S. Sushma shared this reflection on her experience of visiting with Sisters in Carrico Hall during the COVID-19 pandemic.
COVID-19 “reminds us that the power of freewill is in our hands. We can choose to cooperate and help each other, to share, to give, to help and to support each other or we can choose to be selfish, to hoard, and to look after only our self.” – Bill Gates
COVID-19 brought me back abruptly to Nazareth from my studies in Chicago; there was no time for me to say good-bye to my friends and professors. The mode of teaching changed to online so I had the experience of online class from Kentucky.
After the May term I had almost a month to relax from academic study. During this time I made a plan to visit as many of our sisters in Carrico Hall as possible. Sometimes, I would connect with them through phone calls. When I started visiting, an acronym (LOC) came to me, (Line of Control). We cannot enter their territory and they cannot come to ours. I was not sure how our visits would work in this environment.
Now that I am becoming more familiar with my sisters it does not take much time for me to introduce myself; it is a matter of reconnecting. When I talked to the sisters, some of them expressed that the visiting place is like visiting a prisoner, and for some it seemed like a confession place. We exchanged virtual hugs and greeted one another. It was a strange way of interacting. My personal satisfaction was seeing them up close.
During one of my visits, I met Sister Teresa Margaret for the first time. She recently came from Pittsburgh. She is 98 years of age and is busy writing thank you notes to her dear ones. She is looking forward to coming down to the dining room so that she can interact with sisters who live in the Motherhouse.
In the process of talking, sometimes it was difficult for sisters to hear so I wrote what I wanted to say on piece of paper and showed it to them to read. I felt that during this pandemic, I could at least meet my sisters through the visiting booth and keep a connection through phone calls.
I conclude with this small prayer for all of us, “May God watch between you and me while we are absent, one from the other and may God keep you in perfect peace and love until we meet again.”
S. Sushma Bodra