Love, Life & Lucille – A life well lived with ribbons

My theory is that those at the very beginning and those near the end of life hold a special bond. It’s almost as if they’re so close to heaven, they can speak to each other without saying a word. – Judy Gaman, Love, Life, & Lucille (pg.122)

Of all the books to be in the middle of when my dad died, Love, Life & Lucille by Judy Gaman was… oh, I don’t know… difficult.

I was, in fact, heading into the pages of a downward turn. You see, when the book begins, Lucille has just turned 100. I mean, where else could it go but down?

Wait. What?

Scrap that!

This book is ANYTHING-BUT a downer. It’s an UPPER!

I LoVeD iT! ♡

Did I mention it’s a true story?

“Part memoir, part tribute,” we’re told on the back cover… and that, it is! I would add that it’s a breezy, lovely read… until the last quarter of the book or so, when… well… we say goodbye to Lucille… and not without some drama that is… painful and difficult to read.

But I’m (as usual) getting ahead of myself.

Gaman is an award-winning author and speaker who, while writing a book on longevity, was introduced to a centenarian named Lucille Fleming.

As the book opens, we come along to that first interview and follow Gaman into the adventure of a lifetime with Lucille.

We are witnesses to the birth of a relationship that will span the remaining years of Lucille’s life. Splashes of color and joy will change the remainder of Gaman’s life. We get to come along for the ride.

Every Friday, they meet for lunch… Lucille, dressed to the nines and Gaman, basking in Lucille’s glory.

We eavesdrop on delightful conversations and poignant stories… and enjoy (at least vicariously) luscious meals at the finest restaurants and country clubs in the Dallas, Texas area… and beyond.

At first blush, this is simply a delightful book!

The first three-quarters of it, anyway.

The end is heartbreakingly beautiful and ouchie. (Especially if your dad just died and you’re still emotional.)

Lucille suffers. The pain is palpable. I cried.

It was a difficult lead-up to the end.

But. Then…

There is magic. Sparkles. Flower petals. Then, goodbye.

I closed the book. I didn’t want to read the rest… not with Lucille gone.

Of course, I did open it again… later… and was gifted with a story of forgiveness. I’ll leave it to you to find out who forgave who and for what. Just know that it ended as it began, only better.

As it turns out, I think it was the right book to pick up (when I was ready) after losing Dad. It touched on the things I’ve been thinking about, obviously, and also reminded me to find the good and hold on to that.

Oh, and the ribbons? She always wore one around her neck and another (matching) in her hair… cuz that’s how she rolled. I love it!!

READ MORE: Judy Gaman is an award-winning author, speaker, and the CEO of Executive Medicine of Texas. She’s also host of the popular Stay Young America! podcast. She’s offering a FREE download of Age to Perfection, the book that led to the chance meeting with Lucille that changed her life forever.


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