Life - A Preciuos Gift

At what point in life does one start writing those moment? Coming from a family of 13 children, every day was and is a time of laughter, of tears, and arguments over things not worth arguing about. But we have managed to journey together to our adult lives bringing with us many wonderful memories of our sad and joyfilled days.

But, my adolescent carefree life, suddenly ended when I became fifteen. That year my Mother passed away and great changes came over our family. At that time nine of us were school age and three were too young to attend school. At the funeral and wake relatives and friends of the family volunteered to adopt a few, especially the smaller ones. But, Dad's response was final "No, thank you, we will all stay together.
Two weeks after her death, the new school year began Dad hired a lady to come and help care for the three little ones that would be left at home. the baby, Vera only eighteen month of age and the other two three and five. We all missed Mother very much, but Vera would not be consoled. She cried all day while we were gone. Dad also had to be away to attend to the family business. After the first school day, Dad asked that I remain at home until Vera would adapt to the new substitute mother. But as soon as we would leave, she was unconsolable until we returned.

So, I became the mother of the three, until the others would come back from school. My day was full, caring for the three, doing the family laundry, baking enough bread for our meals, plus extra loaves for all those school lunch pails. When the older returned from school they each had a job to do. Example: The boys did the farm chores and girls helped with the cooking, the ironing, etc.

After that year at home, I was back to school and my other sisters, as they graduated, took the responsability of caring for the family.

After I graduated from high school, I went away to study nursing. While I was a nursing student, I was inspired to enter a religious community. I became a Franciscan Sister in Rochester, Minnesota and soon a registered nurse. Many opportunities to serve as a nurse and religious opened for me. I served as obstetrical supervisor of a fifty bed ward for twenty years, and later for twenty three years spend my time teaching health and attending to the poor abounded sick in the streets, homes, prisons, clinics, and hospitals of Guatemala, Colombia and Peru. Even in USA, I have been privileged to meet many a patient, from many foreign countries, that have been lasting friends.

I tried to live the scriptural reading of the prophet Isaiah: "He has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor, liberty to the captives, recover sight to the blind, and let the oppressed go free."

Short story of my life - Sister Dora.

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