Where Have I Been?




©Jeanne E. Webster

You want to take a ride into wonderland?  Read the obituary column in a newspaper.  Many of these people have lived lives of such abandonment and self-sacrifice, you will shake your head in amazement.  You’ll ask yourself, “Where have I been?” not to compare, but to realize the potential we have within ourselves to go the extra mile our lives ask of us at times.

Here’s a taster taken of yesterday’s obituary of a dear lady from the Midwest.  Her column is almost a full-length feature, that’s how engaged she was with living.

“Mrs. Gloria _____

Was born in ____ and died in ____.  She was the second oldest of eleven children born to ____.


She married Peter____, on ____1941.  From that union came the great loves of her life, her children, ____,  ____,  ____, ____;  her grandchildren, ____, ____,  ____,  ____;  her great-grandchildren, ____,  ____,  ____,  ____.


When her husband, Peter, died after 25 years of marriage, she became a young widow at the age of 43.  Her dear girlfriend since childhood, ____, saw her through that time and joined her in the antics and travels that they would laugh about for years.  Their friendship lasted until the friend died in 2008.

Four years after her husband’s death, she married ____.  They were married one month shy of 37 years before his death in 2007.    Theirs was a life filled with family, travel, laughter, dance and song. 

Gloria was a warrior.  She fought for her place in life, never letting her beginnings determine her fate.  Her strength and fortitude defined her and those around her.  She fought for equal pay for women at her place of employment and won that fight.

She was an adventurer.  “Let’s Go!” being the motto of her life.  She explored the highways and byways of this country, always looking for the next adventure over the next hill.  At the age of 76, she went white water rafting to prove to her granddaughters that they could do anything no matter their age. 

With her 80th birthday approaching, she was told she could go anywhere to celebrate.  She chose Alaska.  So, she and 12 family members did just that.  They went to Alaska.

She leaves behind to remember her smile, scores of extended family members and friends; special smiles left behind for the ones who showed their love and concern in her waning days of life. 

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be sent to the Alzheimer’s Association to fight this disease in the same fashion she fought it, with a vengeance.

She will be laid to rest back home.  Hers was a long life.  Not always an easy life, but a successful life.  She was loved.”


What more can I say?  L’CHAIM!  To Life!

(Obituary taken from the Sunday, 08.14.2011, St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

2 comments on “Where Have I Been?

  1. Dicky says:

    I agree that she had a life full of richness.

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