My late sister used to say, “I love Autumn because every year God paints the earth for my Birthday!” To celebrate we would arrange a free afternoon together. We would take a ride and enjoy the local Autumn view, and the companionship of our sisterhood. We always finished her day with a maple flavored cup of coffee.
She chose to share her gifts of compassion, empathy, humility and gentleness as a nurse. She also volunteered at her local church as treasurer of the World Missions Committee. She took pride in accounting for all the donations that would be sent oversees to help provide missionaries and their communities with food, shelter, medical supplies, including Band-Aids. World missions was a cause she felt deeply compassionate about.
As I made my journey through town today, I passed the church my sister attended her entire adult life. Although she has been gone for more than a decade, I reminisced for a moment about the people who helped our family carry out her final wishes.
At her passing we learned that the funeral could not be in her church. The back steps and ramp were covered in snow. They had rotted out and could not support the weight of a casket. Our community made my sister’s final wishes a reality. A kind soul plowed out the entrance, and a small “interfaith community build” began. New steps and a ramp were installed by volunteers, including the owner of our local hardware store, along with family, church and community members. All materials were donated at cost.
This freed my soul, so I could grieve and write her eulogy, including this excerpt: “As my body began to weaken, I as you, realized that my “Golden Surgery” would never come to pass. I am now home in heaven.” “My life here on earth mattered because of the relationship I shared with each of you. My sorrow is for you, as I am now in a far better place.”
Today, as I turned to walk up the hill, a gentle breeze brushed my face, and then I noticed the sun glistening over my sisters final resting place. Daisies placed delicately by her side in remembrance of her mind, body and soul. Gone but never forgotten! Her gentle and humble spirit continues to inspire her family, friends and community.
This day will only come once for you and I, so be sure to enjoy it, and help someone else enjoy it, too!
Now, I will indulge in a cup of maple coffee.
Articles, resources and tips.
Network for Good posted some resources and inspiration for the next 90 days: http://bit.ly/1fgTQF0
Harvard Business posted this quick but good read: http://hbr.org/product/hbr-guide-to-coaching-your-employees/an/17065-KND-ENG