A Tribute to Genny

When someone your own age passes, you come face-to-face with your mortality. It’s then that we’re tempted to go into “live life fast” mode.

“Get going on emptying that bucket list before it kicks you in the ass!” is your first command to yourself.

Do. Do. Do. Go. Go. Go. Next. Next. Next.

But is that really living? Or is it a desperate attempt to fill your days with a long list of things you’ve done to make it seem like you lived a great life?

Genny Loved Life

A dear high school friend of mine passed away this week. Genny was one of those down-to-earth people who knew how to break the rules and have the rule makers fall in love with her. That’s not easy to do considering the rule makers were the nuns at the Catholic high school we attended.

Although we didn’t see each other after high school, we kept in touch thanks to social media. Genny was one of the first people who signed up to receive updates to this blog, and she always took the time to reach out to me and comment on what I wrote.

The last time I saw her was at our 40th high school reunion where we laughed at the stories of things we did … things that were punishable by hellfire back then but are the innocence of a newborn compared to what our youth in school experience today.

In 2008, Genny met and married her soul mate, Dan. Three years ago, Dan passed. I could feel Genny’s heartbreak through her social media posts, but underneath the sadness, their love was very much alive. And Genny always took the time to post a kind word or joke on social media to remind us that life is meant to be lived.

When she was diagnosed with cancer, she shared her struggles, but also her victories. On April 14, she posted a Happy Birthday in Heaven message on Facebook to another dear high school friend who passed in 2020.

One day shy of a month later, Genny left us to be reunited with Dan. I bet Kathy was there to greet her as well.

Don’t Let Fear Hold You Back

Our fear that we have a limited amount of time left to live holds us back even more than the illusion that we have all the time in the world left to do the things we want to do.

We spend so much time rushing to live before we die, that we miss the beauty of the moments that make up that life.

It’s like going on a trip and spending so much time taking pictures, that we forget to enjoy the thing we’re taking pictures of.

Life is not about getting things done.

Life is about doing the things we were sent here to do. I believe we are given enough time to fulfill our purpose, and we won’t leave this earthly plane until we’ve completed the journey we were sent here to complete.

But the secret to embracing our mortality is to enjoy the journey while it’s happening. At the risk of sounding like a worn-out self-help book, the journey is the destination.

I bet Genny would agree.

Time Keeps Flowing Like a River

As we get older, time seems to pass faster. That’s because we sense we’re “running out of time.”

But we’re not. As long as we savor each moment as it is happening, time will stand still.

Let the final destination take care of itself, and trust that the Creator who put you here has a GPS that will get you where you’re meant to go.

Thank you, Genny, for inspiring me to write these words. I hope they inspire others to love life as much as you did.

Godspeed, my friend. Enjoy the ride until we meet again.

Time: Alan Parson’s Project

Author: Barb Besteni

I've been in a writer long enough to know that change is not only inevitable, it's what keeps us going. Don't fight it, don't fear it. Embrace it and have fun.

6 thoughts on “A Tribute to Genny”

  1. Thank you for sharing your sentiments. I am so grateful for reunions, as I didn’t get to build many relationships back then. I do love all of my classmates from St. Brendan’s and concur with your words. Gen was always in my prayers as are all of people I know. She represented a female warrior and till the end showed her strengths. God Bless each of us 🙏🏻👣🙏🏻.

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  2. Beautiful Barb! I was very close to Genny. I too have questioned my mortality before and since Genny”s passing. We talked about putting off things in our lives. She convinced me last Summer to take care of me so I could continue to take care of my dad and family. She would tell me to stop putting off my health and life . She was a wise and wonderful friend. I miss her dearly.

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  3. Rest In Peace Genny. I’m so glad we were able to keep up by phone and Social media. The last time we spoke was Good Friday and she sounded so up and bubbly, that was Genny!
    I last saw Genny in 1993 when she was visiting Florida.
    We hung out for the day and later went to dinner with another friend from HS who was also visiting.
    I’ll always be grateful for the memory of that day! Susan, Genny and myself went out for dinner and a great time reminiscing.
    Till we meet again❤️‍🩹

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  4. Amazing Barb. As a widow and one who runs a group for woman in nj, your words are so powerful and what i try to impress to my group. Life is so precious. I remember Gennys smile and her laugh , god bless , and thank
    You Barb ., another smart and talented Brendanite!

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    1. Thank you, Bernie. It means the world to me that you found my words as powerful as the inspiration that guided me to write them intended them to be. As I always say, the words I write are not mine. I am a humble channel through which God, the Universe, or whatever we choose to call it speaks. I am delighted to have reconnected with you and so many of our St. Brendan’s sisters. That special time we shared in the past continues to carry us through whatever challenges our present and future hold.

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