Saturday, September 18, 2010

Goodbye to a Friend

This afternoon I went to a memorial service for one of my horse friends. Not my favorite way of spending a Saturday afternoon but at my age you have to expect those times will happen. When it does I take it in stride and go say goodbye...........something I seem to be doing a lot of here recently.

This friend, Ann Cunningham, I have known for more years than I can remember. She and her husband, Bill, are small breeders of Arabian horses like me and live in my area. I knew about them before I actually met them but since the meeting we've grown to be friends. They are regular visitors to my annual open house and I can usually catch up with them ringside for halter classes at the Daffodil shows. They weren't around this year, now I know why.

I was saddened to hear of Ann's passing and I wondered how Bill was faring. I went to the service to see for myself and to let Bill now my feelings. I was glad I went.

Bill and Ann are older than Dave and I. Looking around the church today many of the people there were older than us too. Even at that the feelings of the people in the room were young. I don't know if I can explain this but I'm going to try because it struck me how important how you think affects how you live.

It turns out Ann has a group of friends she's known since grade school. They've always kept in touch and they were a big presence at this service. They call themselves the GG girls. It stands for Grade School to Grave friends. Listening to their representative talk, I could see why that had been the case. Instead of women nearing 80, they sounded like teenagers celebrating their friend. The giggles were more prominent than the tears.

They are fun loving, happy people. Involved in their lives instead of sitting around complaining about their age, they're out there living every moment like it might be their last. It was easy to see not just from the things said about Ann but the conversations around the room afterwards these people love life and pursue it to the fullest.

Most of the older people in this room did not look their age. I imagine that is because they weren't acting their age. I couldn't help but think the reason for that is their attitudes about life.

It's an important lesson to learn. Many never do. Life is what you make it. The bumps are not what matters. How you handle them is. Living life under those terms kept Ann young and made her life full right down to the last minute. The woman lived with no regrets. You could tell by those in the room. Her investment in people was evident. Her investment in life the fullest a person can ask. The legacy left to those in the room, the treasure of a lifetime. Ann Cunningham will be missed.

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  1. So sorry to read about all the misfortunes and deaths you've been experiencing lately. What happened to her?

    That's a very interesting point of view. Acting young for your age is a good thing. Ha, I'll be doing that next week when I go see two rock concerts two nights in a row. ;)

  2. Sorry you have lost a lot lately. Your friend's friends sound fabulous.

  3. Sorry for the loss of yet another kind friend

  4. I am so sorry to hear of the loss of a good friend! My thoughts will be with you.

  5. Sorry for the loss of your friend. I love the way those GG girls think. We can all take a lesson.

  6. You wrote a great tribute to your friend. I would hope that we all could have a group of friend like the GG's. So sorry for your loss.