A few years back we met and produced a short story on Mary Anne Cooper. At the time of our story, Mary Anne was about to turn 97 and had traveled form her home in Port Moody, British Columbia to Mesa, Arizona to compete in the National Masters Swimming Championships.
Mary Anne was not really a competitive swimmer but even at 96 she had an appetite for adventure and this trip was just that. She was the oldest swimmer it the meet and won the backstroke in the 95-99 year old age group.
I asked Mary Anne what kept her going and she said, “I’m always looking for the little miracles. Not the big things. The nice, happy little things are the most wonderful part of life.”
Mary Anne turned 100 this year and remains active in her community, She rides the bus daily, volunteers at her church and is an passionate and effective advocate for the environment; Not surprising considering that she has a Ph.D. in environmental conservation and has been active on a number of prominent environmental issues for the past 8 decades.
I think of Mary Anne often – every time I slow down enough to notice, appreciate and express gratitude for a busy butterfly, a lone, beautiful flower growing out of a crack I the sidewalk, a kind gesture from a stranger, the smell of coffee in the morning. I can still hear Mary Anne saying, I’m always looking for nice, happy little things that are the most wonderful part of life.”
If you’d like to meet Mary Anne, here’s the story we shot that day.