"Gather ye rose-buds while ye may." Robert Herrick

"Gather ye rose-buds while ye may." Robert Herrick

Hello Friends!

Friends, Romans, countrymen...y'all. Foodies, gardeners, artists and collectors - let's gather together to share and possibly learn a thing or two in the mix.

Donna Baker

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The Chosen


While my husband was in the hospital a nun popped in one day.  In full habit with a backpack slung over her shoulder, Sister Mary Lucy was a sight for sore eyes; a comforting presence.  She was older than we are, (but probably the same age as the older I get I suddenly find out that people I think are older than I am, turn out to be younger than me.)

She was a serious sort and a nurse I think, as she carefully looked through all the iv's hanging on the pole. She had notes too that she perused.  She asked a few questions then reached in her pack and pulled out some cards of Jesus with prayers printed on the back.  She recited some of them.  We began to talk.  She had lived and worked at the Vatican for 10 years and commented on the Pope's visit to the U.S.  She is a fan.  She talked of times when millions of the faithful came to St. Peter's Square.  I looked in her eyes, her countenance.  I couldn't help but wonder how her life had brought her to this spot, the kind of person she was.  All business, she never smiled.  Three times the door to the room opened and quickly shut.  "They'll come back." she said.  I could tell that the nun's run the hospital and expect reverence from the staff.

She went back to her pack and reached inside for more Jesus cards which she then realized she had already done.  At that point, my husband's hip was hurting and he rolled over onto his side.  I accused him later of playing dead.  She walked over to his bedside and began to feel around his back and shoulders (he was down to 100 lbs.) and I think massaged his back and bones.  

She then read a piece of paper (she didn't know the author) in a very thoughtful manner.

The Blessing Of Unanswered Prayers

I asked for strength that I might achieve;
I was made weak that I might learn humbly to obey.
I asked for health that I might do greater things;
I was given infirmity that I might do better things.
I asked for riches that I might be happy;
I was given poverty that I might be wise.
I asked for power that I might have the praise of men;
I was given weakness that I might feel the need of God.
I asked for all things that I might enjoy life;
I was given life that I might enjoy all things.
I got nothing that I had asked for,
but everything that I had hoped for.
Almost despite myself my unspoken prayers were answered;
I am, among all men, most richly blessed.

I can still hear her voice reading it.  She was so appreciated by me.  I must send her a note.  Though I am not religious, she gave me peace and wonder that day.  Bless you Sister Mary Lucy.


19 comments:

  1. One of my favorite aunts was a nun. She always spoke with reason, and I wondered how they trained for that. She was a bit feisty, too, and probably would have adoped a back pack had she lived to a hundred and something and could still be here. She did ask me how she should dye her hair, when her order adoped a more modern dress and her abbreviated wimple would not hide her snow white hair from her students. Your story brought her calm and firm manner right back to me.

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    1. Love that story too Joanne. I don't know Sister Mary Lucy's order, but she was in flowing robes and had some sort of patches covering her ears, so not a strand of hair was showing. I really enjoyed the time she spent with us. I will remember her.

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  2. Donna, although I do not consider myself very religious, I admit to being quite moved by this post. I am going to make a note of Sister Mary Lucy's words.

    Thank you. xo

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    1. Frances, I too was so very moved by Sister Mary Lucy. She repeated one of the lines and I don't remember which one. She murmured to herself about it as being very special. I was too taken with her countenance and wondering about her that I didn't focus. I wish I could remember. I told her it was beautiful.

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  3. Isn't it wonderful when the right person just pops up at the right time?

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    1. Yes, I was so appreciative of her visit.

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  4. I think that it's wonderful that, even though not religious, she could help and give you peace and reassurance. XXXX

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    1. I enjoyed her visit so. She spent about 30 minutes with us - the reason my husband rolled over - and to think people like her are so devoted and give up their lives for their calling just blows my mind.

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  5. Inspiring words.
    I also read the previous post. Your husband is lucky to have you. You are a poet for us. With all this going on, it's amazing. Bless you both, Donna.

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    1. Thank you so Gesbi. I loved The Blessing too. Though I'm not a monotheist, I do believe there might be something out there.

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  6. Well..I love this and reread the words twice..to sink in.
    I don't attend church..but I am catholic..and was raised going to church.
    I do believe in God and pray to him all the time..often in the vain of those words..
    You may think this silly but I even have a glow in the dark statue of the Virgin Mary by our bed..my side.She comforts me.
    I think my religion now is just trying to be kind.Whenever I can.
    And believe me I miss many opportunities.

    What a wonderful visit you had..

    I would never forget her either..

    Take care..you and hubby.:)

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    1. Monique, I have one of those little glow in the dark Jesus statues too that I found at an antique store long ago. It stands on a shelf over my bed. Yes, the prayer is beautiful and it's the reason I printed it - for others and I am so glad it moved you. Kindness and love must be the main tenet of religion. My husband is so much better every day and starting to gain weight already. The feeding tube is the key for his health.

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    2. That is wonderful news.. I hope every day brings more and more improvement.

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  7. I was nearly moved to tears...I think I have prayed for all of those things. I would not consider myself religious, rather I am spiritual. I am a Christian albeit not Catholic.I am glad the nun provided you with some peace, you really should send her a note.
    Your comment about thinking "older people" are OLDER than you, just made me laugh. I have 2 artists pals (, I only see them at art shows) , for years I thought I was the youngster in the group. turns out I am 10 years older than they! Take care of yourself.

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    1. Glad it was meaningful to you dear Jeri. It is funny how we think about people being older then we realize we are too. I had painters at my new house this weekend. A husband and wife team, that worked so hard and fast. Mary, originally from South Korea, was this teeny little teen looking person and she told me she was sixty. I nearly died. I swear she didn't look a day over 30. Not fair at all.

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  8. Donna - it seems like God just always knows when to send someone to comfort and help. I am so glad this angel appeared. I am sure she would love a wonderful note from you. I will continue to pray for you and your dear husband. Thanks for sharing...this post really touched my heart.

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    1. Oh Debbie, thank you so. I thought she was an angel too. I was raised in the church and know much about it and the Bible. I am the only non-religious person I know as my friends are all very religious and I think people won't like me if they know how I feel, so I never discuss it with them. Thank you for not judging. I love that people are faithful and love their religions and what the heck, I don't think their prayers can hurt. I was so glad Sister Mary Lucy came to us that day.

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  9. What a loving and comforting presence the nun was, and that prayer is a deep one. A note from you would be treasured by her, she might read it many times and keep it forever since notes of thanks are rare and precious.

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