As I write this, there is some good news, at least in the sense of hope. She has been moved out ICU, understands what people say to her, shakes her head to yes and no questions, moves her left arm and leg as therapists request, and smiles. Part of me compares that to March 15 when she was tutoring as usual, but I have decided not to go there and to look ahead and to prayer, a positive attitude, and hope for Sr. Jolene’s future. As you read this, I hope she will have made even greater strides forward.
That, said, I want to reflect on some of life’s lessons she has taught me and I suspect many of you. By no means can any words encompass who St. Jolene is to us and others, but it certainly reminds me to emulate her wonderful qualities. A few:
Be there for others: she was always there for all of us but I think of the many times, I know she answered the phone and then spent hours helping someone homeless or in need find the right help, not because she knew them but because they needed someone. My lesson learned: take time to listen to and reach out to those I meet and make that person feel they are an important human being.
Work hard: what can I say? Not many people work as hard as Sr. Jolene, day after day, year after year and she liked it! My lesson learned: work hard and take time to enjoy what you are doing and the people you are doing it with.
Believe in the power of prayer: she believes in the power or prayer and I know prays daily for us, the world, the poor and the many, many needs of so many others. My lesson learned: continue to pray!
See God’s beauty in the world: the farm girl from Wisconsin who loved wide open spaces also fell in love with Detroit and all our diversity of people. My lesson learned: see God’s beauty wherever you are and in whoever you meet in this world every day.
There’s lots more I could say but I will close and speaking for all of us (hope you don’t mind): Thanks, Sr. Jolene, for being who you are! We’re lifting you in prayer and will be there for you in whatever you need for your recovery!