jacob moscovitch

Joined by the other members of the Columbia Senior Center, Shirley Colby watches and mirrors a morning warmup video April 9, 2019. Colby volunteers at the center two days a week by setting up meals and coordinating the printing of the monthly newsletter.
With a gust of wind, Shirley Colby’s knees gave out and her hand shot towards the side of her home. Shirley, a 93-year-old woman who is barely 5-foot tall, fears dying and regrets not pursuing her dreams. "I feel like they forgot about me,” she said about her family. Since Shirley lives alone, she volunteers to keep busy. "I hope I have a tomorrow, but Heaven is going to very peaceful — no pain and no problems."

"If the sun is out, I always try to get out," Shirley Colby, 93, said while she watered her plants on April 15, 2019 beside her home. Colby is an active member of two gardening clubs in Boone County.

"Sometimes I open the case so I can see all the angles," she said. "Hopefully they're looking back at me." Shirley, pictured here on April 20, 2019 in her home, gazes toward her Television. "Sorry it's so loud," she said.

On her way to volunteer at the University of Missouri’s Concert Series, Shirley Colby, a regular usher for the events, adjusts her car’s sun visor on March 15. “I prefer when the shows are at Jesse Hall because the parking is better,” she said.

"Volunteering makes me get up in the morning, get dressed and get moving,” she said. “I don’t want to be a couch bum.” Shirley walks past an alley to volunteer in Downtown Columbia on March 15, 2019 in the afternoon.

One of Shirley Colby's spare wigs rests among storage boxes, clothing and personal items. "Everyone knows I wear a wig," she said. 

As her family watches the World Cup blaring on the TV, Shirley Cobly rests against a desk at a yearly family reunion. “I just wish I could say goodbye knowing I have something for my family to remember. I feel like they forgot about me,” she said.

Shirley Colby holds her hand to her face to shield the sun and wind from her eyes on March 22, 2019 beside her home in North Columbia, Missouri. Colby, 93, has a kind, perseverant and warm reputation, according to her neighbors.

Shirley Colby holds onto her kitchen counter and takes a breath after bending down on April 20, 2019. Later that day she would plan the next Birthday Club lunch. The group of women that calls itself “The Birthday Club” meets once every month to celebrate the most recent birthdays and catch up. “There used to be more of us, but that’s all right — it’s still great to get together,” Colby said with a chuckle.

Shirley Colbys grips the side of her home after a gust of wind caused her to reach out. “I just feel very lucky that even at my age, I can still do it. A lot of people are surprised of that, I’m sure. I really am.”

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