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A Talk With My Sister


markdohle

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(Judy, Robert, Janie)
 
A Talk With My Sister Judy


I was talking to my sister Judy today. She texted me about how much she missed our brother David. I texted her back on how much I missed him as well. He lived here off and on for four years before his death. He would come up and stay while he received treatment for his bladder cancer. So, over time, we became quite close. So, his being gone still hits me from time to time. He used to play solitaire for hours on end. I think it calmed him down, and one day he told me that he believed that he was praying when he played cards. His mind did not race, and he could be present at the game, or the moment. It was a healing time for both of us.

Even though missing a loved one after they die can be painful, even if it lessens over time, I will have it no other way. Now that I am 75, I have quite a list of loved ones, including family members, brothers, and sisters who are gone.

Judy amazes me, and perhaps most women do in how they have such easy access to their deepest emotions. For me, it has been a slow journey to even be able to shed a tear from time to time. Judy is open about her love of others, and how she wants to help everyone. Though that is a family trait, my brother Robert is like that as well, though being a man, I believe he may think it out a little differently, which I find easier to understand. He is a priest and a very good one. He has always been interested in helping others, much more than me.

Sisters keep families together. Sissy, the eldest sister, before she died, loved to keep in touch with everyone either by writing or by phone. Jane was the same.

I am in touch with the ‘darker’ emotions, and that may be more of a male trait, though both sexes must deal with their inner life, if they don’t, it will draw down chaos in their lives. Either deal with your inner demons, or you will fight them in those around you.

Living in a community I have seen how my family structure and place in it have dictated how I live my monastic life. The more I grow in self-knowledge, the easier it is (comparatively speaking) to keep the chaos at bay and not cause problems. Freedom is hard won, if we don’t seek inner freedom then we remain just primates seeking dominion, security, and pleasure. Empathy and compassion are garnered at a cost. One worth it.

The Lord is patient with all of us, and over our lives how we respond to circumstances that come at us every day or all very important. We grow by our hard choices, not by floating down the river on a raft.

In Holy Week we see how Jesus faced what he had to go through. He loved and lived it, and when he suffered, was reviled, wrongly accused, tortured, and put to death, yet he still loved. We are all called to do that, In seeking to live what Jesus commands us to do, it is then that we learn the meaning of grace, and that it truly works in secret. As we grow, we may be astounded by that fact and with very little understanding of how we grow. All we need to do is be open, show up, pray.-Br.MD.

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