Thursday, August 16, 2012

Our Neighborhood Nun

As we were seated, sharing a table with an older woman for lunch today, Abby asked, "Mom. Is that who I think it is?"

She had this excited look on her face. So I turned around and sure enough, at the check out counter of our local farm stand, was Sister Janice.

"Why, yes it is!"

Alex was asking, "Who? Who?"

I pointed her out and he got excited as well.  I told them to go say hello, but to remind her who they were because while she looked the same, she was definitely aging.

Alex approached first and tapped her on the shoulder.

"Hi Sister Janice."

She looked a bit confused. Abby followed suit with a smile.

Sister looked back at me and then it clicked.

She hurried to pay for her fruit and vegetables, parked her grocery cart and walked back to me with her arms around both of the kids.

I told her we missed her and hadn't seen her recently. She explained she had spent a year in Biddeford, ME but was now back at the convent across the street from the kid's school. She was elated to see the kids and couldn't believe Abby stood as tall as her (Literally! She's a crazy, petite thing).

She asked us all for hugs. Told us she'd make a special trip to our neighborhood soon and was so grateful the kids recognized her. She was grinning from ear to ear, as were we...it was like a lost family member. To be honest, we had often wondered if something had happened and I will admit to checking the obituaries looking for her name.

The older woman who was sharing our table got up after Sister left and asked me, "Was she one of their teachers in school?"

I replied, "No. Just a wonderful woman who used to take her daily walks through our neighborhood and who always shared a smile, a hello, a hug and a God Bless You."

Somehow, knowing her always made us feel a little bit extra special. Kind souls will do that to you. I hope you have someone in your life like our neighborhood nun - because every time you see them you're reminded that people may come into your life in the oddest ways but for the best reasons. Even if it's just to make you smile.