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 Earlier this month I wrote a post about baby boomers and death (on my blog May 8). I wrote it after observing a grave site service in which there were fewer than a dozen elderly people in attendance. I was reminded of that post today when I went to the gym.

I saw an employee I hadn’t seen in awhile and she was catching me up on the “gang.” I learned that my dear, sweet friend Marvin passed away. Marvin was an 84-year-old wonderful man who LIVED in the gym. He always had a smile on his face and was always giving you a hug upon entering and leaving the gym. We developed a bond. He even went to church with me a couple of times and I tagged along with him once to see how the Methodists worshipped. Marvin apparently died after having a stroke late last year.

Linda Ross was another gym buddy. I didn’t know her as well as Marvin. I just remember her rushing into our aerobics class after finishing her chemotherapy treatments. She died a few months ago of breast cancer.

And then there was the man I wrote about in my book, Whatever! A Baby Boomer’s Journey Into Middle Age. He was the one who worked out while carrying an oxygen tank strapped around his waist. I admired his tenacity so much. He inspired me to get off my fat butt. He, too, passed away.

I feel bad about having stayed away from the gym for so long. I never got to get my last hug from Marvin or to see Linda’s smiling face. I never got to let the man with the oxygen tank know I had written about him. All I can now is if there’s a gym in Heaven, I know they’re all there are plenty of folks being blessed by their presence.


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