I was at the funeral of an extraordinary woman yesterday. She was a doctor, an incredible trailblazer, out leading the way for women and having a wonderful time along the way. Until she got dementia, and even there, her partner and her partner’s sister, gave her care that we wish all people could receive.
I knew her only with her dementia. But at her funeral there were pictures of her life as a strong and vital woman. In her casket, she looked like the woman in her pictures and no longer like the woman living far back in her mind and body. So for me, for once the presence of a body at a funeral was very reassuring. She lived to a ripe old age. Before her disease claimed her, she delivered babies and babies and babies and cared for women who needed her help. (while flying planes, and hiking trails!)
I was brought up short in my, don’t I live in the most extraordinary place thoughts by the realization that everywhere and always, there are extraordinary people in our midst. Wherever we live, someone’s doing great work. And we can know them and be inspired by them; maybe even mentored by them into our own extraordinary selves. People like Dorothy Grace Wilson remind us that there’s no reason not to be the best you can be. And if you’ve done that that will linger in people’s hearts and souls… Apparently when Dr. Wilson was far into her illness, if you plopped a baby in her lap, she’d count its fingers and toes, check the shape of its head and the length of its limbs. “That’ll do,” she’d say. “That’ll do.”
Find a mirror and take a little stock yourself of the strength of your heart and power of your smile and the curiosity of your mind. Look yourself in the eye and proclaim, “That’ll do!” Then get on your way doing what you’re best at. Lead the world. No reason why you shouldn’t be the extraordinary person down the street. Peace grows from the hard work of being present and doing your work.