I met the most fascinating woman last weekend! Although I went to high school with her son, I’d never known anything about Jean before now.
But in meeting her, and getting to know a little bit about her life, I found myself enchanted with this older lady.
Jean was born in March, like me, but her birthday predates mine by 33 years. Even so, I felt like we were kindred souls.
I learned last weekend that Jean was born in the small city of Berlin, NH. My family has been going on vacation in the same area for almost 50 years, and I know Berlin very well! That was one thing that made me feel a connection. Jean described looking up at the beautiful Presidential Range which overlooks the city, talking about how deeply she appreciated the beauty of the spot.
It could have been my husband or one of my children talking! That range is their favorite place in the world.
As I learned more about Jean, I also learned that she loved music intensely. In fact, she loved it so much that she defied her penny pinching father by renting an instrument in his name and taking lessons that he ended up paying for. I laughed out loud at that story.
Like me, my new acquaintance was a young nerd. I’m pretty sure I’ve never been as smart or as studious as Jean, but like her I have always loved to read. We both love to learn new things, even as we age.
What I liked best about Jean, though, was her life philosophy. I can’t remember her exact words, but it was something like this: “To find as much pleasure as possible without hurting anyone.”
I want to be like her. I want to be as full of joy. I want to be as dedicated to enjoying my life.
I’m so glad that I got to meet Jean. I wish I’d met her years ago, when there was still time for us to be friends.
You see, Jean died last February, at the tender age of 95.
I was never lucky enough to have actually met her.
But Jean was a writer. She recorded the stories of her life. She wrote with love, and with humor. The warmth of her voice as a writer pulled me in and allowed me to feel like her friend.
What a gift!
Many thanks to Stacy and Louise for sharing Jean’s story with me!