It took less than a minute for me to pass out, crash my vehicle into the guardrail, wake up as I was jostled across Interstate 95 northbound and land upside down in the ditch.

Coming to a standstill, I heard myself whisper, “I’m ready if this is the end of a good life.”

When I awoke, it was as though I were enveloped in a deep peace. I opened my eyes when a man in a blue shirt said, “Close your eyes tight, we need to break the window.”

Who were all these beautiful people of all ages whose images were still on the back of my eyelids?

They were good Samaritans who had come to rescue the bruised and bloody stranger by the wayside. They were three women (a doctor, a nurse and one other) who stayed to give me reassurance as we awaited the arrival of the next responders. They were the man wielding the crowbar and the teenager who used a pocket knife to free me from the seatbelt until the rescue team arrived to retrieve me from the mangled vehicle. At 10 p.m., the good Samaritan was the state trooper who cared enough to come to the hospital and tell me that 20 (!) people had stopped to help me.

This is for them all — medical personnel, pastoral care givers, Sisters, family, friends bearing meals, running errands, and so much more.

All those good Samaritans will ever be a part of my life. I send them my awe-full gratitude.

I shall try to “pay it forward” for the gift of continuing my life as “a nun everywhere I go” and “for whomever needs me.”

Claudette Arlene Darisse


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