Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Nice Surprises In My Email!

It was a beautiful day today, and I was out enjoying it with friends. When I got home it was early afternoon, and first I rushed to do my outdoor chores. Finally, I was able to come in, turn on my PC and check my email. And there it was. An email from a Sister Joanne, who informed me she served as archivist for the Sisters of the Humility of Mary. Wow, really?

Sister Joanne wrote that she had read my story in the September issue of Catholic Digest.

When I wrote the story, I had purposely left out the name of the city and school I was writing about. I did, however, name the order of the sisters who taught at that school-The Sisters of the Humility of Mary. And in the story I wrote about one of the good sisters at that school who changed the life of a young refugee girl; a mousy, haunted, shy girl, classified as a "displaced person," who longed to be like her carefree, American counterparts. And with the good sisters help, she graduated as the confident, young American girl she longed to be, in 1955. Of course, that young D.P. girl was me.

Sister Joanne correctly guessed the city and school I was writing about, and wanted to verify everything, including the good sisters name, so she could add it all to the archives. What a very nice surprise.

A couple of months ago, I had a nice email surprise as well. That one was from an old soldier named, Emmett, who lives in Texas. He had read a story of mine about coming to America on the U.S.S. General M. B. Stewart in September of 1951. And it seems that Emmett and I were shipmates. Well, not at the same time, but shipmates, nevertheless.

He told me he was on the U.S.S. General M.B. Stewart in 1945, as a young soldier on his way to the South Pacific. He said he imagined I looked more forward to my journey on that ship 6 years later, then he had. Of course, he was right. I was on my way to a new life in a new country, he was on his way to danger! But he made it back alive, and married his childhood sweetheart in 1951, the year I came to America with my family, with hope in all our hearts. Emmett and I continue to correspond as he tells me his war stories, and I tell him mine. A fair exchange with an old soldier; a shipmate of sorts.

Freelance writing may not bring great riches, but it has its rewards!


Michele L. Tune said...

Oh, how nice, Renie! I'm so very happy for you!!!



Renie Burghardt said...

Thank you, Michele!

Susie said...

I'd love to read the story of you as a young refugee girl. I'm not sure my daughter has that issue, but I'll look for it..

Renie Burghardt said...

Oh, thank you, Susie. If you do get to read it, I hope you enjoy it.


deborah wilson said...

Yes Renie, I'm going to have to get a copy of that too. At least now your future generations will know what it was like for you to come to a new country. I wish I knew the stories behind my families immigration to America. I only know that they came from Ireland and that a g-grandmother and a g-grandfather was native american - Cherokee. :)

ancient one said...

Thanks for coming by my blog. I have probably read some of your writings. I have some Chicken Soup books and I may have some Guideposts around here in some of my stuff...It will be fun to see if I can find you ... LOL

Renie Burghardt said...

Cherokee and Irish? Wow, what a combination, Deborah! :-) Yes, it's important for us to know our heritage. My two sons and daughter and three granchildren have read most of my stories, and we've discussed them often. When my kids were young, especially the boys, I have heard them tell their friends that I talked like Zsa Zsa! Of course, that was many years ago. These days, my accent is a thing of the past, thank goodness! I was going to say I'm all American now, but actually, I became all American soon after we arrived here.

Thank you for stopping by.

Renie Burghardt said...

Hi Anne,

Thanks so much for the visit. If you do find me, hope you enjoy it. Well, the stories, I mean. Lol.

By the way, dare I ask? Just how ancient are you? I'd better not ask, cause you may be younger than me, and then I'll feel really Old!

Nancy said...

Hi Renie,

This wonderful world filled with technology has allowed us to connect with people, both past and present, in a marvelous way. Without the computer world, you and I would never have crossed paths. I'm so glad the internet has given me the opportunity to know you and the gift you've given the world in your stories.


Renie Burghardt said...

Hi Nancy,

What a nice thing to say! Thank you so much. Yes, the computer connects us with wonderful people across the country; people like you! There are lots of kindred spirits on the Internet.

Are you the Nancy I know? Your profile doesn't reveal much, so I'm guessing. Anyway, thank you for your visit and nice comment.

Hugs back at you!


Tina Coruth said...


How wonderful!! I enjoyed reading about your surprise emails. What a day brightener.


Renie Burghardt said...


Yes, those emails were a nice surprise. Especially hearing from Sister Joanne. And it's a nice surprise hearing from you!