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Rest in Peace, SUA

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When Kathleen was a postulant with the Ursuline sisters, she had to decide which name to use when she took her final vows. A very old nun named Sr. Ursula Ann begged Kathleen to take her name, as she was quite fond of Kathleen. Kathleen disliked the name "Ursula Ann"--okay, she flat-out hated it--and really wanted to use something else. You know, something pretty, like Theresa, or Bernadette, or even her own name, Kathleen.

The old nun insisted that she would consider it an honor, and assured Kathleen that she'd learn to love the name. When Kathleen continued to hem and haw, the old sister added, "After all, when I'm dead you can always change it to something else. I promise!"

So Kathleen, who did love this old nun, if not her name, at last agreed. She took her final vows, became the second Sister Ursula Ann, and remained confident that one day she'd become Sr. Please-God-Anything-But-Ursula-Freakin'-Ann.

Time passed and the old nun grew older. At last, the day came for Kathleen to visit the first Sr. Ursula Ann on her deathbed, pay her last respects, and say goodbye. As a tearful Kathleen knelt at the old nun's bedside, the dying woman lifted a frail hand and beckoned with a bony finger for Kathleen to come to closer...closer...

Into Kathleen's ear she whispered, "I changed my mind..."

So for 50 years Kathleen was known as Sister Ursula Ann, and she totally transformed my idea of what a nun should be. She wore bermuda shorts, liked her cocktails, vacationed in the Caribbean, and always had a racy new joke to tell. SUA, as she often signed her name, was an absolute STITCH--so much fun, and so brilliant, as well as kind and loving. Although I hadn't seen her in about 10 years, I've always considered her my greatest mentor. She retired from hospice nursing a few years back and passed away last month just shy of her 69th birthday.

I just know she's kicking up her heels in Heaven, and God is rolling his eyes, thinking: Oh, good Me, what did I get myself into?!?

Thank you for everything, SUA, and for sharing a part of your life with me.

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
edgyauthor
May. 16th, 2010 09:24 pm (UTC)
Wow, she sounds like an amazing person. It's always so sad to see people like that go...
onegrapeshy
May. 17th, 2010 02:14 pm (UTC)
Very sad. :(
(Deleted comment)
onegrapeshy
May. 17th, 2010 02:15 pm (UTC)
Lucky for sure! I bet she's up there raising...uh, wait. Never mind.
(Deleted comment)
onegrapeshy
May. 17th, 2010 02:15 pm (UTC)
Awesome is the word! Thanks.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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Jeannine Garsee
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