I had a stroke two years ago, my memory’s not so good. When I get down I simply sing…
And with that I was introduced to the remarkable, resilient woman that is Mrs. Bella Kelly.
I met Bella while working in a tiny Northern Ontario community where she’s currently living, though she originally hails from Newfoundland. Her daughter, Cathy Ann does community engagement work and there’s nothing so engaging as watching the two of them together.
Cathy Ann leaves a note with Bella’s schedule on the kitchen counter when she’s out to help prevent confusion. A sample: 2:00 – 4:00 – Mom relaxes, 4:00 Cathy Ann will be home, 4:30 Mom goes to the community Feast
And so it goes, with a sometimes shaky grasp on the wispy bits of lived memories that forms a person’s life, Bella stays anchored in the present. If you ever get the chance to meet her, pull up a chair. She has a smile for everyone who crosses her path. You won’t have to wait long until she breaks out into song. If that’s not resilience in action I don’t know what is.
If only we were all so wise. A little faith, one day at a time, makes a big difference in how you approach challenges and obstacles.
Whether I’m cursing the GPS in my new home of Nairobi (it’s take on where I wanted to drive to yesterday wasn’t anywhere near reality), facing a challenging workshop participant or being dogged by difficult training content I imagine Bella singing.
And yes, she really is that charming in person.