A hand-written letter by an 83-year-old woman is sweeping the internet with its words of timeless wisdom. Addressed to a friend named Bertha, the blue-inked penmanship is bursting with a perspective that all of us need to hear.
In the winter season of her life, the writer took the time to reflect on the importance of living in the present. She was seated outdoors, pen and paper in hand, breathing the gift of life into her lungs.
“I’m reading more and dusting less,” the writer told Bertha. “I’m sitting in the yard and admiring the view without fussing about the weeds in the garden.”
The precious time she has left is spent with friends and family. Working will have to wait.
“Whenever possible, life should be a pattern of experiences to savor, not to endure,” she continued. Do we walk through our days with this perspective?
She explained how her once glorified items like fine china, meant to be saved for special occasions, are now used all the time. Break out the good jewelry and your favorite shoes and wear them with gladness — because we sure can’t take them with us.
The writer advises Bertha to focus on living in the present. Now is the time to see and hear and do the things you want to do — not someday.
And repent where you need to, the writer suggests. Mend the fragmented relationships in your life before it’s too late to apologize.
“And every morning when I open my eyes, I tell myself that it is special,” the woman expressed. “Every day, every minute, every breath truly is a gift.”
Her final line is leaving people with a soul-awakening truth. “Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance.”
We don’t know the original author of this letter, but her message is powerful even in its anonymity. Read her full letter below:
I’m reading more and dusting less. I’m sitting in the yard and admiring the view without fussing about the weeds in the garden.
I’m spending more time with my family and friends and less time working.
Whenever possible, life should be a pattern of experiences to savor, not to endure. I’m trying to recognize these moments now and cherish them.
I’m not ‘saving’ anything; we use our good china and crystal for every special event such as losing a pound, getting the sink unstopped, or the first Amaryllis blossom.
I wear my good blazer to the market. My theory is if I look prosperous, I can shell out $28.49 for one small bag of groceries.
I’m not saving my good perfume for special parties, but wearing it for clerks in the hardware store and tellers at the bank.
‘Someday’ and ‘one of these days’ are losing their grip on my vocabulary. If it’s worth seeing or hearing or doing, I want to see and hear and do it now.
I’m not sure what others would’ve done had they known they wouldn’t be here for the tomorrow that we all take for granted. I think they would have called family members and a few close friends. They might have called a few former friends to apologize and mend fences for past squabbles. I like to think they would have gone out for a Chinese dinner or for whatever their favorite food was. I’m guessing; I’ll never know.
It’s those little things left undone that would make me angry if I knew my hours were limited. Angry because I hadn’t written certain letters that I intended to write one of these days. Angry and sorry, that I didn’t tell my husband and parents often enough how much I truly love them.
I’m trying very hard not to put off, hold back, or save anything that would add laughter and luster to our lives.
And every morning when I open my eyes, I tell myself that it is special. Every day, every minute, every breath truly is a gift.
Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance.”
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