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Some Gifts are Priceless

I have fallen sooooooo far behind in journaling my catechism classes that I will never recover. But the classes continue nonetheless. We are in Lent and just a few weeks out from Easter, so things are getting very busy. I wrote a little bit about the Rite of Sending and Rite of Election in an earlier post (Days of Our Lives) and also mentioned attending a Mission Mass and my first confession. I do want to write more about confession/reconciliation, but that will have to come later. I also want to write a bit about Lent in general, except part of Lent is not talking about it. If you are fasting or giving up something but going around saying “man, I’m hungry!” or “I wish I could have a soda!!!” then you are lessening the sacrifice you are trying to make, so I haven’t figured out how to talk about it. (My Lenten activity is doing religious readings as opposed to giving up something like coffee or chocolate – in effect, I’m giving up time I would be spending on other activities.)

This isn’t about Lent, so I can talk about this. Something soooooo sweet happened today, and I just have to write about it. I have been reading books about saints in an effort to choose my saint. One day last week I was discussing my saint selection with a mentor and friend, and she shared with me her experiences when she was a teenager picking her confirmation saint.

A little background about this person (Dr. G) – waaaaaaaaaay back when I was working on my Bachelors degree in 1990 I had an advising appointment and forgot to show up. I got severely chastised and lectured!!!!!! I have never missed an appointment again *ever.* Worse, this advisor also turned out to be one of the primary instructors for the elementary education program in that you pretty much were going to have a class with her every semester for the next two years. Dr. G is an astounding teacher – firm, encouraging if you put forth effort, a wealth of knowledge. She was instrumental in my educational success, in the university getting NCATE accredited, in my first tutoring job (she recommended me), in my getting a job after I graduated (again, she recommended me), and stayed involved with me even after I gave up elementary schools and joined on full time with postsecondary education. Sometime in the mid90’s she sat me down and forced me to start on my Masters degree. I remember sitting by her pool flipping through the university catalog with her until we came across a program that sounded interesting enough for me to pursue. She even helped me fill out the application and wrote a letter recommending me. It wasn’t just a professional relationship, however. After my first semester she called me aside in class to say she thought I was a very trustworthy person based on my grades and actions in class (a relief after my missed appointment a few months earlier!) and asked me to housesit for her whenever she traveled. I looked after her house; her two very well-trained, giant dogs; and her octogenarian mother for at least week or two every semester until I graduated (and sporadically for years afterwards). Her mother was so sweet. She liked me because I would take her to mass and attend with her, I let her cook dinner instead of treating her like she was made of glass (unlike some of the other people that housesat if I was ever unavailable), and I talked to her. It was she who got me over my fear of older people, forced me to eat my first sweet potato, and pretty much made it a necessity that dinner always end with a cookie. :) I crossstiched her pillows and she crocheted me blankets. When she passed I was overwhelmed by emotion to be told that I was one of the few nonfamily members she was still able to remember despite her condition. That, I’m sure, contributed to the affection and confidence Dr. G has in me beyond what I had earned via my academic abilities. Anyway, all that to say Dr. G had a profound impact on my life. Oh, did I mention she also hired me to teach the College Success classes and fought like a tiger to keep me teaching them despite the change in school policy regarding full-time employees not being allowed to teach? Yeah, she continues to have a profound impact in my life. So you can see why this event means so much!

Today she left an envelope in my office. It was a humble brown interoffice envelope, well-used. I picked it up and thought perhaps it was an Alice in Wonderland book, based on the weight and size. She always picks up AiW books and knick-knacks for me in her travels. When I opened the envelope I found her Missal from 1957. It had her maiden name and address in the front cover, multiple prayer cards from over the years, and even some dedications and well wishes made out to her from some of the nuns in her life. In the card she said This was mine in high school and beyond. As you can see it has the Latin and English versions of the Mass. I hope that you can enjoy this antique. The holy cards are a bonus. May you profit and find peace in this new phase in your life. Dr. G

I was in tears! That’s a childhood relic she’s held on to for years. I found her on campus a little while later to hug her and thank her properly. :)
How sweet was that?


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 24th, 2009 02:19 am (UTC)
The fact that she gave this to you means that you are as important to her she is to you. Honey you are one of those people that changes someones life. I know that my life would be less bright, less good if I had never had the chance to meet you. Everyone who has you in their life is blessed.

Edited at 2009-03-24 02:20 am (UTC)
Mar. 24th, 2009 04:04 am (UTC)
Another ALICE fan! Don't you think Douglas Adams' writing style owes quite a bit to Lewis Carroll?
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Mar. 25th, 2009 02:48 am (UTC)
Making it triply cherished! I even wrote about it for one of my writing and grammar papers. :)

What was really funny about kaleidoscope was we discovered the connection *years* after we met. Probably ten years? Redd spotted it on our coffee table one evening, I guess I had just moved it out of our bedroom and into the living room, and she picked it up and said "I think I made this!" The story unfolded from there.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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