I got a real letter in the mail yesterday!
It didn't come from an organization wanting me to send them money and it wasn't from an insurance company telling me why I should switch to them. It did not promise me $10,000,000 if I ordered a magazine and it didn't tell me I should be voting for anyone.
It wasn't computer generated, sent in a windowed envelope, metered or bar coded.
No, it came in a small pink envelope and my name was clearly written in neat script by someone who took the time to make it legible. This in itself was delightful but even more so was the fact that it came from a very dear friend.
Sister Lucy Marie Vega, OLVM, is a tiny, sweet, cheerful, intelligent nun who helped me renew my faith when we lived in Cheyenne, Wyoming, back in the '80s. She became my friend when I taught religion classes at the church and she was the pastoral assistant. She taught religion, and vocational preparation. She also interceded with a common sense approach to parish finances and, often seeming to curb our lovable pastor when he gave away a bit more than the parish could afford. Sister Lucy has led a long (but certainly not long enough) life of service in a Missionary order of Catholic nuns that has begun to see a dwindling of their numbers.
Sister, has been spoken of here at least once before- . Remember the Christmas punch episode? (If not scroll down to Dec, 18,2008.)
Sister Lucy Marie, at his request, also secretly taught Lone Duck to waltz so he could surprise me at my brother's wedding by dancing with me and his new aunt. (picture my 5"10" 16 year old holding all 4'9" of nun in his arms as they waltzed across her living room to the strains of Tommy Dorsey!)
I just realized today that when I met her she was exactly as old as I am now. I never gave much thought to an age difference. We only spent about three years in each other's company but it was long enough to make her my dear friend.
My kids all loved her too. They thought she reminded them of my Mom and often referred to her as Sister Grandma. They never minded when she called to ask if one (or more) of them would mind shoveling her walk. I'm proud to say that after the first few requests she rarely had to call anymore. One (or more) of them made a point to get the path from her house to the church cleared before school and on their way home again if needed.
I doubt the fact that she made the best Mexican hot chocolate I've ever tasted and light as air, hot homemade bread had too much to do with it. Sister even babysat for Skooba and could quote cartoons right along with him. She also made sure everyone knew what a terrific break dancer he was at 6 years old.
There was an Easter Sunday when we were really strapped for pennies. On the way out the gate to go to church, I noticed something in the mailbox. Opening it I found a lovely Easter card with $50.00 in it. The unsigned note simply read, "God bless you."
We have tried to pass along that kindness as often as possible and I'm so happy to say that I can watch all of my boys pass it along as well. I figured out quite quickly who the anonymous Easter Angel was. And every time I see her handwriting on a letter I remember how uplifted and loved we felt that morning.
Blessed Easter, Sister Lucy.
See ya down the road,