When I was in a home Congregation visiting time, I had a schedule to visit and spend time with my Sisters at the Mother-House. It was only some months living far from California, but I felt as if I lived far from home much longer. I even went around garden and all trails inside mother house area. I felt, maybe each old olive trees still carry some story which I should know when I am learning about the Dominicans and Mission of San Jose.
When I was staying there, a sister asked me to read Christmas cards and letters for some of our sisters in a care center. Thus, I read Christmas cards and letters for Sister X. There were many Christmas cards and letters were sent to her for Christmas and the New Year. She is an old sister, who is on a wheelchair. She is very nice but talks very little. I had known her a long time, but I only heard she say, “yes, I am fine, thank you” at any time I visited sisters at care center. Thus, I thought that she is very old and that she is losing her much memory so she speaks very little.
When I read letters and Christmas cards for her, I stopped many times for her to share. We had much smiles, surprises, sharing, comments and laughs in our conversation. She often put her hands on her chest as she was hold some one when she expressed “oh how sweet it is”, or “how nice she/he is”.
There were so many things she shared with me. She brought me one surprise to another. She shared with me about how she knew them, how long have they been in relationship, how many beautiful and good things this person did, that person did. Where this or that person wrote to her about what they did, what they saw when they traveled etc. They kept that style of sharing with her for many years to now.
After that day, I did not remember much of what she told me, and I don’t need to remember. However, I remember some things, her smile, her gentle voice, her excitement at sharing, and the happiness on her face at that time. All those things helped me to see her beauty within. I did not ask about or know her past, but through these things, I can see herself in her past. She must have been a very nice, simple and easy going person, because she left good memories and love in her students’ heart. Today, her students have grown up, they have gone to many places. They have already met many interesting persons, but they still think of her and write to her about their interesting moments.
In our care center, she is a nice and silent person. Seeing that, I believe she must be very good in her prayer. I imagined that in the flower garden of God, she is a small elegant rose, which hides itself under other leaves, but when persons find it, they will discover this flower is so beautiful. It produces much good scent around.
After meeting with her, I directly go to the chapel to silence myself in front of God. I thank God for giving me a chance to meet and know her more. Her life appears so beautiful to my eyes and mind. I thought that she was a person who left a lot of flowers on places where her foot steps passed by.
I often saw she was sleeping, when I returned to see her on some other days. Thus, I did not finish reading Christmas cards and letters for her when I was at mother house. However, it was enough for me to see her past and her beautiful world inside of her. I stayed a little time in her room to look at her, when she was sleeping. She was sleeping in peace with gentle breaths. Her body is very slim, which gave me a feeling that her life is very fragrant on this earth. However, this world is more beautiful because of her presence. I thank God for her life. In silence of my heart in her room, I thank her for what she did and how she lived. I thank her for being my older sister who goes ahead of me. Now, I can see her story, not by words, but by my feelings, my discovering through some pieces of story and letter, which were sent to her last Christmas. I can hear an echo from time to me through meeting and working with her. Dear Sister X and other old Sisters, you are blessing for me. Thank you.