There is always someone in our lives who remains in our hearts no matter how short the time was that we had the pleasure of knowing them. I was in the third grade living at my all girl Catholic Boarding School/Convent called Villa Cabrini when I met my hero. She was one of the nuns who wore a black habit from the flowing veil pinned snug on her head and a large bow tied under her chin to the plain black-laced shoes on her feet. There was the usual large silver cross hanging from her neck and a long wooden rosary from the belt.
The students were all there for the same reason: For a good education and to allow their parents to live life without the responsibilities of caring for their children. The school began at kindergarten and ended in the senior year of high school. The nuns were not a substitute for parents. Many did not have an ounce of feelings for the students. We made our beds perfectly, waxed the floors with a polish machine, set the long tables to serve our meals, went to mass daily and attended our classes. It was not a perfect place, but for most of us there, it was our saving grace. Our homes were battle zones made of nightmares and pain. It was little wonder that there was a suicide a time and again throughout the years and other children placed in mental facilities to keep from harming others or themselves.
In my mind my hero was an angel sent from God to teach me about kindness, tenderness, and living with peace. She took a special liking to me and would allow me in her room. She would uncover her head to release her long brown hair. I would brush it while we talked about my life and some goals. But most of the time it was how I had learned to survive. And she would tell me how other people lived in a home where the children were cherished and loved. She planted a small seed in my mind that I could have just that for my family when I grew up. I had never dared to ever think such romantic, wonderful thoughts. I wondered if it could ever be. But I took every lesson and kept it stowed away for the day that I would need them when I was married and had my own beautiful children. It was because of that angel that we made it even better than I thought and were happy as a family with a heart.