Searchlight, May 27, 2005, St. Vincent & the Grenadines
Lasting Moments: Ann Marie Lee-Wilkins, (left) Stanice Anderson (centre) and Sister Pat share a moment recently.
(Newspaper) Searchlight, May 27, 2005, St. Vincent & the Grenadines
My last chat with Sis Pat
by Stanice Anderson
I am not a Catholic, but a non-denominational Christian born and living in the US. However, I went to the Catholic Pentecost Rally to celebrate the Holy Spirit and to seize the opportunity to spend time with my good friends Ann-Marie Lee-Wilkins and Sister Pat. Together again like we had been in 2003 during my first visit to SVG. I participated in the part of the morning's service, and Sister Pat arranged for me to give a little talk during the afternoon session. However, most of my time that day between meditating, writing in an office provided and talking with Sister Pat who for the most part listened to most of the services while in her office (the hall where activities were held is directly above her office).
She confided the following, as best of my recollections: "Stanice, my time here at the school is all but over. God has amazingly already put in place the people that will move the school forward. The Principal, Vice-Principal, the Biology/Physics/Chemistry teacher that I prayed for...everyone is lined up. I dare not tell them for it would upset them so but I believe God is moving me to a higher level in Him. I have a book to write. I have been writing bits and pieces. But I must write my story of the wonderful miracles of God. But moreso as told from those people that God has brought into my life. It is their stories that define my story. Somehow, God has brought these marvelous and various people into my life and I've seen Him do miracles! It must be told. And I can not do it while I am here. I must go off somewhere and have the time to write it all down. Stories of how God used people to bring about such miracles in my life. Like the new biology teacher who I know God sent to me. I had just come out of prayer that morning and the phone rang and there he was calling from Britain asking about the position. He has a degree and I had told God that He has to send me someone. That if he sent someone I would know that my time here was all but over. That it would free me up to move on. He was the last piece of the school puzzle. He's been here now for 2 months. And my vision for the Home for the Girls-now a reality. I believe it will be ready even sooner than the builders say. I see it completed in September 2005. And then there is the person who told me that I was sick. I didn't know. God sent someone to tell me so that I could get the help I needed. Oh the miracles, Stanice, the miracles I've seen God perform... I can't write all of this and be here."
Being a writer, of course I was curious to see what she'd written thus far...so I asked could I see some of her work...anything...
She said that what she'd written was down at the convent but that she would share it later.
I shared with her the process of writing book proposals; especially for nonfiction projects such as hers. Also she wrote down my advice to get the book, How to Write a Book Proposal by Michael Larsen which I had used to write the letter which helped me secure a book contract in US. I also brought out my MP3 device that could also be used as a recorder thus allowing her to speak her thoughts and download .wav files and MS Word files onto her computer. She wrote down the info, store, etc., and said that she would pick up one while she was in NY the first week in June.
She was so passionate and expectant about her next level in the Lord and the writing project.
Sister Pat called Marlon Mills-Browne, co-owner of Young Island, and arranged (because I expressed a desire to see Marlon on this visit too) lunch with Marlon that included Ann-Marie, myself, and Sister Pat. Marlon ended up not being able to make it but Sister Pat and Ann-Marie came to pick me up and we went to lunch on Young Island all expenses and the relaxing about 4 hours compliments of Marlon. It was a rainy morning but it stopped by the time we got on the little boat that takes you over to the island. The last picture on the set of photos that I sent you the link for was taken during that lunch.
As best I recollect this is the part of the conversation of that day that I feel compelled to share with you and your family:
Sister Pat and I sat directly across and facing each at the little round table under the straw thatch roof. Ann Marie sat to my right. Out of nowhere Sister Pat leaned in and said, "Stanice, I am telling you. I am scheduled to go to the US on June 4th for medical. If the doctors say I am to have surgery. I'm not going to have not going to have it! No surgery! No! I told the Lord that if they tell me that I need surgery, I will look at it as a sign from Him that my work here is over and I'm coming home!"
She shared that she was tired and that she was ready to see the Lord. As she talked I related to her because of situations and seasons I have had in my own life and I shared that with her. Especially of how there have been times in my life where things got soooo difficult and soooo overwhelming that I felt and told the Lord that I would must rather be with Him than here. That it excited me to know that according to the Bible I would have a body that would never wear out, that there would be no more tears, that I would see Him face-to-face, and as I talked we each felt the presence of the Holy Spirit as I sensed in her eyes, in her demeanor, a burden of carrying the secret thoughts – the thoughts that to that point no one could relate to – I saw the power of the Holy Spirit-her burden lifted – a joy unspeakable as she spoke out loud her wishes – her desires and someone looked at her and most all I said was "Yes, oh, I do understand. It's all right. It's all right, Sister." We talked about God's promises outlined in 1 Corinthians 15 and about Terri Schivo in US and how it affected us and including prompting me to write a little story that I posted on my blog, at http://stanice.com/2005/03/living-will-i-can-live-with.html
After lunch, Sister Pat laid, rested, and eventually napped on a hammock on the beach of Young Island, while Ann-Marie and I posed each other for photos, and I being romped and relaxed in the Caribbean Sea. The rain held up the whole time...till finally there was sun. After an hour or so, Sister Pat awakened and we were on our way back to St. Vincent on the little water taxi.
As I am writing about these my last days with Sister Pat...I'm gently reminded about the first day up on my arrival to SVG on May 5. I, along with Ann-Marie were at Ann-Marie's mother's house when Sister Pat stopped by to welcome us back to St. Vincent. When I saw her, I immediately noticed, that she looked absolutely beautiful. Her skin, her weight soooo much better than the last time I had seen her in 2003, months before she found out that she was ill. So much so was the difference that I commented directly to her. And as I told her, "You look wonderful! You are glowing, Sister Pat. I see all around you and on you the Shekaniah Glory of the Lord!" She told me it was strange but someone else had recently told her the same thing.
I do hope that you will find comfort in all that I believe the Lord asked of me and brought to my remembrance to share with you.