Perhaps, because I make a living as a writer, I see our lives segmented into chapters filled with the excitement of new beginnings and celebrations, everyday struggles and successes, major challenges and the sadness of final partings.
This past week, with the passing of Mary Alice O'Connor, I sadly closed a chapter of my life.
As I held Mary Alice's hand and kissed her forehead for the last time, I thought about her husband, the legendary Disney artist, Ken O'Connor, who passed away in 1998. Ken viewed life in a different way than me. As a visual artist, he saw life as a succession of portals through which we pass — the mandatory portals of birth and death, and the portals of choice that we cross or avoid to make our lives better or worse. Ken made that belief manifest on canvas in his thought-provoking painting, "Portals."
Then there was the way Mary Alice viewed life. As a dedicated volunteer who perceived needs and diligently worked to meet them, she saw life as a continuous succession of meetings — only interrupted by actually carrying out the work planned in those meeting to make life better for others.