Somewhere, on June 28, 2017, a bell rang a 10:41 am. “Every time a bell rings an angel gets their wings,” was the famous line said by the angel ZuZu in the movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life.” So, I know a bell rang somewhere.
Growing up, my parents had a clock in the foyer of our house that needed to be wound every couple of days. When it ran, it kept great time. You could tell when it was time for the next winding, as the clock’s time started to slow down. All one had to do is take out the clock key, insert the key into the slot on the clock’s face and after a few twists, the clock was back on track. Without someone to help (wind) the clock, it would slowly wind down its life, getting slower and slower until it stopped completely.
I remember meeting Magda about 30 years ago. She was part of my brother Jeff’s group at Fairleigh Dickinson University. I know that after they graduated, Magda, while still Jeff’s friend bounced in and out of his life. Then one day, she was back in and then like a spark, their friendship rekindled at a higher level. I am always amazed at stories where two people knew each other and then years later fall in love. Someone recently pointed out to how this story validates the old adage - If you love someone, set them free; if they come back, it was meant to be. It was great to see my brother so happy and Magda was truly a great addition to our family.
They say that as humans, we understand the concept of time and our movement through it. However, we only really know and live in the now. Yes, we have memories of what came before (filtered through our own prisms) and expectations / desires of what is to come. But at the end of the day, we live in the now. Magda believed in living life to the fullest, even after being diagnosed with cancer, even after the surgeries, even after the chemo, etc. She still traveled, went to concerts and really lived life. In Magda’s shortened life, I would venture to say that she experienced more now moments than some people live in a full lifetime.
We all know about the law of attraction, yet to see someone that unconsciously embodies that spirit is amazing to see. Magda had the natural ability to be friends with everyone she met. For the holidays at their house, we never knew who would be invited as a new friend. A close friend tells the story that every time Magda visited, she would come with a well packed handbag filled with gifts for whomever she was visiting; plus a few extras just in case, as Magda did not want anyone to feel left out. This is a great analogy showing how giving, loving and caring of a person Magda was; everyone that knew her has an experience, an expression or a simple Magda moment that they carry with them. She was full of life, loved living it to its fullest and encouraged others to do so as well.
Magda was a strong, brave person who found a way to stare death in its face and continue to live a full life and, sometimes, exhausting life (especially to an outside observer). A number of years ago, during one of the battles she won, she told Debbie in all seriousness not to be fooled, one day she would no longer be here. FIFTEEN YEARS - through which she had numerous surgeries, chemo, radiation, etc. – she always had the brave face on, always was concerned with others, always lent a helping hand, and always gave us wonderful stories to remember her by.
There is the theory called the Butterfly Effect, simply stated that the flapping of a butterfly’s wings can be felt around the world. I had the chance to see this in practice. Over the weekend, one of Magda’s friends had reached out to her friends in the global community – the Middle East, Europe and South America. Everyone felt the desire to connect celebrating this person that touched them so deeply. At 12:00 pm, New York time, a global moment of silence was held. I could feel the chill up my arms at what this meant, the impact of a single person on the lives of others. This was a most amazing moment to behold and a true testament to what Magda meant to so many people.
The hands of time finally caught up to Magda. The doctors could no longer find the right key to wind Magda’s clock back up. And as with the clock in my parent’s foyer, this precious being slowly wound down. Though I am crying as I write this, I know Magda showed us how to live and to focus on what is important. She is at peace now, no more quiet suffering. Thank you for being a part of our lives…You will be missed, but gave us so many wonderful memories that you will forever live on in our minds and in our hearts.