I love that life's teachers are placed in our paths every day, often in unexpected places. They make us think a little differently, a little better. Lee is one of those teachers.
I met her when she rang up the gifts I was buying. As she scanned and packed every item, we chatted and I unpacked details of her life. It turned out, I left with a gift for you and me that day, too.
Take a look at Lee’s beautiful picture and venture a guess at how old she is. As you mull that over, it might help to know a few things about her. She’s charming and moves with efficiency. She’s sharp and knows the products she sells. She spends hours on her feet with makeup and hair perfectly in place. Oh, and when she’s not working at the mall, she volunteers at the hospital gift shop three days a week. For the record, I figured she was about 72 and my kids guessed 62. We were all wrong. Lee is 87.
“Really?” I asked, in awe and disbelief. “And you still work?” She nodded and smiled as she handed me my bag. “It keeps me out of trouble. And it gives me a bit of extra money.” She was matter of fact. No big deal.
But I was astonished. “Wow! You’re amazing!” I said, raising my eyebrows, shaking my head. I imagine she probably heard that a lot.
As I walked away, I thought about age. Often we think being 30 means this. Being 40 means that. Being 87 means something else. Lee reminded me that, if our minds and bodies are able and we are willing, age means nothing, especially if we live a life of purpose, whatever we deem that to be. Purpose. Perhaps that’s what it is to be young at heart. Just like Lee.