On taking the next step

On taking the next step.jpg

In the second week of Advent, my aunt died. Her memorial service was yesterday. She was married to my father’s brother for more than 50 years and was every bit a full aunt to me. My cousin, her son, recently described her as "beautiful, funny, and elegant, as well as gracious and unfailingly kind.” I would add courageous and determined. I had the privilege of going with her to oncology appointments the last year and a half to be her second set of ears, to be her note taker. I watched her closely not only because she is someone I love, but because she is someone I admire and learn from. This is what I saw her do, continuously and without fail: Take the next step; do the next thing. I don’t mean in a getting-things-done sense or in a style of perpetual motion, but rather once her feet were on a path, there was no stalling, no wasting time. There was no lack of action or participation in life due to self-pity or hopelessness. With a full intention toward wellness, her orientation was always: This is my path and here is where I step next. Again and again. I learned from her until the end and am so grateful for how she lived her life.