A Meaningful Life: In memory of Marsha Wachtell


Article first published as A Meaningful Life on Technorati.
Last Sunday on a beautiful sunny day in Simi Valley at Marsha Wachtell’s funeral, her spirit and connections were evident as many of the over 500 people present commented on her positive outlook and how she never complained or focused on having an incurable disease.
She continued to live her life to the fullest, taking every opportunity to travel, see family and hold her grandchildren. 
The struggle with ALS was different for Marsha with her cup runneth over personality; it was never a half empty cup or even a half full one; only a full one would do for Marsha.  For example, “Laura Lyn Guerry is struggling to come to terms with her aggressive ALS. Her frustration is evident. It’s the “quiet disease,” the “nice person’s disease.” Not very much is known about it. Even the medical experts can’t do very much.”
The Wall Street Journal reported this summer that while ALS is known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, it seems that now he may not have had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Other journals also report how little we know about this incurable disease. 
I know that while in the end, her body was devastated by ALS; it could not steal her spirit.  See her obituary LA Times.
Donations in honor of her memory can be made to: ALS Association – Golden West Chapter, P.O. Box 565, Attention: Elizabeth Bloom, Agoura Hills, CA, 91376. 
Being present with her and her family, in their home and at shiva and with so many friends and family leads me to think about what is a successful life? Marsha is remembered by her grace, her style, her courage, and her amazing ability to be a connector; and as an incredible wife, mother, grandmother, friend. 
Not everyone can keep a positive attitude in afternoon traffic in Los Angeles, yet Marsha knew her amazing life would be cut short and still kept all her appointments, helped others and even managed to vote by absentee ballot the day before she died. 

When George and I were in Siem Reap, Cambodia with my parents, we visited many temples of Angkor Wat. Ta Prohm, one of Jayavaraman VII’s first major temple projects, was dedicated to his mother. Preah Kahn was his memorial in honor of his father. After a week touring temples by foot and tuk tuk, I asked George if he thought of a project to honor his parents. We talked about honor, memorials and legacies.I thought about how are you remembered? What is your living legacy? Is it your family? your work? what you build? who you know? All of the people Marsha connected and all the memories she created by her trips, parties, phone calls, cards and contact will continue in the minds of others.
The Wachtell family and mine have been intertwined for over forty years. As my mom said at the funeral in Marsha’s honor: “When the moment comes to close my eyes on this beautiful planet, my heart will thank and honor all those who gave me life, and the warmth of love; and to God, who permitted me to devote my earthly sojourn to peace, justice and the betterment of the human condition. I will go in peace and joy, thankful for having been blessed with the miracle of life.
I have loved my life with passion, embraced it with fervor, cherished every single moment of it. I have contemplated with wonder the sky and its running clouds, my brethren the humans, my sisters the flowers, and the stars. I have feasted unceasingly on the treasure of life in all its forms.” 
I hope someone will say these amazing words about you, your life and your legacy. I will miss Marsha; I hope to live my life in a way to do her legacy proud.

Read more: http://technorati.com/women/article/a-meaningful-life/page-2/#ixzz14QOb0pkf

Lisa Ellen Niver

Lisa Ellen Niver, M.A. Education, is a science teacher and is an award-winning travel expert who has explored 101 countries and six continents. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, she worked on cruise ships for seven years and backpacked for three years in Asia. You can find her talking travel at KTLA TV and in her We Said Go Travel videos with over 1.3 million views on her YouTube channel. As a journalist, Niver has interviewed an Olympic swimmer and numerous bestselling authors and has been invited to both the Oscars and the United Nations. She is the founder of We Said Go Travel which is read in 235 countries and was named #3 on Rise Global’s top 1,000 Travel Blogs. She was named both a Top 10 Travel Influencer and a Top 50 Female Influencer for 2021 by Afluencer and is the Social Media Manager for the Los Angeles Press Club. She has been nominated for the inaugural Forbes 50 over 50/Know Your Value list due out in Summer 2021. She has hosted Facebook Live for USA Today 10best and has more than 150,000 followers across social media. Niver is a judge for the Gracies Awards for the Alliance of Women in Media and has also run 15 travel competitions publishing over 2,500 writers and photographers from 75 countries on We Said Go Travel. For her print and digital stories as well as her television segments, she has been awarded two Southern California Journalism Awards and two National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards. From 2017 to 2021 in the Southern California Journalism Awards and National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards, she has won four times for her broadcast television segments, print and digital articles. Niver won in 2021 as Book Critic and in 2019 for one of her KTLA TV segments NAEJ (National Arts and Entertainment Journalism) award. Niver won an award for her print magazine article for Hemispheres Magazine for United Airlines in the 2020 Southern California Journalism Awards and a 2017 Southern California Journalism Award for her print story for the Jewish Journal. Niver has written for National Geographic, USA Today 10best, TODAY, Teen Vogue, POPSUGAR, Ms. Magazine, Luxury Magazine, Smithsonian, Sierra Club, Saturday Evening Post, AARP, American Airways, Delta Sky, En Route (Air Canada), Hemispheres, Jewish Journal, Myanmar Times, Robb Report, Scuba Diver Life, Ski Utah, Trivago, Undomesticated, Wharton Magazine and Yahoo. She is writing a book, “Brave(ish): It's All About Perspective 50 Adventures Before 50,” about her most recent travels and insights. When she's not SCUBA diving or in her art studio making ceramics, she's helping people find their next dream trip.  http://lisaniver.com/one-page/

2 responses to “A Meaningful Life: In memory of Marsha Wachtell

  1. From NC "Thank you for sharing those wonderful comments about Marsha. She was a great lady." I agree. Lisa

  2. From MR "Wow Lisa! That was beautiful. We should all merit leaving a legacy like that."

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