Last week, in the midst of school starting which begins a very busy time at the office, I had some reflections on two lives well lived. It is interesting to juxtapose two funerals in the midst of the long list of to-do items and the frantic pace this time of year brings. However, maybe these three Girl Scouts help us put things in their proper perspective.
Beverly Ross, who passed away last week, was a longtime community volunteer in the Montgomery area. Beverly had a lengthy list of organizations with whom she was engaged. She was heavily involved with Girl Scouts of South Central Alabama, serving on the board, and as a board chair. Her death was sudden and shocking -- and it was swift. She wasn't that old, nor was she in ill health. That is always hard on people, leaving no time to think about it and no time to say good-bye. The funeral included photos of her in her youth, attractive and vibrant. Beverly left her world a better place. She made a difference at a number of organizations that will matter.
The second Girl Scout we recently lost was Mrs. Gloria Caddell in Mobile. I had written about Mrs. Caddell and my encounter with her years ago. She was the mother of seven. The children shared some great stories at her funeral; she was 93, having lived a long and full life. Her decline was steady, and her passing was not unexpected. I had a nice discussion with two of her daughters, and then I noticed she was buried in a beautiful Girl Scout shirt covered with trefoils. This blouse was not new, but clearly one loved. It took my breath away to think that she cared so much about Girl Scouts that she would be buried in a blouse bearing the symbol of something she believed in. When you are 93, most of your friends have already passed away. Those in attendance were a group of Girl Scout troop leaders through the years. Some were women who had been in her troop, some she had mentored, and others she had asked to be troop leaders. It isn't often that I have the opportunity to know someone so devoted to Girl Scouts.
This summer we also had the very sudden passing of Wanda Robbins, our associate field executive who worked in the Monroeville area. She's another young woman who died quickly and suddenly, showing no hint of health issues. Wanda had done many things in her life to leave the world a better place. Well-known and liked in her community, although she had no children of her own, she spent her own time working with children - and she was good at it. We will not be able to replace the gifts Wanda brought to the girls in the Monroeville area.
The moccasins of these women and others I might not know are not easily filled. They did fulfill the Girl Scout Law and Promise by being a sister to every Girl Scout and do their best.
On those days, when your list is lengthy and the hours seem short, it is good to reflect on what is really important in life. It might not be the many items on your list to get done today, but the ability to find and take the time to make a difference in the lives of others.