My new “Sisters”

The Musing Blog is a place  where I muse about my life, unashamedly. It’s a continuation of sorts of the two volumes of poetry which were prompted by my unwelcome diagnosis of MS and all that flowed from that for the next 10 years. That those pre-2008 musings happened to flow out in poetic form was a huge surprise to me.

As I continue the process of “musing” in a blog devoted to the next years of my life journey, my personal inspirations and contemplations happen to be flowing out in prose. The musings of  2010 and on, including today’s, have really  been prompted by my question, “And how will my life continue, as I enter the last stage of life?”   The content is….well….whatever occurs to me.  Something that strikes a chord.  Something that won’t leave me until I write it down.  Something I want to note while it has my attention. And perhaps even change, or finish, or contemplate, at a later time.

Today, it’s about my gratitude for my new “sisters”.

To tell the truth, I was never particularly religious, although I consider myself a spiritual person.   I grew up Protestant in New England, and found myself generally  turned off by the formalities of “church”.   As it happened, on the very top of my list of men I did not want to marry, were ministers.

Life is really interesting.  Ultimately, both my marriages were to ordained ministers. One when I was 30, and another when I was 50.   Both were good men and they enriched my life. Both marriages ended in divorce.

Given my professed aversion to formal religion, it is also interesting that now at 72, somewhat by providential happenstance, I moved to Providence Place, a senior living complex, a renovation of the mother house of the Sisters of Providence, a religious order dwindling in numbers.  After serving the needs of the homeless and the poor with still ongoing programs all over the state, the remaining Sisters of Providence created a home for their retirement and a place for the growing number of  aging lay people who can no longer live in their own homes. The Sisters still relentlessly follow their mission of meeting the needs in the community around them.

So, now I live with “sisters.”  And they’ve become friends, and sort of sisters to me.  They’ve led fascinating lives of service at very high levels, founding and administering hospitals, shelters, methedone clinics, food banks. As I read a history of their order, Seeds of Hope, published by the group in 1999, I am in awe of what the Sisters of Providence have contributed to society.   And, given that I’m the author of Why Not Do What You Love?  I’m amazed at how little I have known about, cared about, or paid attention to, the contributions of those who chose the religious life as their calling.  They are also folks who are doing what they love.

In any case, I couldn’t have predicted this most recent turn of my life. Much more important, I couldn’t have predicted how much I now feel at home in this place with these people of “calling”.

And so in this particular moment, between the wash cycle and the dry cycle of Saturday laundry,  I am noting that the “sisters” who are my new neighbors and friends, and the “providence” of  what led me here, are filling my heart with gratitude.