Friday, September 5, 2008

Broken Hearted

Well this is officially the last day I'll be spending with my sister. Tomorrow she flies out to LA to enter Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles. It is indeed bittersweet.

I've been trying so hard not to dwell on it, but this week has been extremely difficult to hold it all together. I try to think of it as no big deal - but it is... she's my best friend and she's leaving. For the rest of her life.

Now it's not a cloistered convent, like Mother Angelica's, so - for us, the family - that's a plus. So why am I so sad? This is her vocation. Her calling. Her route to Heaven. She'll get to come visit in 3-4yrs - and every 3 yrs after that [?]. And I think we can go out to see her. But in reality, I know how that won't happen for this mother of 7. It'll be phone calls and letters - which I'll cherish.

I know I'll see her again. But that's not helping me to see her off. I see her every week right now. And we are extremely close. The really sad thing I keep thinking of is my kids. She'll really miss seeing them grow up.

She'll miss Sophia's 7th birthday in November. She'll miss Christmas with us. No more receiving dollar store gifts from my kiddos :o) She'll miss seeing Charlie play ball. She'll miss seeing Dani improve in pitching. She'll miss Kayla's graduation this May. She'll miss all the sacraments of all my kids. She'll miss weddings or ordinations. But she'll miss the weekly visits most. Just being here.

She'll miss hugs and kisses. And artwork.

She'll miss the craziness of my household.

She'll miss Margarita Sundays! :o)

And I'll miss her laugh. When I need it. Her light-heartedness and goofy-ness. I'll miss watching a great movie with her. Or a bomb of a movie - which is more the case! I'll miss our talks that go well into the next day. I'll miss talking to someone about the struggles I'm dealing with at the moment or the little incidental things that happened during the week. I'll miss all the joy she brings into this home.

I'll miss sitting around with Mom, Dad, Karen and Paul just chatting, eating and drinking.

I'll miss hearing "Aunt Karennnnn" as my kids see her come through the door. A sound I can hear in my head as I type!

But that's all my human-ness. My selfishness. Which wants to yell out "Don't Go!". In my soul, I know that this is wonderful. It's her vocation. It will be her life. And she'll finally feel as though she belongs somewhere. That she's finally found her place. I know once she breaks the strong ties with all of her family it'll be a big sigh of relief to have gotten over that hurdle. I know that leaving for her is harder than her leaving for me. If that's possible.

Here is an excerpt from My Sister Saint Therese by her sister Celine [who was in the same convent w/Therese]:

That there should be interior struggles over such trifles in the religious life
might come as a surprise to many readers. I confess that at the beginning
of my Carmelite life I also experienced some astonishment at this very
thing. To me it seemed that, having made the supreme sacrifice of complete
separation from loved ones, and utter renunciation of the world, it should have
been relatively easy to bear the thousand and one minor crosses of community
life. My own petty re-actions, however, to the personal trials that came my way
shortly after my entrance disabused me of this false notion.

I love you Karen. Love you so much. I can't even fathom how much you'll be
missed. [is it possible to cry more than I am at this moment?]


He Loves You MORE!


Melissa said...

Thank you for this beautiful post. It was really heart warming and full of tears. I have a hard enough time being apart from my family for a few weeks, so I cannot imagine a few years. I also envy the closeness of you and your sister. I still long for that.

God bless you, and God bless your sister for accepting such a vocation!

PaulaB52 said...

How wonderful for your sister and your entire family! I know you will miss her, but think of now have an immediate pipeline straight to the Lord!

I'll be praying for both of you for an ease of transition.

Megan said...

Well now I'm crying too! This day came way too fast! I can only imagine how hard this is for all of you. Enjoy every moment of your last day, you all, especially Karen are in my prayers. I know she's been working towards this for a long time.

Beautiful post, by the way!

And please tell Karen bye for us, we are sorry we won't get to see her before she goes.

Regina said...

how wonderful for your sister...i am sorry it is so hard to see her go but you know it is for a great cause!!
hope you feel better soon :)

Salve, sancte parens! said...

What a blessing. Just think of all the free prayers and spiritual rewards that a Carmelite family member can deliver. If you can remember that when you're missing your beloved sister, it could help.

I had a brother enter a Carmelite monastery. It was very difficult for the whole family and rather heartbreaking. Almost like a family tragedy occurred. I drove him there and met another brother with whom we stayed at the guest house together. My brother bequeathed his Subway Card to me which put me at ease. Since the monks there don't eat any meat as an additional sacrifice, our last together at the Guest House consisted of a Beef Party followed by one last rosary together. I got a little choked up during it, but it was very special.

He since left the monastery however and returned to a seminary.

Vicki said...

Such a touching post! I can't imagine how difficult this is for you, but how wonderful for Karen that you can be so happy for her at the same time.

Sara said...

That was beautiful, Shelly. From where I sit, I'd be eternally grateful to have a sister that I was so close to and on the same side of the Tiber! You are so blessed.

momto5minnies said...

I cannot even imagine that situation in my family. As an outsider I think it may be a wonderful blessing, but I can understand your feelings.

Regina said...

u hanging in there?

The Wades said...

Oh wow! That has to be terribly hard. I'm sorry for your pain. I hope you're doing better.

Shelly said...

thanks everyone -
i'm fine, totally. this post was really raw emotion gushing through. I'm so happy and grateful to have a sister as faithful and virtuous as she is. and that God lead her where He wanted her. She is a beautiful soul, and it will flourish!
Praise God!

Danette said...

This is so beautiful! I always wanted a sister. You both are very blessed to have eachother.

J &D's Family said...

I didn't know if I wanted to real this right now but I did and I'm glad. The last statement summed it all up. It's what God wants!


Karrot's Blog said...

I just read this... um... I am tearing up... for the first time since I left... I am sad.

Well.. it was bound to happen.

Please pray that I have the ability to do God's will.