Barbara, Age 80
Nancy was a much beloved mentor who shepherded her students through graduate school, unlocked writer`s block and helped dissertations find a home between two hard covers.
At her memorial gathering, staged in her own home, students flew to Michigan from all over the country to show gratitude and remember. As I looked around the room filled with devoted students, I thought of how absolutely ecstatic Nancy would have been to be there among her guests, greeting each one, listening to their stories, exulting in their success. Why do we honor loved ones when they can no longer sit at the table? I wondered.
In that spirit, a month later, we gathered in our garden fifty life long friends for cocktails, laughter, and lively conversation. When they asked what special occasion brought us together, we answered with a toast. “Most of us here are in our 7th, 8th, or 9th decade…we congratulate everyone for getting up the stairs…because of this stage of life, we have over the years lost too many dear friends and family. And so we gather all of you together this afternoon to celebrate…LIFE.”
We raised our glasses and drank to LIFE…”L`chayim” my Indian friend shouted. “Tributes are for the living.” my tipsy 90 year old pal declared and swilled another pina colada.