As we age, some of us develop the habit of checking out the obituary page in the local newspaper. At first, we might look primarily at the ages and, when noted, cause of death. As the ages become uncomfortably close to our own, we may find ourselves reading about another's life and, in some instances, finding unexpected inspiration.
In this episode, Dr. McCoy discusses a particularly inspiring obituary she read recently -- for Velma Elizabeth Coffin Kwart, M.D. -- Dr. Beth for short -- who had a fascinating life as a surgeon, a mother, a wife, a delightful friend. She defied gender limitations of her day, spent a lifetime as a doctor serving the underserved -- Native American populations in Alaska and Arizona -- and shared her love of music with the community, with friends and family. Despite the losses of aging, she lived with gusto and grace all of her 95 years.
Dr. McCoy notes how Dr. Beth is an inspiration to all in terms of surviving and thriving through loss of loved ones, loss of heath, and finding new ways to be engaged with life in all the transitions we face through the years. She observes that, however long we have on this earth, we always have a choice. We can choose to grumble, complain and demand or we can remain fully engaged with loved ones and with life. We can choose to live with love, enthusiasm and emotional generosity through every precious day.