Monday, May 03, 2010

Sister Bernice's Rosary

In the two years that Ukiah was put on this earth, he's given me the opportunity to meet some truly interesting and amazing people. There are people that I consider good friends that I would have never met if it wasn't for Ukiah. One such person is Sister Bernice. She is the chaplain at Children's Hospital Oakland and she has known us since the very beginning of Ukiah's life. She was in Ukiah's life from his first day and was one of the first people I called the day after we lost Ukiah. She was kind enough to lead the service at Ukiah's celebration of life and she's just been the kindest soul we could have ever hoped to meet. She's been there at every hospital visit with kind words and gentle hugs and she has offered that she will continue to be there even now that Ukiah is gone. She's one of those special people and I'll never forget her.

She also reminds me of my grandmother. Maybe it's the hugs she gives, or her steadfast faith and strength amidst all the adversity she encounters and sees. It's hard for me to say for sure. It was partially because of my grandmother and partially because she had proven herself to be someone we could rely on but I decided to give her one of my rosaries. I ran it passed my mother first, and because she had met Sister Bernice, my mother heartily agreed that it was a good idea.

After the service I pulled Sister Bernice aside and told her the family's story. I told her about my grandmother and the impact she had on my life. I told her about my uncles and the tragedy we endured. I told her the important role my grandmother played in getting us to survive the tragedy. I told her about my Aunt Jan and the role the rosary played at the end of her life. I told her how I was attempting to make one for every member of my family. I told her all this and gave her the rosary. I told her that after everything, she was officially family. She held it tightly in her hands and told me she'd treasure it forever. She said it was ever more perfect that I'd given her the blue one. Blue was her favorite color after all.

Thanks to Ukiah, this wonderful woman came into my life, and because of Ukiah, I'll never forget her. She's family now and because she now has one of the rosaries, now she knows it.