Spes Messis in Semine.

One of the keys to recovering from GBS is taking time to rest.  Working hard in therapy is critical, but downtime is just as important.  Even if your mind is ready to go, you need to force yourself to be still.  A person needs time to sleep, recuperate and rejuvenate the fatigued body, much more frequently than normal.  Everything needs to be abbreviated- quick visit to the supermarket, a Mini Pedi instead of a full one, shorter talks on the phone.  Normal tasks take a toll much more quickly, and your body doesn’t rebound the way it used to.  I’ve been told to “give it a full year” to fully recover.

On my rest days I try to do one thing to get me outside, and get re-acclimated to the “real” world, just for an hour or two.   Sometimes it’s lunch with a friend who’s a new mom.  Sometimes its my sitting outside on my backyard, catching some final rays of Vitamin D.   Sometimes, it’s my resting on my favorite couch, watching the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Marathon.

Tuesday, on my rest day, I spent the afternoon in an old, familiar place.  The car that picked me up was chock full of purple and gold frosted cupcakes, cookies and even some pulled pork for good measure.  Purple and gold balloons filled the back seat, and I felt like I was getting ready for a pep rally.  A short drive later, we pulled up the long, winding driveway to the top of the hill where Mount Saint Joe’s sits.  It looked like the same old Mount, but with subtle changes.  New parking lot, New signage, Nuns at every turn– but same old Mount.


As I slowly walked down the hallway, on my crutch, with my feet taking cautious steps, many memories came back. Remembering rolling up my light blue skirt, and pushing down my navy blue socks.  Wearing the Blue Sebagos, and wondering who put this required ensemble together. Clearly, this was an episode of “What Not to Wear”.

When sitting in the hallway in front of your locker, on the floor with a group of friends, was the most fun place to be.  When walking down the hall and seeing your locker decorated for your birthday made your day.  When eating french fries and an eclair popsicle at 10:18am for lunch never seemed to land on your hips the way it would today.  The days that 12A was always inferior to 12C.  Days when I was constantly late for school, but somehow, out of three of us in the Same Car arriving at the Same Time. I was only one who got the demerit because someone’s homeroom teacher let them sneak in the back door.  I spent many an afternoon in detention, without my Car Mates— 12C definitely ruled 12A.

I was at the Mount to watch my best friend’s niece’s volleyball game.  Before the volleyball game got started, the fans settled into their seats, and the Mount team huddled to the side of the court.  They started to get pumped up, to get ready to take on the undefeated St. Basil’s.  Then, they started to chant.  I was expecting a “Who’s gonna Win?  WE ARE!  Who’s the Best?  WE ARE!” kind of a chant.  But what I heard was much different.  “Let us pledge today, to our MSJ”.. Wait… this was starting to sound familiar.  “That we’ll true to alma mater be forever”… They were chanting it in an aggressive tone, instead of the sing-songy way that we were taught.  They made our school song sound tough and cool!  Before I knew it I was chanting along with them. ” See  her banner fair, waving in the air, come and rally round the purple white and  gold!”

Then, the cheerleader in me made an appearance, and I was clapping and laughing, and obviously getting pumped up for a volleyball game.  “Purple is nobility of spirit, White is for ideals high and pure,  Gold typifies, staunchness that lies in every heart steady and sure. May we all  be worthy of its colors- noble, pure, and loyal for aye.  With this motto e’er  before us in life, Spes Messis in Semine!”

I think about the friends that I have made over the years, and can honestly say that many of them date back to the days at the Mount.  The Mount was a place where I figured out who I was.  It was a place I felt safe. It was a place surrounded by girls much like me.  It was a place that I knew I could be my best self.  The Mount has been on my mind much this past week as our Class lost a friend, Nancy Harkins Wood (MSJA ’92).  Her family remains in my prayers.

I took Latin for 4 years, and I am often reminded by my family that Latin is a “dead” language.  It’s not a language that is spoken, and only in movies like the Godfather do I hear Latin, when the mobsters are in church.   The Mount’s Motto, in Latin, Spes Messis In Semine means “The Hope of the Harvest is in the Seed”.  Planting a seed gives one great hope for the future.   A seed was planted when I was diagnosed with GBS.  A seed of change and challenge.  But with it will come a harvest of great expectations and new experiences.

As always, thank you for joining me on this journey.

Lots of Love,

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