Friday, April 2, 2010

An Exceptional Woman

Join me in celebrating the life of a wise, strong, and eloquent woman. Journalist and teacher Susan Tifft died yesterday in Cambridge after a long struggle with cancer. Her blog is so moving and enlightening that even though I didn't know her, I feel that I did.

Read recent entries here.

Here's a excerpt. I don't think she'd mind my sharing it here:
Over dinner that night, Alex and I talked about our own "bucket lists." I found it hard to come up with mine. I had actually written one down about ten years ago, and I’ve even ticked off a few items ("Live in Rome.") But somehow now, after my cancer diagnosis, I found myself oddly unequal to the task.
As I ruminated on it later, I realized that my list now isn't about what I want to DO. It's about what I want to BE. That is what cancer has done for me. It’s not about checking off items, like "run a marathon" or "travel around the world," as wonderful as those things may be. It more about what I want my life to be like every minute, on dull prosaic days and on those days when Alex and I are exploring the wonders of Athens or Timbuktu. I want to be kind. I want to be generous. I want to be caring and loving. I want to live in the present. And. I want to be remembered for all those things. No one is going to write on my grave, "She finally ran that marathon," or "She parachuted out of a plane, thank God! Just like she’d planned." What people remember–what I will remember, what matters to me–is whether I treated people with kindness and fairness, with love and justice, with warmth and openness of heart
Has anyone ever said it better than that?

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