Today, as this post is being published, hundreds of those whose lives sj has touched will gather at a funeral mass and burial to celebrate a life lived in humble service, gentle kindness and beautiful ministry of her faith.
sj was 74-years-old at the time of her death, yet seemed ethereal - eternally young to me. She had a smile of calm and peace, with a glimmer of wisdom in her at all times. She had a glorious laugh and an infectious sense of humor.
I could always find myself keeping it real with sj and I felt safe in her company to be myself. She truly accepted and loved me for who I was... how special and rare is that today? I never once was in sj's presence, even when she was dying, that she did not ask: "How are you doing, Maria?" And she listened to my responses, wanting to know still more ...
I'm beginning to see that sj was like this with everyone in her world...and she had a mighty big world. She genuinely cared about the little things in the grand scheme of things - perhaps an anxious student needed a reassuring smile or wink, perhaps an inconsolable friend needed a hugs and prayers, sj had the instincts of always knowing the right thing to do.
sj's area of expertise and instruction was Biology. Her command of the subject matter and clinical application of the principles, especially with my nursing students was extraordinary and will be forever missed.
Yet, anyone who spent even a little bit of time with sj would agree with the following quote...
"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
I'm forever grateful that I was able to thank sj for her presence in my life, just one week before she died. I thanked her for being such a tower of strength to my whole family when I was critically ill in June, 1999 and for her loving prayers and support when both of my parents died.
She smiled serenely at the thought of joining Miss Sammie to pray for me -- I am already feeling this heavenly combination of support, guidance and love.
I will never forget you, sj... just as I thank you for never forgetting me. I will especially think of you as I dedicate this song - the epitome of you in my mind: Hail Mary, Gentle Woman
Before You Go...
Here are a few links I recommend you visiting...
Vicki's Spin On Life - Indie Biz: Consignment Store Shopping
From Loss to Living - Is "Real" Conversation Lost?
Nee's Desk - A New Year in Motion
Pumpkin Run Pulse - Indie Biz: New Harmony's Antique Emporium
Inspiration Station - Meet Shauna Bowling: The Inside Story
Thank you for the visit and hope to see you again for next Wednesday's edition.
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