Seniors Digest
KIPDA Area Agency on Aging and
Independent Living
  May 1, 2005 

The Story of a Role Model

I'd like to share with you a story of a woman that amazes me every time I speak to her. Ms. Meddis is 96 years young. She's lived in the same apartment complex for 22 years. She moved back to Louisville 22 years ago after the passing of her husband. She has two nieces and four great-grandnieces, and her family will celebrate four generations with the birth of her first great-great-grandniece/nephew. But what is exciting about Ms. Meddis is her attitude regarding life: not only does she have a "can do" attitude, but also, her philosophy is to live life to the fullest.

What draws your attention to Ms. Meddis is her petite frame and voice, and her immaculate dress. She appears as delicate as the porcelain angels she collects. But what you learn about Ms. Meddis during your visit is that she never takes a day for granted. Every day she is given is a day that she lives. She gets herself dressed every morning in the clothes she washed and ironed. She applies her make-up and starts her day with a nice walk (using her walker) in her hallway. And when I express my amazement at all she accomplishes, while dealing with limited mobility, heart problems, high blood pressure, and advanced age, she just looks at me and says, "You've got to do what you can do."

Ms. Meddis then takes the time to tell me about her father, who became ill when she was young and eventually died. She describes how her brother began working at the age of 12, and how she and her other siblings would help her mother by picking berries or doing whatever they could. She states that her humble beginnings taught her what is important in life and gave her a strong work ethic. What truly amazes me about Ms. Meddis is that instead of doing less or being less, every day she chooses to be her best and do her best. With that kind of role model, she makes me embrace life, no matter what the circumstances.

Carpe diem seize the day!

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