I’ve been slow to blog about my personal commandments because I really want to make sure I’m able to accurately express what my commandments mean to me. It’s one thing to believe something. It’s another thing to be able to accurately share it.
Today I became aquatinted with a woman I will never meet. Because she passed away yesterday.
This is one of the things I love about Facebook. You are able to connect to people who you wouldn’t ever be able to connect with in real life.
Here is the back story…
One of my old friends on FB (and by that I mean, I’ve known her for a long time, not that she is old) posted “Taking a step back to focus on what really matters.” Awesome. Love it. Wouldn’t our world be better if we all did that every once in a while. I “liked” her status and because I “liked” it, I was updated when others commented on her status. Finally, someone commented that they were sorry for my friend’s loss and I went to her page to see what might have happened.
She’d posted a link to Celeste Martin Rast, the friend who had passed away. I really don’t stalk people. Honest. But I clicked on the link to learn more about this women who’d touched my friend.
I was thoroughly overwhelmed by what I saw. So many people wrote such wonderful things about this woman. She’d just celebrated her 82nd birthday and let me tell you, this woman did NOT look 82. Or rather, I hope I look like this when I’m 82. She had a sparkle in her eyes that showed mischief, wisdom, love and peace. And from everything I read that people posted about her passing, she practiced everything her eyes reflected.
As I scrolled through her wall postings, it amazed me how Celeste took the time to comment back to everyone who wished her a happy birthday. And it wasn’t just a “thanks” it was truly personal:
“Thank you, Courtney. I have had a fine birthday, and your greetings make it complete. Love to you. Celeste”
“Thank you Tommy. Indeed I did have a perfect birthday. And it all started in the chapel with your Ryan reading one scripture and you the other. Then there were parties and meals and on and on. Then your greetings have made my day complete. You are so good to me. Celeste”
“Warm wishes and thanks are flowing across the airstreams from me to you. Thanks for remembering me. Celeste”
“How special that not only did I get your greetings, but a live hug as the rains began to tumble down from the sky.”
It was amazing to not only read the wonderful things she said to other people, but the comments she made (and didn’t make) about her life. Scrolling all the way back to February (yeah, I know, I really am a stalker), she wrote, “Right now I am in my 6th floor room of a beautiful hotel overlooking the waterfalls surrounding the Spa. Trees went down on my mountain yesterday with the weight of the ice storm and took my power with it. Good to know how to celebrate in the midst of adversity don’t you think! This resort is world famous, and less than ten minutes from my home…..they have their own generator!”
No complaining or whining about no electricity, simply acknowledging the beautiful hotel overlooking waterfalls.
Even being trapped on a plane for more than two hours resulted in this report:
I have a story to tell. I am at a friend’s house close to the airport. I stayed at the airport from nine in the morning until seven at night. I sat on a plane for 2 1/2 hours with a seatmate that needed ever square inch of her seat plus 1/2 of mine. The pilot helped me down the icy steps when they finally cut the engines without a gate. At seven, and I won’t bore you with all the lines, promises, interplay with other passengers and friends I called until my cell expired, a friend got me to her home. The snow when I stepped out the cab of a truck was 14 inches, and it wasn’t a drift. I try again Sunday morning.
Seriously!? On a plane with no seat room and this is her report. No swearing, no writing snarky blogs, no joining a FB group, “Let’s make the airlines pay” or “no fat people on airplanes.” I can promise you my entry wouldn’t have been nearly as gracious. I would likely have NOT had to sit on a plane for 2 1/2 hours because federal agents would have come onto the plane and removed me.
I wish I could have known this woman. I know I could have learned so much from her. But it isn’t too late–not to know her, but to learn from her.
Celeste is a storyteller. For real. She looked for, and found, stories everywhere she went (I have a feeling, she is going to have some great stories to be telling now). And from everything I’ve seen about her and her life, she did it with grace and humor.
Celest shared her grace and humor with everyone she met. The pictures of her on her Facebook page show a woman who had discovered the secret to happiness–knowing herself, knowing a greater truth, knowing what was important in life. Celeste embraced life and chose happiness.