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The Red Stilleto

As she stepped out of the car, she placed her red stilleto firmly on the ground. Just then, we saw a burley looking man glaring at her who snapped, "you have to be handicapped to park in that spot." She smiled at him, kindly, and replied, "Well, thank you." With that, she reached for her crutches and slid out of the car, standing on one red stilleto. To this day, I don't know how many shades of red that man's face turned once he realized that she was an "amputee." This one story tells a lot about Audrey.

Audrey would not use the word "amputee" when describing herself.

She was much more likely to speak of being a proud mother or

grandmother, a small business owner and a beautician. When she did

talk about her experience with bone cancer, it was usually in a conversation with someone who was seeking encouragement.

When I had the privilege of her company, it was the twinkle in her eye

and her infectious laugh that seemed to captivate people.

While I still don't know how anyone can wear a heel that tall, she looked like someone on the cover of a magazine. She always

wore skirts, never left home without her lipstick, and boy could

that woman accessorize-right down to the red stilleto!

She had her own way of viewing her abilities. She traveled whenever she could. In fact, I can still see her swinging out on a rope when we

took a boat trip in Barbados. She jumped right into the sea without

even discussing who was going to help her climb back in! Audrey simply gave thanks to God every day and considered herself blessed.

There are quite a number of lessons I have learned from Audrey over the years. The most significant thing is how to face challenges in my own life. She taught me this, one step at a time. I learned by watching her encounter obstacles, contemplate her options and move forward with grace. Even when we don't speak to one another for what feels like a long time, I can hear her voice telling me to face the challenges, to stay positive, and to take things slowly... one step at a time. And to think, it all started with a red stilleto!

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