When I imagine growing old, I lament losing the physical abilities so important to me now. Walking and running every day bring me peace and strength. Cooking allows for creative expression and service to those I love. Knitting brings me comfort. But reading is what I know I would miss the most. Reading transports me to other places, transforms characters into friends, offers perspective on challenging situations, teaches me about intriguing topics, and supplies solace amidst the world's chaos.
My great aunt Enola died this morning at age 91. She volunteered countless hours at her church, drove herself and others various places, managed to take down her swing (with the assistance of a wagon) every autumn and hang it again in the spring, maintained a neat home, and graciously greeted guests. She had no biological children of her own but mothered many. She kept an unbelievable collection of salt-and-pepper shakers and could tell the stories behind getting most of them. And she read voraciously up until three weeks ago. My mother shared many of our favorite YA titles with her, and she kept up on what was popular, even reading THE HUNGER GAMES trilogy. A model for good living, she will be sadly missed and fondly remembered.