I'd like to tell you about someone special in my life who passed away last night.
Her name was Bernie and I met her some time ago at a local coffee shop. Bernie loved her independence & her cat, Margo. Although she was wheelchair-bound because of her COPD and need for oxygen around the clock, she wheeled herself through the Rochester snow to get to Tim Horton's in the morning. She was particularly fond of maple pecan danishes. She enjoyed visiting the local Salvation Army thrift store (which she called "Sally Ann's") and finding bargains. She liked the color teal, her view of the city skyline from her apartment, and the occasional banana split I used to bring her from Bruster's.
She was guarded because of some past traumas in her life, but those who were fortunate to have known her will remember her feisty attitude, strong opinions, and her sense of humor. She was a tough cookie with tremendous courage.
She did not have family, but she did have friends who knew her and loved her. She was a giving soul and always put others before herself.
She is one of those people who liked to fill the buckets of other people. You may be thinking, "Buckets--what do you mean?"
There is a wonderful children's book by Carol McCloud called Have You Filled a Bucket Today? It teaches young ones about kindness and about how doing something as simple as saying "Hello" to someone can fill their metaphorical bucket. When you act with kindness, compassion, and respect, you are filling someone's bucket. When you bully someone or do things that are hurtful, you're what the author refers to as a "bucket dipper."
Bernie was someone who filled the buckets of many people in her life. She thought of others before herself. I remember her being concerned about one of her favorite nurses at a local center which provides resources for seniors. She would be concerned about people behind the counter of the coffee shop if they seemed to be having a rough day. She was just the kind of person who genuinely cared about others and took that extra minute to make them feel cared about and special.
Life is short. You never know if you are going to have 100 years or 80 or 60 or 30 in this life. Live each day fully and completely and let those people in your life who are important to you know that they are important to you and let them know why. Fill someone's bucket each and every day of your life.