A SPARK OF HOPE GETS HER LAST STAMP
Saying Goodbye to Margo Bentley
When I first started this blog, I made a list of people I wanted to interview. Margo Bentley was at the top.
In fact, not only did she top the list, she was also the first person I ever interviewed for my new venture.
Bentley was the world traveler who had been diagnosed with stage four cancer a few years back, and despite her prognosis, still added more than 200 stamps to her passport over the last few years.
On Friday, her daughter, my friend, Dana put up a Facebook post telling people her mom was about to make her final trip.
Well, I just learned Margo Bentley departed yesterday, her cancer finally overtaking her.
I SOBBED AND SMILED AT THE SAME TIME
I’m not a crier. You’re lucky to get three good cries out of me a year. Healthy or not, my German DNA doesn’t let tears flow that easy.
But when I read about Margo, I sat alone sobbing.
You see, Margo became my hope. As I was embarking on the toughest chapter of my life, this woman’s story brought me courage. She taught me, perspective is EVERYTHING, and that without a strong mindset, your life is anyone else’s game to play.
Margo rose above during her own tragedies. She rebelled against the status quo. And she lived, even when the experts told her it wasn’t possible.
She was fearless.
She didn’t accept answers at face value. She fought harder.
Margo didn’t let a diagnosis define her. Instead, she let it become her greatest motivator....to live the life she had always dreamed of.
And she won for a VERY LONG time.
Eventually, I smiled through the tears, because her lust for life isn’t found in most people these days. Many of us get too hung up on the “what’s if’s,” the regrets of what could’ve been, and well, the shame game of social media.
Not Margo. She persevered, as if none of her personal roadblocks ever existed.
I’ve since thought, if I could have a tenth of her strength and outlook, wouldn’t my life be so much more peaceful? Could her genuine curiosity be the missing key in all our lives?
I continued to smile as I looked at photos of Margo and her travels. She, her daughter Dana, and her granddaughter Olivia shared many special moments. They made so many memories.
Meanwhile, most of us don’t allow ourselves to experience joy for one day.
Margo, thank you for giving me a glimpse of your world, for letting me share your story, and for truly giving me some much-needed hope in a time that offered no light.
Thank you for reminding me what it takes to not only survive, but to thrive, and more importantly, how to rise above.
Grace and dignity are lost on those who lose sight of the bigger picture. Thank you for reminding me that a single chapter doesn’t tell the whole story.
IN THE GREAT WORDS OF HER DAUGHTER DANA
Dana Forrester, her daughter, shared the following on Facebook today:
“Mom passed peacefully, with dignity, and surrounded by love yesterday morning at home. I am heartbroken, but so grateful that she is no longer suffering from the terrible ravages of cancer. We will memorialize this great lady with a celebration of her life.”
This celebration will come right after the trip Margo planned to Africa, Zanzibar, and Tanzania, which the family will take in her honor. Ever the optimistic adventurer, it was only four days ago that Margo finally decided to cancel her ticket.
Rest in peace Margo Bentley.