A cute little Carmelite postulant named Michele Morris sent Kevin and me a package. The instructions on the outside were for us to open it together, so we did. When she’d written at Eastertime, our dear friend/sister in Christ, mentioned she had a surprise for us. We never in a million years could have guessed what it would be.
Ever since the spring a few years ago when I gave Michele a Pieta prayer book, we’ve been talking about “glory bees.” In the prayer book is a Novena to St. Thérѐse of Lisieux which includes twenty-four “Glory Be to the Father” prayers each day. Upon seeing this, she turned to me and exclaimed: “That’s a lot of Glory Be’s!” At which point we both started laughing imagining bees with halos buzzing around glorifying God. Thus began our affection for “glory bees.”
That Easter, I presented Michele with a stuffed animal bumblebee with candy in the zippered pocket and a makeshift halo out of silver pipe cleaner. It was one of the few personal possessions she brought with her when she entered the Carmelite Monastery of Our Lady and St. Thérѐse. Subsequent gifts to one another after that Easter often carried a theme of bumblebees. I have a bumblebee pillow pet, a tall mug featuring a cartoon drawing of our adopted mascot, and a pair of yellow and black striped knee socks with bees on them all from Michele.
When learning to make rosaries, Michele thought it would be fun to make “Glory Bee Rosaries” for Kevin and me. She was given permission to do so. We are now the humbled owners of the first two “Glory Bee Rosaries.” The community liked the idea, so she made a whole batch of them to go to the mission in Uganda. With some bee research under her wings, she came up with a brochure using for graphics the picture of the bee I gave her with the halo and some of the bee graphics I used in making a memory book for her before she left.
Inside the package was one self-portrait drawn with brown marker, one “Glory Bee Rosaries” brochure, two black and yellow beaded rosaries, and a five page handwritten letter from Michele. I was laughing as I read the letter out loud about how she went from learning to make rosaries, to being inspired to make “Glory Bee Rosaries” for Kevin and me, to the project being blessed by the community.
Here’s an excerpt of her letter:
For Trisha the gift is special in other ways as well. It is also for you:
1. A bridesmaids gift. In thinking about and cherishing our “Girls Day Out” it occurred to me that as the bride-to-be I never did give you a bridesmaids gift-as is custom. So I made one for you as well as Carrie and Betty J
2. Something tangible to hold onto as reassurance that I am with you and praying for you.
3. Tangible evidence that God does indeed work through you—inspiring others—good inspirations.
Since July 16 is the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel as well as the two-year anniversary of the first performance of “Teresita” the original play Michele wrote, directed, and performed, and also the day when Michele received the letter accepting her as a postulant to the Carmelite Sisters by the Sea, I thought I’d share this story and the joy it has brought us.