Sister Sheila Novak’s Birthday Reflection
In celebration of our sisters’ birthdays in 2023, we asked them to share an age they would like to go “back” to. On her birthday, Sister Sheila shares two memories that capture the love and loss we all experience throughout our lives
By Sister Sheila Novak, SDS
No particular birthday stands out in my mind. My 13th birthday is about the only one. I asked for and received a Brownie Hawkeye camera with a flash. It got my love for photography going. It helped me remember people and moments in my life that meant a lot to me. It got me to see the beauty in close up things. It became a way of remembering all the various aspects of my life.
If I had to go back in time, I would not revisit a birthday of mine. Instead I would choose to go back to the lunch my sister and I had to celebrate her 75th birthday. She had always taken me out and this time I wanted to do it for her. We had a wonderful meal filled with heart-to-heart conversations. Unfortunately, she died suddenly about two weeks later – very unexpectedly. This lunch is my last memory of being with her. If I had known it was our last, there is so much more I would have said to her. She was life’s most precious gift to me.