An Inspirational Tribute And Poem To A Life Well Lived

My Blue Brain love of poetry began when I was a young camper at Mac-Do Lodge Summer Camp for Girls (1932-1969). Our remarkable camp director, Miss Minnie A. Cohen, always read inspirational poems to the campers and counselors during our weekly Sunday night campfire.

My copious collection of poetry books began when I was about 10 years old. I continue to share poems with my husband, children, family members, friends, students, clients, program attendees, BrainBuzz Newsletter readers and blog readers.

I wanted to share a poem with you that was read on April 19, when our beloved cousin Richard J. “Dick” Elrod passed away.  Richard was married to my remarkable first cousin Marilyn for 58½ years. Last December, we celebrated their 80th birthdays at a joyful celebration with loving family members and devoted friends.

In 1969, Richard suffered a broken neck and became a quadriparetic (neurology weakness of both arms and both legs). However, nothing stopped Richard from enjoying his life, family, and career to the fullest!

I think of my cousin Richard as a inspirational Renaissance Man with a “Can Do” Attitude, who admirably served as the Sheriff of Cook County, Illinois, and as a Cook Circuit Court judge.

The following anonymous poem was included in Richard’s memorial service.The words rang true about how Richard lived his life. The words are thought-provoking and a beautiful reminder about how we all can live our lives well!

A Life Well Lived
One has achieved success who has lived life well, laughed often, and loved much;
Who has gained the respect of intelligent adults and the love of little children;
Who has filled a niche and accomplished a task;
Who left the world better than one found it,
(whether by an improved poppy, a perfect poem, or a rescued soul;)
Who has never lacked appreciation of earth’s beauty or failed to express it;
Who has always looked for the best in others and given the best one had;
Whose life was an inspiration;
Whose memory (is now) a benediction.

How do you live your life well?

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  1. penelope steiner on June 26, 2014 at 4:43 pm

    Beautiful sentiments; Richard is applauding!! Love, Penelope

    • sheila on December 3, 2014 at 3:21 pm

      Dear Penelope, Please forgive this extremely delayed reply. Oops, I did not see your sweet comment about our Beloved Richard! Love, Sheila

  2. Amy Caplan on September 7, 2019 at 12:38 pm

    Hi – my mom went to Mac Do Lodge. Maybe you knew one another. Her name was Barbara Rudolph. Maybe you know one another

    • sheila on September 10, 2019 at 11:18 am

      Dear Amy, thank you for your comment. I love hearing about another Mac-Do Lodge Girl. Sorry, your mother’s name is not familiar. I am 74. I attended camp in the 50’s. There is a Facebook page called “Mac Do Lodge Alums”. You mother might like to look that up and reconnect with other campers.

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