Sister Marie Elizabeth/Grace – Part 11

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Written May 21, 2018

“Let me photograph you in this light
In case it is the last time
That we might
Be exactly 
Like we were before we realized
It was just like a movie
It was just like a song
When we were young.”

The months leading up to Sister’s entrance to the cloister were spent sorting and packing treasures, saying what-if-she-stays-forever goodbyes, and sneaking snapshots of the everyday things we wanted burned into our memories. She’d always roll her eyes and protest but we didn’t care. What if. What if she went in and didn’t come out.

When we left her after her first vows last October, we thought, okay, so this is it. Instead, the past many months have been unexpectedly rough. Our girl has struggled. I want to fix it and make it better, but it’s not my battle. We pray and we encourage and we share. All vocations are hard. And we try to let go and let God do His thing. She’s the strongest person I know and when she tries to tell us that she isn’t very pius we just laugh. Maybe she isn’t. But she’s given up everything to do something our pastor thinks is as difficult as what the Navy Seal Team 6 guys do.

At this time she seems to be doing much better. A dear, holy man from church told us to tell her that the devil must think her vocation is worth attacking. Maybe all of this will make her vocation that much stronger. Only God knows. We can’t wait to talk to her face to face with only the grille between us. I need to hear her voice and look into her eyes and know she is okay.

There are a number of songs that make the tears flow freely. It’s the words or because they were what we were singing along to on that first drive to the monastery. I might be walking or driving, but especially driving. If you’re local and see me, know I’m missing Sister fiercely in that moment.

In case it was the last time.
I photographed her in that light.
That we might be,
Exactly like we were.
In my memories, at least.

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