The other day, I was paging through my college’s alumni magazine when I came across the belated news: Sister Miriam Ward had died in January 2014 at age 88. “What?” I thought. “Wow. I can’t believe it.” I had somehow expected her to live forever.
Sister Miriam had been one of the elders in the Vermont community who inspired me with her fierce dedication to social justice and peace issues. As a leading voice on the Palestinian/Israeli conflict, this Sister of Mercy touched thousands of people as an activist and professor over the course of her long life.
I hadn’t seen her in 10 years, maybe longer. And now she was gone.
My heart sank.
I felt that sensation I can only describe as “dropping” inside my chest, as if my emotions stepped onto an elevator from the top floor and pressed L for the lower level underground parking garage.
And as I felt my heart sink deeper, I felt my curiosity rise up . . .