An Unexpected Conversation

I would have expected it from an up-and-coming leader, or even a seasoned executive. I never expected to hear those words from her. This is what she said: "I never want to stop growing. I get up every day with a goal of learning something new." While the remarks may not sound exceptional, the person who spoke them certainly is extraordinary. She is a 95-year-old mom and wife who has out-lived two husbands and her daughter who died way too early. She has lived through poverty and prosperity. She has witnessed the progress and strife of a nation fighting to make this democratic process work. She has walked with hundreds of people through the celebrations and trials of life.

And here she is at 95, still wanting to grow and learn, stretching her mind and her body. She regularly goes to yoga and as soon as she recovers from her recent brain surgery, she is sure that she will be able to drive again (although her family and loved ones aren't quite ready for that). She still lives at her home and recently told me that, "I must do all I can for myself, for when I start allowing others to do what I can, it erodes my mind and body." This amazing lady is my Aunt. We call her Aunt Bea. What a wonderful example of aging, not with just grace but with a strong determined will to be the best you can be every single day.

What if we faced every day of our lives with the desire to grow and learn? What if we chose not to allow our circumstances to define us? Aunt Bea's life is an inspiration to many and her legacy is one that continues to make a difference.