"Before I Die" notes cover entrance of local business | News

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"Before I Die" notes cover entrance of local business

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A business in the Avondale shopping district is turning heads and making people think about their lives.

The owner of Gottahaveit in the 3700 block of St. Johns Ave. is taking part in the "Before I Die" movement.

"I just thought it was a really cool idea," said Iva Keyworth.

Keyworth stumbled upon the international community art movement while surfing the web recently.

The movement started in 2011 after a New Orleans woman lost someone close to hear.

So she started a "Before I Die" wall to help others realize just how precious life can be.

Now, other walls and installments of the project have spread all over the world as a way for people to share the things they want to do and accomplish before it's too late.

Keyworth told First Coast News she connected with the idea because of something tragic that happened to her husband.

"Several years ago, my husband was working for a contractor in Afghanistan and had a massive heart attack and actually died for over 10 minutes," she said.

She added he will never be the same and that that moment was what inspired her to bring the movement to Jacksonville.

"So, I've had that moment, you know, that completely changes your life," she said. "I thought it would be a good idea to get people to think about that one thing."

So last weekend, Keyworth posted her own "Before I Die" sign on her storefront window with a small envelope containing Post-it notes and a pen.

Nearly one week later, her window is nearly covered.

"I'm really surprised. I didn't think it would be like this," she said after refilling the envelope with new Post-it notes.

Many of the posted messages are ambitious and contain goals people want to meet.

Others talk about the places people want to visit around the world.

But some are heartfelt and reveal the dreams people have not only for themselves, but for their children or grandchildren.

Keyworth particularly noted a message one man left that caught his wife off guard.

"There's one on here that says 'quit smoking.' Maybe (for) that one guy, this will be the thing that gets him to quit smoking," she said, remembering the surprised look his wife gave when he put the Post-it on the window.

Russ Christopher of Jacksonville left a message of hope for his future and the woman he hopes to marry.

"It just kind of inspired me, I guess, to see others who are willing to put it out there and say hey, this is what I want to do before my time is up," he said.

Ashley Wood of Jacksonville also left a Post-it on the store front, calling the effort "moving."

No matter what each message says, though, or how people react to them, Keyworth hopes they make people think.

"Whether you write it down or say it, it gives power to that," she said.

She plans on keeping the display up through the weekend.

Then she said she will make an album of all the Post-it notes to keep inside her store.

You can read more about the "Before I Die" movement here.


Avondale - Riverside Businesses