March 22, 1942-Etty Hillesum

80 years ago today.

And back to me came those words I wrote down months ago in one of these notes to myself, words I shall keep writing down time and again, until they are a part of me: Slowly, steadily, patiently.”

Etty Hillesum

I thought I couldn’t relate anymore to Etty. Slowly, steadily, patiently: Countless times I’ve whispered, prayed, and written these words or something similar.

When it took seven years to finish my degree. When I carried and raised four babies. When a divorce took five years and two sons. When I rebuilt my life. Day-by-day, one step at a time: slowly, steadily, patiently.

I’m repeating them now as I recover from a fourth bone surgery.

But I’m convinced the difficult times are not the only times to live these words. As I watch my daughter learn the ways of a young woman, slowly, I urge. As I see my son becoming a man, steadily, patiently, I pray. Childhood, young adulthood, and life pass swiftly. I hold onto every precious moment for as long as I can.

All we have is today. May we walk through the joys and the sorrows: slowly, steadily, patiently.

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