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Life is tough. Nuns are tougher.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Start of the New

I hardly know where to begin.

Happy Easter! Let's start with that.

I might dye some eggs. I have eggs. I have dye. I very nearly have a life of leisure!

Don't worry about the egg dying being too pagan. It may have indeed been pagan at some point, but we grabbed it up like a Christmas tree and gave it a lovely Christian meaning of renewal of life and hope.

I could use a little of that right now.

You may recall, way back in January, that I had to go to the Midwest and take care of my mother, who became ill, who was taking care of my father, who was already bed-ridden.

My mother got well. Very well. Not all the way back to normal, though, so we spent some time getting her some more help taking care of Dad. I was just about to come back home.

Which is when Dad, who is as frail as balsa wood, had another heart attack or two. He is back at home now, on hospice. I stayed and stayed. I came home again. I went back again. Dad didn't read the little booklet that they give you from the hospice workers which explains how to read the signs that the end is near. He's had all the signs for years. Discoloration, labored breathing, loss of appetite, you name it.

But he is going. There is no doubt about that.

So there is much to do and I will be headed back to the Midwest again any second.

Meanwhile, back here, we have had Sister St. Aloysius all alone with Sister Mary Fiacre and the house all this time. We know what happens in these times. In the middle of all this, Sister St. Aloysius had to have surgery on her nose. (Not plastic surgery because her nose was too big. She has a perfectly fine nose. Now it is actually functioning properly.)

So we've had to get Sister St. Aloysius some help and now we have Sister Nicholas.

I had never met Sister Nicholas. She arrived while I was away. Since Dad isn't following the rules, my mother and I decided I should come home for a while again.
(During my travels I had some really good old fashioned Lenten sacrifice. I'll tell you about that later.) Sister Nicholas was in the house somewhere when I arrived. Not that I could see her.

It's a small house. I was very concerned about her coming, as I do live here and there is no room as it is. I needn't have concerned myself. Sister Nicholas is so tiny, she could sleep in a dresser drawer or one the low cabinets. In fact, I think she may be doing just that.

I heard her before I saw her. I thought for a moment the neighbors had purchased a chihuahua or that Teddy was in distress,
but it was Sister Nicholas cajoling Sister Mary Fiacre to change from the wheelchair to her easy chair. It turns out that Sister Nicholas was right in the room, blocked by Sister Mary Fiacre's bulk and wheelchair. Suddenly Sister Mary Fiacre was in the chair and there was a new nun in the room. No chihuahuas.

Are there any tiny people who are lazy? I've never met one. Sister Nicholas is a ball of fire, a triple threat of tirelessness: she's tiny, she's Catholic and she's a nun.

I can barely lift an a finger or an eyebrow that Sister Nicholas doesn't leap to her feet to see if she can help, do it for me, find six other things that need doing, and put a bow on it. Hallelujah! And she's really, really bossy. It is just excellent. I don't even have to think, she'll tell me what to do next. Praise the Lord!

So I may dye some eggs.

Unless she sees me headed for the kitchen, in which case she'll dash right through my legs, boil the eggs, dye them, paint them, hide them, find them again and make egg salad before I get across the hall.

I love egg salad.

Thanks in advance for all your prayers.


Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you knew there would be prayers for you. God bless you and your family, Sister.

Anonymous said...

Happy Easter Sister! You brighten up my days and I'm very glad to hear you've got a bit more help. Bless you.

Joan said...

Prayers for your Dad to make it to heaven smoothly, and for you and your Mom. I want to say Happy Easter, but why don't I say, "Happy Resurrection Day" instead.

the mother of this lot said...

Happy Easter Sister, and may God be with you and your family in the days and weeks ahead.

Anna B. said...

Sister Mary Martha,
Feliz Pascua, prayers for your Dad and Mom..

Anonymous said...

God bless you and your parents and your three housemates! Happy Easter! Happy egg salad!

