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The Denver Post has the most fascinating obituaries. They wouldn’t just say who died, but where they were born, what they achieved in their lifetimes and who survived them.
One obituary stood out to me. It was about Mary Samuels. An actress. She toured in London, New York and the big concert halls. She even appeared in a movie with Martin Sheen and was a member of high society. Shortly after appearing on stage at the Denver Concert Hall, she moved here. That is when her descent into hell started.
She was getting old, anathema for an actress and there weren’t a plethora of parts coming her way. Her drinking had gone far beyond social. Soon, she began to isolate herself, perhaps play-acting in her one-bedroom apartment, located on Poet’s Row, now. She had no close family in proximity; at least no reference was made to them in the obituary. She had no children. I guess you can’t afford them when you are on the road trying to make a name for yourself.
But the star lost her luster over the years. Daily visits to the liquor store became the spotlight. The glamorous gowns she wore became clown outfits as she trotted across Sherman Avenue in them.
One night, someone decided to mug her. She struggled. He had a knife. The sharp instrument cut through her pink chiffon gown spilling blood all over it. He grabbed her purse and ran.
I could hear the police sirens. Just another casualty of the streets they would say. Until her story caught up with her and was printed in the obituaries of the Denver Post.
That's when it hit me. The obituaries reminded me to live because we never know how long we have.
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