Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mary Lou Andrews

Mary Lou Andrews is a bright-eyed wonder of a woman I met last week in Lumberton, North Carolina.

For years she’s wanted to hang upside down on the beams in her living room. As an 80th birthday present to herself, she finally fulfilled her wish. (Believe it or not, that's her in the photo at right.)

Don’t ask me why she wanted to hang from the beams. Why is not important. What is important is that she didn’t let age stop her. And because she was neither bitter about her limitations nor naïve about her athletic ability, she found a way to achieve her dream without compromising her safety.

Mary Lou's feat might sound trivial. But the utter joy she felt hanging from those beams and the inspiration she's given others (nearly everyone at my Lumberton talk had heard Mary Lou's story), makes her accomplishment far greater than it first appears.

Update: I was saddened to learn that Mary Lou died February 17, 2008. --pb

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