A loved one passed away this week shortly after turning 100 years old. She really was an unbelievable woman. If she didn’t answer the door, she was probably out in the garden, raking the leaves in the back yard or even shoveling the walk way; truly amazing at 100. She had a kitchen that was set in the 1930s and lived the simplest of lives; no televisions, microwaves or freezers in her home, just the radio locked in on WRKO.
She connected with everyone she met. When you visited her, she told stories of the past, showed pictures of her extended family and displayed the many cards she had received since the last visit. She never forgot a birthday and always included a personal note in perfect penmanship. We all loved to visit her, to hear of her history and what was happening in the extended family. It occurred to me as I listened to her eulogy how simply she connected with everyone. Yet as simple as these connections were, they were incredibly powerful and long lasting.
I couldn’t help but think about what we are doing with this community and the greater impact we are having on each other. We share stories through meetings, phone calls, email, and pictures and develop friendships; simply connecting with each other.
It is International Rare Disease Day today. Take this opportunity to ‘simply connect’ to a member of this greater rare disease community and feel the power.