Nourishing my soul…

I decided that if my Sunday school class was just right for me, spiritually, that I’d take the germ risk and go be with 19 special students today.  I needed a good dose of faith and happiness before starting radiation tomorrow.  So they all scrubbed their hands thoroughly before entering the classroom, and we worked on learning about the parts of the Mass. 


I didn’t do the teaching today, my friend Jean did, since I wasn’t sure until this morning that I’d be up to going.  She’s taken on a huge burden of doing this class while I’ve been dealing with chemotherapy and all… most weekends Emily helps her with crowd control and the boys get the room and the books all set, but she has to do the real work.  But just being there was so nice. 


The students who had memorized all their prayers and had therefore earned their specially blessed  rosaries were so proud to show me the filled in spots on our chart!

Because I’m not good at sitting still without something to do with my hands, I usually try to find some pertinent coloring sheets for my students each week.  If I’m not particularly successful with my internet search for something related to our lesson, I print out the  Gospel coloring pages from, but since we’ve been working on learning the stories of our patron saints, some of the pages from Waltzing Matilda were perfect for today.  (…see …)


My neighbor Quint even shared his research on St. Francis with us…


So tomorrow, when I’m trying to be strong and brave at my first radiation treatment (they didn’t start last week because they had to perfect some of the math to minimize the impact on my heart…) I can think about the joy and the  faith of my 19 students.  Their faith isn’t complex or hard to understand… but learning about things that are simple, beautiful and miraculous with them truly nourishes my soul.

8 thoughts on “Nourishing my soul…

  1. Elizabeth, I just wanted you to know I entered my classroom today thinking of you and appreciating those 4 and 5 year olds even more!

    There will be lots of prayers going up tonight and tomorrow for your radiation treatments! You are always in our thoughts.

    Have I told you what an inspiration you are?


  2. Elizabeth-

    The book of Matthew says: He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me.” Matthew 18:2-5


    Also, I cannot tell you exactly how radiation for breast cancer will be, but I have been through radiation for brain cancer and found it to be fast and painless with few side effects. It was not nearly as difficult as it sounds like chemo. was. They even have music playing and you can request your favorite radio station (at Presby. main anyway). I couldn’t help but laugh until I cried when the BeeGees came on singing “STAYING ALIVE!!” I could just picture John Travolta doing his groovy dance in his white polyester leisure suit as I thought “I’m trying my best here!!” So, maybe you can make a special request from me??!!

  3. Dear Elizabeth,

    You won’t be “trying” to be brave and courageous; you are brave and courageous. For the past four weeks i have been teaching religion to ninth and tenth graders, and, while the theology is more sophisticated, the basics are always the core. You are teaching what is most important: to love God and trust in Him at all times. Love, Nancy

  4. Let’s hope the math was perfectly perfected and let your nurished soul be a comfort to you. Thoughts, prayers and good wishes are coming your way.

    My sister had radiation for breast cancer more than 10 years ago and it eventually burned her skin and made it hard but all that went away with time. She was fatigued but that was easier to deal with than your chemo side effects.

  5. Elizabeth,

    Love the picture of Quint and the Prayer Board! Quint was soooo excited to see himself on the internet :>)

    I am available anytime – but especially during the day – my home number is 704-665-8818 and my cell is 704-996-0518.

    I do believe all things happen for a reason – sometimes it is extremely difficult to figure out why something bad happens to someone so good. I believe your thoughts on how your sharing of your experience with others will save lives, will encourage people to go to the doctor sooner rather than later, to just simply appreciate their own good health, etc…

    When my mom died from complications following heart surgery, I was so angry and questioned what good could possibly come out of it – well Hunter quit smoking – his mom’s death from lung cancer wasn’t enough, but my mom’s death made a difference.

    Quint prays for you every night – we all do.

  6. Elizabeth..I just caught up on recent blogs. What a gift to us, to your family, and to yourself. The pictures of the kids and the lovingly knit socks along with all your thougths about the ups and downs of treatment are a joy to read. I know, the experiences are mixed. I continue to marvel at your grace in living and reporting life as it is today. Thanks and many continued prayers.

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