I have recently let go of a lot of anger in my life, and part of that was making peace with my Catholic school upbringing. I only went there for high school, but it had a huge impact, and not in an entirely good way. But I have recently come to peace with it and started thinking more about the positive impact it, and many of the nuns who taught me, had on my life.
One such nun was Sister Michel Marie. She taught Honors and AP Senior English. She loved Beowulf. She loved it so much that her nickname was Sister Grendel, after the monster in the story. She would even take a class and read it to us in Old English. Lucky us, she was so old that she forgot she had read it to us once and we got a second opportunity to hear it. One time, I saw notes she was leaving on my paper, and suddenly there was this weird line. A little note next to it said, “Sorry, I feel asleep.” Must have been some paper 😦
She was tough, but the more I think about it, she was probably the most interesting teacher I had. She was old as the hills even then, but she was incredibly smart. I’ve recently wondered what made her become a nun, as smart as she was. Was it just a product of age and gender, or was there something more? The more I thought about it, the more I really wanted to talk to her and tell her how fascinating I thought she was. The nuns from my high school in NJ all retire to a Catholic nursing home about 30 minutes from me, so I kept meaning to call them and find out if Sister Michel was there, how she was, and try to schedule a time to go out and see her.
Unfortunately, we got notice today that Sister Michel had passed away. Her funeral is Thursday. I’m sure the meeting would not have gone the way I imagined it, she probably wouldn’t have even known who I was, but sadly, I’ll never know. Now, all I know is that I’m disappointed with myself for not getting it together to go. I’ll go to the funeral on Thursday. I’m not even totally sure why, but I guess I just need to have that one last visit.
Bottom line–if there’s something you want to do, do it while you can. Carpe diem and all that jazz…