My sister Theresa came into the world smiling. My parents told the story of how when she was born, instead of crying like most babies do, she just smiled. She was a gift from God and devoted her life to God when she became a Catholic nun. She joined the order of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, based in Monroe, Michigan.
We were very close in age and appearance, so many people thought we were twins. And we were very close in our spiritual journeys, too. I still have every letter she ever wrote to me when we were in college and were trying to sort out how to proceed with our lives. Theresa was incredibly happy as a nun. On the day she died in 2011, at age 62, she was able to write (since she could no longer talk due to her connective tissue disease), “Thirty years since I took my final vows as a nun! How wonderful!”
But I can’t let go. I still choke up with emotion whenever I think of my sister (and I am doing so now as I write this). On the day she died, she also wrote (quoting St. Therese of Lisieux), “I will spend my Heaven doing good on earth.” A few years ago, my best friend was found to have an X-ray lesion on his shoulder bone that was suggestive of multiple myeloma. He was about to go in for a bone scan to evaluate it. I prayed to my sister Theresa to ask God to intervene and heal my friend. My friend had the bone scan, and it came back totally normal. No lesion, no myeloma, no abnormality at all. He is totally fine now. Maybe a miracle?
I do not expect that I will ever be able to let go of my love for my sister Theresa, who is still spending her Heaven doing good on earth.