Saturday, November 12, 2011
My days in the north are drawing to a close with memorable celebrations and life-giving conversations. After several trips when my timing was just wrong, I was able to join the monthly lunch with other women from Queen Anne High School's class of 1959, and, bless their hearts, they brought me lots of vitamins which we'll be giving out to people in San José Villanueva in February. Here's a photo of Marlene and Sue, looking good, looking lively, as aren't we all, even though the class of 1959 is busily turning 70...
Then yesterday, 11/11/11, we celebrated five birthdays with brunch at Prospect House on Capitol Hill in Seattle, where I used to live and am still part of a group that meets for dinner on Wednesday evenings (on those rare Wednesday evenings when I'm in the Seattle area). Eight women celebrating five birthdays meant lots of presents and lots of laughter and an elegant fritatta and three of us taking photos at the same time, which meant that I have lots of photos of folk taking photos (see the bottom photo).
Along the way, I've had time for some wonderful, long, heart-to-heart talks with old and new friends (you know who you are) that replenish me and fill me with joy. I have friends I cherish in El Salvador, but my Spanish, while workable, doesn't have the subtlety and flexibility and shared reference points you need for a great heart-to-heart talk.
Finally, last night was the best celebration of all, as Susan Francois made her final vows as a Sister of St. Joseph of Peace. What a joy to celebrate this friend and sister who has been walking with us for seven years now! It was a beautiful eucharistic celebration - Father Terry Moran, CSSR and CSJP Associate, was our presider; Margaret Byrne, our Congregation Leader, received Susan's vows; and I was very honored by being asked to give a reflection on the readings. Our chapel at St. Mary on the Lake was filled with Susan's family and many friends, and the celebration continued into the evening with cookies, wine and dancing. Check out our CSJP website for photos and story to come.
So tomorrow I head back to El Salvador, with the memory of all those feasts and conversations going with me, very concerned to learn how my Salvadoran friends have come through the floods.