Sunday, August 21, 2011
Beginning to Say Good-bye
Friday was a different day. Our 97-year-old Sr. Gaudentia was her normal, usual – if sleepy – self. Then it was like someone turned off a switch. She began to have difficulty breathing and indicated she had chest pain and was terribly cold and shivering even though she was recording a 101º temperature. After she vomited, she stabilized some, but we could still see that something was not right.
An ambulance ride to the ER revealed that she had turned a corner and now was preparing for her final passage from this world to eternal life. She came home that same evening on hospice. There’s some part of us that would really like to see her get kicked off hospice for a third time because she’s doing too well, but we also realize the deeper reality that she is ready to enter into the embrace of her Heavenly Bridegroom.
We’ve individually or together have begun to shed our tears and begun the process of saying good-bye. This will not be easy for us as a community. Sr. Gaudentia is the last of our foundation stones; our last living link with our history. And so we ask your prayers both for her and for us as we assist her on this last portion of her journey.
God reward you, Sr. Gaudentia, for your 78 years of monastic profession and for all that you are and all that you have been and done for us individually and as a community. May the Good Shepherd who you loved so well here on earth, lift you gently onto his sacred shoulders and carry you home.