As with most of my clients, I have a tendency to get attached. At 94, she carried herself in a very youthful manner and looked more like a 60-year-old with manicured nails, perfectly applied makeup and gorgeous white hair that was set every few days.
She and I had grown close while working together on her downsizing move to a retirement/continuing care community. Ms. Faye turned out to be one of my biggest supporters, always making an appearance at one of my local speeches and having photos taken with me for her memory book. She had outlived everyone, including a beloved husband that she often reminisced about, but she was determined to enjoy life solo.
Uncharacteristic for a woman of her era, she made the decision to sell her estate jewelry and travel extensively, because in her words, “When you’re gone, you’re gone.”
Unusual as she was bustling with energy and always had a smile on her face, I asked her one day over lunch what her secret was. She paused for a moment to reflect and suddenly a wide smile, that matched her glowing complexion, emerged on her face. “It’s really very simple. Always look up and never look down. And always choose close friends that are younger than you because they will keep you young in spirit — the older ones die and leave you.”
There it was in a nutshell — life according to Ms. Faye. She said it with gusto through her red Estee Lauder lips. It’s difficult to forget someone like Ms. Faye. Her words were so simple but powerful, and were her secret to longevity.
Not long after our lunch together, Ms. Faye died quietly and unexpectedly during the night. While she is no longer here, I still smile every time I think about her. I think of this older woman who had lived through and seen so much, and I remember her words, “Always look up and never look down.”
I think it is important to spread stories as upbeat as this, especially when the news all around us seems all doom and gloom. Some would think it is sad that she died, but she left this earth doing what she wanted, whenever she wanted, and how she wanted it. In my eyes, not a bad passing at all. Thanks for the smiles and new mantra, Ms. Faye.
Rest in heavenly peace.
©2013 The Estate Lady®
Julie Hall, The Estate Lady®, is the foremost national expert on personal property in estates, including liquidating, advising, and appraising. http://www.TheEstateLady.com She is also the Director of American Society of Estate Liquidators®, the national educational and resource organization for estate liquidation. http://www.aselonline.com