Anonymous said...

I almost forgot... I'll pray for safe travels for you in the weeks/months ahead.

Anonymous said...

Christ is Risen!

I'm glad you and Sister St. Aloysious have some help (did Sister St. A. have a deviated septum? I have that. I've been meaning to do something about it. If she can, so can I).

My youngest daughter is tiny--she's over a year, and she only looks about 6 months, so it's just so weird to see her walking! I guess she will be energetic too--since she's already Catholic, and she might even become a nun.

My prayers for your mom and dad--that just sounds like a difficult situation.

Thanks for giving us an update.

RadioPie said...

Happy Easter, Sister!
You are correct in assuming that you have our prayers on the way! As a newly baptized Catholic, I can't get enough of the whole "praying" thing!

Tell Sister Nicholas I said "Hello"...if you can get her to sit down long enough to relay the message.

Our prayers are with you, your parents and your housemates!

God Bless!

hmmmm said...

Sister, my grandmother didn't read the booklet either. She lived nearly two months, after hospice came, before passing on. She was waiting to say goodbye to everyone. Her sister was in Florida and they hadn't spoken in years. It took those two months to convince my Aunt Jo to call my grandmother who literally, afterward, fell asleep and passed on. Perhaps, like my grandmother, your father is doing the same? Or has to finish "something." Anyway, Happy Easter.

Anonymous said...

Sister - mountains of prayer for you, your family and the sisters in your house!

I'm looking forward to getting to know Sister Nicholas more.

Blessings to you -

Anonymous said...

Blessings Sister

Anonymous said...

God bless you and your family, sister. You are, indeed, in my prayers.

IRISH said...

Ah, I have missed you. You brighten my heart and my day. Many prayers for you and your family.
Delighted that you have another pair of hands to help you.

Anonymous said...

SMM, I'll put you in my morning Rosary... and my evening one too!

My girlfriend's grandad, who was 92, developed cancer of the hip bones, bladder, and prostate a few years ago, and went on hospice. He wouldn't read anything either, and so my sweetie and I were the ones who had to go in to tell him the bad news... and she began, "Grandad... you know that cancer the Doctors told you you have?" And he said, "Well, heck yes... I got a little cancer, but THAT'S not gonna hurt me!!" And no matter how we started, he just would not co-operate and get the message. So we gave up. We just let him rest, and we told him he could go back home when he got well. One night I had gone to see him, and he sat upright in bed and said, "I gotta GO!", and I had never seen him so serious. I asked if he had to go to the bathroom, but that wasn't it. And he said it 2 more times, very seriously, "I gotta GO!" "I gotta GO!" He died very peacefully about 5 hours later.

Anonymous said...

Safe travels, Sister. I'm glad you have extra help around the house. Sister Nicholas sounds like just the blessing for you. Perhaps now would be a great time to show her the compost and worm farms?

I'll be thinking about your mother and dad. Don't forget to take care of yourself, too.


Anonymous said...

The prayers of our household will be with you as well, Sister. I'm so glad you have Sr. Nicholas there.

CJ Sweet said...

Happy Easter Sister! Prayers are definitely ascending for your father and your whole family. Prayers also for your safe travels.

I look forward to hearing more about the adventures in your house and about the lovely new Sister Nicholas!


Anonymous said...

Happy Easter, Sister Mary Martha! I am glad to hear that your mother is better. Be assured that many people are praying for you, your father, your family, and your household. This new nun sounds fantastic! I'm glad you have some more support.

Sarah - Kala said...

Happy Easter, Sister.

Our prayers are with you.

Thank God you have an extra set of hands around the place now. Just when you need them!

God bless and Mary watch over you.

Anonymous said...

The Easter bunny might have pagan origins, but the dyed egg is tradition.
If you've ever seen an icon of Mary Magdalene, she is holding a dark red egg. The story was that she was trying to explain the resurrection to someone she was trying to convert by using an egg. When she made her point, the person mocked her and said that there was as much chance of the resurrection happening as the egg she was holding turning red. It turned red, and he converted--Easter eggs.

