Today, attached to her own drip, in the chair on my left at the Patient Short Stay Unit, was a lovely Carmelite nun. Irish, from a family of thirteen siblings! She thought I would be shocked to discover she was 'actually' a nun (she was dressed in summery cropped trousers, instead of her habit) but I wasn't. Very little shocks me. Everything interests me, much surprises me.
The images that failed to save were these, of Audrey Hepburn, photographed by Leo Fuchs, during the filming of 'The Nun's Story'.
My Carmelite nun had never met anyone with Lupus, but knew about its seriousness through this connection: St Thérèse of Liseux had a novice sister called Marie of the Trinity, who apparently suffered much and died from Lupus, and of course smiled beautifully all the while :) Marie-Louise Castel was 20, in 1894, when she joined the Carmel of Liseux, where Thérèse was mistress of the novices at only 21; she died three years later, as you know, of tuberculosis. Thérèse taught the practise of 'the little way'... anyone who practices the 'spirituality of the smile' can reach heroic heights of sanctity and declare, in spite of great suffering, "No! Life is not sad!"
Are you impressed by my saintly connections?! Am home again now, in case you were wondering. And smiling, but you knew that.