With Love to You…
By Louise Kitura
I want to share a true story of a beautiful woman whom I met at the age of 80 years. Her name was Eleanore. With an ‘E’ at the end, she would always add. Her beauty, her wisdom, her spirituality was beyond time. She became my greatest friend, teacher and mentor.
Elenore, along with her sister, lived in separate apartments in a Lodge in Edmonton, Alberta. She had never married. She was the youngest in a family of three girls. Loving her parents dearly, she told her father she did not want to grow to be a “nic-com-poop”. Eleanore strove to do the best she could in every moment. She loved skating and became a top-notch hockey player with her father as her coach.
When she was 16, Eleanore told her family she was going to be a Realtor. Her family was surprised, for her father was also a Realtor. During this phase of her life, she became the first female Realtor in Edmonton to own a realty business with staff. People loved her for she knew exactly what house they needed to meet their needs.
Eleanore’s life was like a staircase. She said people would ask her what University she went to, her reply was the University of Life. Life, to her, was one step at a time with no time to live in the past- be aware of the future but live in the present moment- for life is an experience, making sure you are growing in knowledge with each step.
Eleanore was a very confident, well-dressed woman. I had the privilege of being her nurse, friend, and confidante. We had many wonderful chats, and whenever I would share some of the happenings going on in my life, city or even in the world she would look at me rather sternly and say “So what are you going to do about it?”
A question that still holds true today in everything.
Another favourite quote of hers was “How does it serve you?” For example, if you are angry or upset about something do you remain on the same step for days or do you move upward, with a new thought? Knowing that love is always waiting for you and them?
As time went on Eleanore began to get dementia. Residents, as well as some staff members, did not like her repeatedly asking the same questions. Sometimes she took her teeth out at the dinner table when some food got under her plate. One other task she always did at the table after eating: she would go into her purse, pull out her lipstick, and put it on. It was important to Eleanore that she always look presentable.
I come to see a beauty in her that wasn’t noticeable before. Time, dates, seasons weren’t important anymore to her. Living in the Now was all there was. When in the elevator, she would meet up with people who did not like her and she would say to them, “Do you feel as good as you look?”
“No” they would often remark back to her in anger.
She would say “Why are they so angry? That doesn’t serve them well.”
I loved her not only for who she was, but who she became. Her personality could be fiery at times, gently comforting at other times, yet always remained caring and loving.
It’s all in the way you look at it. Love and understanding are the greatest gifts we can give to each other. If you aren’t feeling love or understanding, then what are you going to do about it? How does it serve you?
Eleanore passed away 4 years ago, at the age of 95 on December 25—her favourite day of the year, as it always represented new beginnings, and new choices where only love can exist in and around us all.
Let judgement, criticism and blame go in 2017, for it doesn’t serve us anymore.