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Life lessons from Ebony

Sister Donna blog pic1In February, my brother and sister-in-law, Steve and Becky, had to put down their beloved Chihuahua that had companioned them for 12 years.

At the time, I wrote, “May we, like Ebony, leave this world a better place for our having been in it.”

As I accompanied Steve and Becky in their grief and attended to some of my own, I’ve thought a lot about her legacy. What was it about her that infused so much joy into their lives on a daily basis? What could I/we learn from her?

Jesus says, “I have come that you may have life in all its fullness.” Ebony was a great advertisement for that line! She greeted each morning of a new day with boundless enthusiasm and invited her housemates to do the same. Her zest for daily life did not allow her a wimpy or grumpy response to a new day.

Hospitality – when I would go to Fort Wayne to visit, Ebony would greet me like I was her long-lost cousin she hadn’t seen in decades. She was like this with almost everyone on a daily basis.

Sister Donna blog pic2A teaser – yes, she liked to inject some humor into each day. When Steve would lie on the floor and say, “Come give Daddy kisses,” she would start toward him and then decide that she was going to her food bowl instead. This back and forth routine would go on for some minutes and finally she would comply with Steve’s request.

Ebony liked to touch and be touched. Belly rubs were a good way to provide touch therapy for both dog and human caregiver.

Ebony, your life lived so fully invites us to inject more joyfulness, hospitality, humor and touch therapy into the lives of those around us. May your spirit live on and make this world a better place!

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Sister Donna Butler

Sister Donna Butler has been a Sister of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods for more than 60 years. Sister Donna has served in elementary education, parish ministry, diocesan social justice, as well as the Congregation’s liturgy office, archives department and social justice outreach. She also administered as the director of the Providence Volunteer Ministry. Sister Donna currently volunteers in outreach with Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College students.

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