Four months ago my aunt died. She was my mom’s older sister who had spent 60+ years of her life as a nun. She died of sarcoma, (cancer)
In August of last year she asked us to come visit. She told us the news of her diagnosis and she wanted to start clearing out her room of items that she no longer needed. We took boxes of things home with us. Most of the items were art work, drawings that she had done in the last several years. As a nun she didn’t have anything valuable. The most important things to her were the pictures she had taken through the years of friends and family. Those pictures she didn’t give us that day, she still kept them in her room.
We went up again in November and she gave us more items to take home with us. She gave me a painting that had been on her wall, something she had picked up in Alaska when she had lived there for 25 years.
Each time that we went up to visit my aunt her close friend, sister Mary would come buy to visit with our family. Sister Mary was another nun, much younger than my aunt, who lived in the same convent with her.
Through the years sister Mary would accompany my aunt and come to visit my mom. My mom was always so kind to sister Mary. My mom was always giving them so many goodies when they returned home. Even when we went to the convent to visit my aunt we always made sure to bring goodies for sister Mary too.
The day of the memorial for my aunt sister Mary was right there greeting our entire family. After the service a woman approached me and asked if I was the niece. I told her I was one of them. My cousin and I were the only nieces. She said that my aunt had left a box for me in her room and I was to meet with this woman before I left so that she could take me to the room to collect this box.
This woman said that there were many more things in the room that belonged to my aunt. They would be boxed up and documented and they would call me when it was time to come and collect these items. It told the woman not to call me but instead to call my mom. I made sure that this woman spoke to my mom.
That woman never did stay and take me to that room. Apparently she left the service early and told another nun to escort the family to my aunt’s room. Two of my brothers, my female and male cousins, and my two uncles all followed this nun to the room. I refused to go because I knew that we were not to take anything out of that room except for that one box. I didn’t want to be held responsible if things came up missing from that room.
I told my mom why I didn’t want to follow everyone and my mom felt the same way so she too didn’t go to the room. When all the other people came back they had boxes of items and pictures that they had taken from that room.
I don’t know and I will never know if that box left for the niece was really meant for me or for my cousin. I will never know what was in that box. I’m sure one of those other people took that box that day.
About a week after the memorial my mom and my brother took a 3 week cruise. When my mom came back she expected to have a phone call from that woman telling her to come up and collect the remaining items belonging to her sister. There were no messages on her recorder from that woman.
My mom waited another three weeks then she finally wrote a letter to sister Mary and told her that she had been waiting for someone to call her. She explained the situation about the box that I was to receive and let her know that I never got the box. My mom waited another 3 weeks and sister Mary never once tried to contact her. My mom finally wrote another letter to a different nun and she finally received a call letting her know that all the items were packed up and given to my uncle.
It has been 4 months and sister Mary has never once tried to acknowledge my mom. All she had to do was write to my mom and tell her she didn’t know what happened. She could have told my mom that she would pass on her letter to someone who could help. She didn’t even bother to that. My mom is so hurt.
In May my cousin wanted all the family to get together to celebrate my aunts life. We were all invited to my uncles home, but my cousin and his sister were the ones doing all the cooking. An hour after we arrived sister Mary showed up. She didn’t even bother to stop and talk to our family. She waved, but she never really sat and talked to any of us. She went right to my uncle and spent the whole time chatting with him and his wife. My mom noticed, I noticed how distant sister Mary was acting. My mom heard sister Mary tell my uncle that she would keep in touch with him. She never said that to my mom.
I feel for my mom. My mom is the kindest, sweetest, most loving person you would ever want to meet. For sister Mary to treat her this way has hurt my mom so much.
Right after my aunt died she told sister Mary that we would all come by to visit from time to time. I think she wanted to still keep that connection with her. Now my mom has decided that she will never go back to the convent again. Sister Mary should never have kept silent. She should have called or written to my mom and informed her about what had happened to my aunts belongings. All she had to do was make one call, that would have satisfied my mom, but sister Mary’s silence wounded my mom.