Top 5 Things I Have Learned in the Past 5 Months
- I am so incredibly blessed.
While this is something that I knew before, I am constantly being reminded of God’s blessings bestowed upon me. When surrounded by people my age experiencing homelessness at Drueding Center or those suffering severe health issues at Holy Redeemer Hospital, I am reminded of the things that I often take for granted. With a grateful heart, I more often express my thanks for the roof I have over my head, the food I have on the table, and the breath I have in my lungs. I am so incredibly blessed.
- Presence is so important.
While there are so many things we can do for people, I have come to understand that the most powerful thing is simply to be with them. To be a loving presence to someone, you have to meet them where they are on their journey and offer your authentic self to them in all situations. I have spent many hours holding patients’ hands at their bedside, listening to young mothers talk about their challenges, dancing with their children, and talking to the Sisters in the community room. Emphasis is often put on action, but it is presence that is so important.
- Sisters are human, too.
The convent is full of laughter, tears (mostly when watching Hallmark), and differing opinions. There are challenges to community living, but also so many joys. The family of Sisters here at the convent is just as dysfunctional and beautiful as any other family. While all of this is true, one thing sets them apart- their faith. These women have dedicated their lives to doing the work of God and turn to Him in sorrow, joy, struggles with their own faith and everything in between. So in that way it is an inspiration to know that I can have that relationship with my God as well since Sisters are human, too.
- I’m pretty good at Pinochle.
For those of you who are feeling just as confused as I was, it is pronounced pea-knuckle. This four player card game has become a part of my Friday night routine. We gather around the table, share about our days, and have lots of laughs. It is the perfect way to relax and have fun at the end of a long week. I was a little slow on the uptake, but had a really great teacher. While part of the game is skill, a lot of it is also luck. The stakes are pretty high, but I don’t mind because after much practice I can say that I’m pretty good at Pinochle.
- Be open to invitations.
This doesn’t mean that you always have to say yes, but pay more attention to the unnamed opportunities around you. I have learned that slowing down and going with the flow can lead to fruitful encounters that I never even pictured. Instead of choosing to say hi and keep walking, the option to stop and chat can yield such a meaningful interaction that I would have missed out on otherwise. An unexpected interaction can truly turn one’s day around. You never know what can happen when you put yourself out there and are open to invitations.
– Emily serves as a PCA in the ICU and as a Health Liaison at Drueding Center.