hated to drive and limited herself by her fear of highways.
During Penny’s memorial, I sat next to a writer I know slightly, also from aqua aerobics. He, too, was inspiring. He told me he writes every day. I think about writing every day.
Like I said, I was inspired. Not just by Penny, whose smile I miss, but by the people she touched.
Now I know that I’ll never be a professional level seamstress and I’m unlikely to start attending church with any degree of regularity, but I am determined to spend less time playing online and more time writing. And relating to people.