Several years ago I wrote a tribute to my fabulous Aunt Idelle, encouraging the rest of us to live as she does – living so each moment counts. This week we joined her in celebrating the life of her best friend and husband, my Uncle Roger. Aunt Idelle is entering a new chapter in life without her soul mate, and it seems appropriate to share this tribute again. Aunt Idelle, YOU ARE LOVED.
She’s 83. She lives in an apartment for senior citizens. She’s got more life than the energizer bunny.
Meet my aunt, Idelle (Nornes) Bagne.
Nothing is keeping Aunt Idelle from getting the most out of every moment she takes a breath. She’s still serving, teaching, serving, laughing, serving, and helping. Did I say serving?
Here’s her weekly schedule:
~~ She volunteers at the hospital for the terminally ill on Monday mornings.
~~ She leads a devotional on Tuesday mornings.
~~ As president of the tenant’s group, she’s responsible for the social hour every Wednesday afternoon.
~~ And every Monday and Wednesday she leads an exercise class for a group of fabulous women. (Idelle taught health and physical education for many years.) Who attends her class? Not your typical exercise group! You won’t find spandex and athletes. You will find (I’ve changed their names):
- Gladys, who has a hernia.
- Margaret, whose left leg doesn’t work real well.
- Alice, who has frequent dizzy spells.
- Catherine, who has painful osteoporosis.
- And Nora, who has plastic arteries in her left leg, an artificial right leg, two kinds of cancer, and is blind.Living with purpose.
These women get together twice a week to work on balance, range of motion, and a little bit of strengthening. They take a break between exercises to talk about their families and tell jokes. I think they’re really working on living—physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Aunt Idelle calls them her miracle class.
My Aunt Idelle has found her way of living each moment to its fullest in a small town in northern Minnesota.
And you know, it’s really more about attitude than anything else.
It’s not about doing. It’s about showing up.
She looks around her to see what the need is. Then she fills it.
What a role model for the rest of us.
“This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”