A bucket list is described as what you want or need to accomplish before dying. Mary’s bucket list was not about vacations to take, adventures to try, challenges to master, or objects to obtain before she left this world. Mary did not pursue activities, spend money, or purchase things on her own behalf. No, Mary’s was a poured-out bucket list that demonstrated her servant’s heart and other-focused lifestyle.
Mary’s serene spirit, gentle heart, and firm faith did not waver when the cancer attacked. In facing her death, she continued to live as she always had. At Mary’s memorial service, they read Proverbs 31, because Mary was that kind of wife and mother. A comparison was made to Mary of the Bible, Jesus’ mother, who also lived with a gentle spirit in obedience to Jesus Christ. Mary’s eulogy, written by her husband and children, was passionately presented by her sister in law. They described the focus of Mary’s bucket list: her family and friends. Mary’s bucket list was never about Mary.
In her last months of life, Mary coordinated family weekends, activities with friends, and time savored with loved ones. Mary gave them shared memories as treasures to be remembered.
Ever practical, Mary bought her husband t-shirts and socks—many years’ worth. Mary knew that he would need them and she wanted to take care of him.
Mary encouraged her husband and son to go on their long-planned fishing trip, telling them to have fun together. In doing so, Mary assured them that they would continue to enjoy time together after she was gone.
Mary and her husband had previously shopped for a new truck for him but, in the course of cancer and uncertainty in their lives, purchasing a new vehicle was postponed. Shortly before she died, Mary ordered the new truck as a surprise gift for the whole family. They had to carry her out to the truck for her last ride.
Mary served others, brought family together, and enriched lives by what she said, did, and shared in the last days of her life. Mary poured her energy outward and spent time with others—not an inner-focused, self-gratifying bucket list. In her preparation for death, she pursued the same priorities she lived by: giving, serving, and loving others. Mary’s legacy prioritized family and loved ones: she shared her love even as she lived on the edge of death.
May Mary’s legacy inspire all of us to pour ourselves out for others.