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"From the Inside Out"
Mary Rose, Medium
St. Patrick’s School
Seneca Falls, NY
I can still remember the first day of Kindergarten. My father’s cousin was my teacher. I was extremely excited and totally felt at home. That’s where I began noticing the beautiful statues that flanked the hallways, including those of Mother Mary.
For the next 8 years, I would always have this interesting obsession with the bottom part of Her statue which showed her feet and a snake crawling across them. Stopping, whether in line or on my way to the lavatory, I would stare for a moment as if to ‘catch up’ with Her. Her presence made me feel full. Loved.
I never questioned those moments until lately. It was natural for me, what I always felt and what my routine was in those halls. No one ever knew. I never had reason to share; I knew it was private, for me.
Grade 3. Miss Brown’s class.
Lizzie’s grandmother was dying.
Miss Brown (studying to be a nun at the time), asked us all to gather around Lizzie, who was seated, and each of us place hands on the friend in front of us - and those closest to Lizzie, to touch Lizzie’s shoulders. It was a Healing moment; unconventional at the time.
(Good for Miss Brown, btw! Wherever you are now, you made a difference!)
There were 20 of us, heads bowed, praying for Lizzie’s grandmother, touching shoulders, exchanging energy and love. As little children, how pure our hearts. And I FELT it. I felt ALL of the Love, prayers and concern Lizzie and her family expressed.
I can’t remember how long we were in the Healing moment but I do remember the feeling of “not being fully done” with it when Miss Brown had us all go back to our desks. I felt like I was floating. My soul was screaming, “not yet…we’re not done yet”!
I was standing, not able to move. Everyone else was walking past me back to their seats. I saw their faces. I felt the break in the prayer. I was confused. I just stared straight ahead. That’s when I became weak and, as everything began to turn like the night sky around me, Peter walked toward me and I fell onto his shoulder. I felt him shrug me off (if you an imagine an 8 year old boy having a GIRL fall onto him!) and down I went to the cold, hard floor of the classroom.
We didn’t have uniforms that year but we did have a dress code. I had on my white cardigan sweater.
I woke to everyone running down the halls screaming and vomiting. My white sweater clearly showed all of the blood rushing from my chin.
Someone brought me to the nurse’s office where my father met to bring me to the hospital. I can still feel his hands holding my left hand while they put 6 stitches in my chin. “Daddy’s here, honey. Daddy’s her……”. Down he went. Ha! I tried sitting up to see where ‘daddy went!’ But the nurses pushed me back down saying, “he’ll be right back”. Little did I know, my father was resting comfortably on the hospital floor next to me! ;). He needed the use of ‘smelling salts’ to wake back up! I guess he got a glimpse of my chin bone. Poor dad. :)
During my years at St. Pat’s, we would walk to the church for Mass on a regular basis. I adored walking by the convent, where the our parish nuns lived. I never went inside but wanted to! The rectory was cool to me as well but not as interesting.
At Mass, I relished in the music and the voices praising Him. I did recognize early on that I did not want to sing in church. It made me very emotional and I could not put my finger on the exact reason; I just knew it not for me.
My love for the Rosary began during those St. Pat’s years. The beauty in it's colors and the purposeful use and meaning. I cherished each Rosary I held. To this day, I sleep with my Aunt Lorraine’s pink beads. It has come apart a bunch of times, due to my tight, nightly grasp. Yet, it doesn’t matter. The love, meaning and purpose is still intact.