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!