Keeping the Letter

Keeping the Letter

by Sr. Sheila Campbell MMM                        Ireland                                   08.07.2024

The other day I came across a letter I had received about twenty years ago. Why did I keep it? Well, this is the story. The letter was from a lady called Margarida, and she was telling me that I had cared for her many years earlier while she was pregnant with twins. During her pregnancy she had suffered a heart attack. She had survived, but the pregnancy was at risk. I used to visit her regularly, checking her blood pressure, and generally supporting her during the pregnancy. She was writing to thank me for my care at that time and to let me know that her twin daughters were now both at university.

I had absolutely no memory of who this lady was! Yes, I remembered working in that area of Sao Paulo, and it would have been typical of the kind of house visits I would have done. How could I not remember such a dramatic pregnancy? I began chastising myself for my bad memory and felt very guilty. Then I stopped and decided to keep the letter.

Now, why did I keep the letter? I think I kept the letter to remind myself that we do not always remember the good things we have done. Many of us remember the faults, the failures, the times when we didn’t come up to the mark. It is good to have a reminder that sometimes we did get it right, that our work for others has had an impact on the real lives of ordinary people.

We can all make a difference in other people’s lives by small acts of kindness. It doesn’t need to be grand gestures, sometimes just a smile, a comforting pat on the arm, a gesture of good will. The fact that we forget we have done well sometimes can also be a good thing. It is a reminder that to be kind and thoughtful is normal, natural, part of what God is calling us to be.