As I sat in my room early this morning, I felt myself being drawn to the pictures on my dresser, pictures tucked into my mirror, pictures securely in frames on my shelves and pictures in the memory of my mind, heart and soul. 

I rarely pause and focus on all these photos although I am surrounded by them every morning and every evening. But this morning, something was different.  Perhaps its fatigue, perhaps it’s worry, perhaps it’s longing to see some of these precious loved ones who have passed from this world..or perhaps it’s all of these yearnings of my heart. Pictures of family, of Sisters in my congregation, of lifelong friends, of beloved in ministry and in life…

I trust that each of you have also paused, at various times, to focus on the photos in your life connections, to pause and mourn the loss, to smile and give thanks, and to wonder what’s next in life. 

And isn’t it amazing that you’re getting this email today, because in some way, in some form or fashion, your life has intersected with mine….and with HOPE.

In honor of all those who have entered, left, or remain in my life, I share the following reflection entitled “I PAUSE AND REMEMBER”.  I invite you to take my words and if they fit some aspect of your experience, make them your own as you pause and remember. 

“ When life’s challenges start to overwhelm me,
I pause and remember what you’ve taught me….

That security comes from within,
That inner strength will be there when I need it, 
That in some mysterious way, I AM being held.
I remember and give thanks to God and to you.

I pause and remember…

How the eyes of others have met
These eyes have been a window that transmitted reflections 

         Of Soul encounters, 

         Of sinks that rest in my memory and warm my heart.

When life’s choices lay before me (or you),
I pause and remember what you’ve shared with me and I give thanks.
So much more than spoken words,
So much unspoken about TRUTH,
So much about Faith and Hope that I’ve seen you live.
I remember and give thanks to God and to you.

I pause and remember…

How your hands have held mine in time or in eternity,
How they’ve been a caress that cradled my humanness…

        Grasping every shade of meaning

        From tears and from laughter.

When life’s concerns stir the winds of self doubt,
I pause and remember what you’ve witnessed to me.
To believe in and celebrate my own giftedness…
To re-create my dreams when they are shattered…
To dare to risk, dare to love…
I pause and remember and give thanks to God and to you.

I pause and remember…

How hearts have listened attentively to mine,
How tenderness and understanding have fostered healing and HOPE within.

        Blessings of wisdom, gentleness and enduring care,

        Blessings of trust and love humble me with joy. 

So, pause and remember with me.”  

Put yourself into the pause mode… reflect on your relationships of faith, friendship and family.  Remember…and give thanks.

Then, live and be HOPE today.

Sr. Debbie Blow, OP