The elementary school I went to was staffed (in part) by sisters.Â They were the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and they were, in a word, terrific.Â I didn’t always appreciate them, but I sure do now.
See, the older I get, the more I realize that those sisters really taught me a lot.Â To wit:
1) They taught me that Mary was someone worth celebrating.Â From the Mary stautes in the corner of every classroom to the beautiful May Processions to honor her, the sisters made a very big deal about the BVM.Â Â In this way, they planted a seed in me, a seed that, years later, grew into a book, into a blog … and into a house stuffed with images of this woman whom I love.
2) They taught me to memorize all of the prepositions, in alphabetical order.Â Trust me: it’s a cool party trick.
3) Being from Philadelphia, they taught this California girl whatÂ a “hoagy” is.Â We just didn’t have those in Silicon Valley, you know?Â Â And when I wandered through the Philadelphia airport two years ago and saw “hoagies” for sale … well, you can probably guess which navy-blue clad women came to mind.
4) They taught me that neatness matters.Â It is ironic that I type that sentence at a computer desk that is overflowing with papers and, frankly, junk.Â I’m not saying I am neat, mind — but I do recognize its importance, and I can pull it together when it matters.
5) They showed me a unique example of dedication.Â I don’t think it’s easy, living a celibate life, moving around every few years, having to re-establish in a new community and a new school.Â But they made it look easy, somehow.Â And I’d like to thank them for that.
For all of it, actually.
Image courtesy of Holy Cards for your Inspiration