Buddha & Sister Genevieve Marie

Picked up the book Breakfast with Buddha for the long plane ride back home from Hawaii last week and it was the perfect road trip read for someone traveling.  Because the book deals with a series of serendipitous events, I couldn’t believe it when I got back home, sat down to catch up with the postings on my favorite blog sites and found the following at the 3:17am blog site:

To read the entire 3:17am blog post   click here.

But then a second “Buddha” moment occurred that really gave me pause. Whenever I travel

I take a sleeping pill at night to counter act my insomniatic ways.  At home I deal with this by staying up late, rising early and getting 4 or 5 hours of good sleep in between.  When travelling however and off my routine, I need some help to knock out some z’s.  While this works for me sleep wise, a weird side effect is that whenever I pop one of these pills, they make me dream, or make it so that I can recall my dreams.  At home with no pills, I must go into that Stage 4 deep sleep and can’t or don’t remember my dreams.  But on the road and sedated, I will usually have some dreams that I can recall. 
One morning in Honolulu I awoke having dreamed about my eighth grade school teacher Sister Genevieve Marie.  Back in St. Michael’s Grade School, Sister and I had had a good enough relationship but she wasn’t exactly my  most favorite nun nor I’m sure was I her favorite pupil. 
As I drank my morning coffee I thought I was able to trace back the source of my dream. The previous day Ryan, Pam and I had been to see the 5 best short films nominated for this year’s Academy Award.  A couple of the films had dealt with being Catholic.  I reckoned that that’s what must have led me to think about Sister GM.

Imagine my surprise and semi-shock then when I returned home, caught up with my e-mails to find this one from my buddy Tom McCoy:

“One of my business associates is from Hartford and sent me this message. End of an era. I don’t think any of our Grammar school teachers are left. I did my best to torture her while I was in her class…That woman loved Woody….. Best Regards, Tom”

Sr. Genevieve Marie GREENWELL

GREENWELL, Sr. Genevieve Marie Sister Genevieve Marie Greenwell (Mary Elizabeth Greenwell), a member of the Sisters of Saint Joseph, West Hartford, CT died on Tuesday (February 1, 2011) at the Provincial House of the Sisters of Saint Joseph in West Hartford. Sister Genevieve Marie, born in Baltimore, MD on May 21, 1918 of the late Charles B. Greenwell and Genevieve L. (Linehan) Greenwell, entered the Sisters of Saint Joseph on September 15, 1937 and celebrated her perpetual vows on May 6, 1944. Sister was 92 years of age and had been in religious life for 73 years. Sister Genevieve Marie taught for many years in the Archdiocese of Hartford and in Ridge, MD. Her indomitable spirit was evident as she ministered in a variety of missions throughout her life. She loved life to the fullest and was always a gracious Southern Lady. Her contagious laugh did well to extend her joy to her loving family, friends and coworkers. Predeceased by three brothers, Charles Benedict, James and Frank Greenwell and one sister, Sister Charles Benedict Greenwell, Sister Genevieve is survived by her Sisters in community and her beloved nieces and nephews. Her funeral services will be held Saturday at 10:45 a.m. from the Convent Mary Immaculate, 27 Park Road, West Hartford followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 11 a.m. in St. Joseph’s Chapel. Interment will be in Srs. Of St. Joseph Cemetery, West Hartford. Relatives and friends may call at the Convent on Saturday from 9:30-10:45 a.m. Memorial donations may be made to the Sister of St. Joseph, 27 Park Rd., West Hartford, CT 06119. Fisette-Batzner Funeral Home, 20 Bonair Ave., Newington has care of the arrangements.

After reading this and seeing that Sister had died on 1 February I noted that I’ll have to check with Pat Woodburn (the Woody referenced in Tom’s e-mail above) to see if maybe she had “visited” him sooner and it just took her awhile longer to catch up with me in Hawaii.

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