Anonymous said...


My mistake, the person according to the legend was Emperor Tiberius, and he did not convert--but it still has the Easter eggs attributed to Mary Magdalene

Anonymous said...

Good thoughts coming your way and your parents' way. Hang in there Sister!

La Bibliotecaria Laura said...

Christ is Risen! Best to you and your parents.

bill7tx said...

Sister, may the intercession of ever blessed and glorious St. Joseph, our good father and protector, bless all your labors, safeguard you in your travels, and comfort you when you need it most.

May St. Joseph intercede to guard and protect your mother as he guarded and protected the Queen of Heaven, and may he bring her solace in her time.

May St. Joseph watch over your father for the rest of his life, relieve his fears, and accompany him through the gates of Heaven.

I ask it through Mary's glorious Assumption, through that endless happiness Joseph has with her in the presence of God, and in Jesus' Name.

Tienne said...

Love and prayers, Sister.

Sister Nicholas sounds just like my mom. I yawn and she's upstairs turning down the bed for me. :)

Anonymous said...

Dear Sister, this is Lisa, not anonymous, but can't figure out the new ID thingie.

Thank you for knowing that we are praying for you, and for posting when you and yours have health troubles and long trips and hospital stays ... And thank you for letting us know about Sr Nicholas. What a relief.


Anonymous said...

Am I missing something? Sister Nicholas is a dog, right?

Anonymous said...

I'll be praying for you.

And there are lazy small people *raises hand*!

Terry Nelson said...

Happy Easter, and prayers for you and your mom and dad.

Laura The Crazy Mama said...

I will pray for your family. Happy Easter!

Anonymous said...

SSM, I was at a friend's house tonight, and they were watching a movie on DVD. It was a British comedy, except it wasn't very funny to me because the actors were using Our Lord's name as an explitive or as an exclamation. Every time an actor was supposed to express surprise, out would come Our Lord's name. I got upset about this, but I didn't leave. Was that a sin on my part not to leave? If I am watching a movie by myself, I'll turn it off if I hear that, but since I was at my friend's house I couldn't very well turn their TV off. They are Jewish and Bhuddist.

I was in the Army at one time, and I must admit I can curse up a storm if the situation needs it, but taking Our Lord's name in vain, or using His name as an expletive is something I won't do, and I don't allow others to do in my presence. Anyway, I was unsure how to handle the movie situation.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lawrence,
would you stop making a show of us. I thought you said you were a member of hardchurch.

Barb said...

A blessed Easter season to you, Sister!

Anonymous said...

Jesus, Lawrence, calm down.

Kelly said...

Sister I will pray for you, your mom, and dad. I am sorry for what you guys are going through right now. Good to see you haven't lost your sense of humor through it all though! :)


WNV said...

Sister, you have been missed! Be assured of my prayers for you, your parents, and the other sisters in your convent! God love you and happy Easter!

Anonymous said...

The movie was a British comedy... about a funeral in which everything that could possibly go wrong, did go wrong... but somehow things come out right in the end.

Parts of the movie were indeed funny. It was a comedy about a funeral... and that comes into play because my Jewish friend who I was visiting, has gone to two important funerals in the last two years... those of her husband and her son. So part of the reason I didn't just get up and leave, or ask to switch to something else, was my sensitivity to her loss. I thought it brave of her to watch ANY movie about a funeral. But I wish it had not had all the taking of Our Lord's name in vain. Now you know the rest of the story.

Marian Ann Love said...

Haven't been here in awhile and saw where you had come by to visit me...so sorry to hear about your parents being sick. I know it must be hard on you. Will keep you and your parents in my prayers. Congrats on winning the Best Religion Blog. You are so entertaining...Keep up the great work Sister Mary Martha...you are an inspiration! :)