What do you mean?

What do you mean?

by Sr. Mairead Carroll MMM (1931-2022)                        Ireland                       11.08.2023

Coming from the hospital here in Uganda, at the end of a busy day, I met Solo.  He works with us occasionally.  We stopped and greeted each other and went our respective ways.  Having gone a short distance, he stopped, turned, and said with a smile, “Sister, you are well done”. Then he turned and walked on.  I continued smiling and musing.  I was puzzled about what he meant.
Did Solo mean, like meat on the fire, that I was “well done”?  Which I was.  Or did he mean that I was “done in”.  Which I was.  Or that I had “done well”?   Which I hadn’t, and anyway, how did Solo know?  We hadn’t met for a few weeks, maybe more.

I continued conjecturing.  Smiling as I thought of all the unusual turns of phrase.  Phrases to which we are not accustomed and because we aren’t, they make us stop and think.  Frequently they help us laugh at ourselves and our expressions.  After all, what are words?  What is language? It is a poor vehicle for expressing thought and spirit.  Yet, though the words are muddled, the meaning and thought come through.

A woman called Josephine works with me in the pharmacy.  When questioned sometimes about having carried out a certain duty, she says, “Yes, Sister, I did it.”  To make certainty even more certain she adds, “Yes, Sister, I’m steady with that.”

Yes, and I am steady with one thing. When at the end of my day I come to my Heavenly Father, there will be no questions if, after greeting me, He smiles and says, “Sister, you are well done.”

Editor’s Note: Sr. Mairead was a tall, soft-spoken and quiet Sister with a wonderful smile.  She was a trained pharmacist and worked in Spain, Tanzania and Uganda.  She had a lovely singing voice and took part in MMM recordings during her time in Drogheda.  She was a kind person, known for her unobtrusive, gentle counsel to those in need.  She worked in pastoral care in her later years, a ministry that seemed to suit her personality well.