In his book Livre de la Vie, Martin Grey wrote that like the sun, life draws a curve which will slowly start to decline. We have to prepare for that time. Sr. Alice Trottier, f.j., from the Vice-province of Edmonton in Canada, shares her experience with us.
I have been receptive to life. Life is change and all the changes that it has presented to me during ninety-one years have necessitated constant transformation at the psychological, moral and physical levels where God has slowly « undressed » me.
Certain experiences have impacted me very profoundly, I would say even brutally, as during that night of September 18, 2012 when I suffered a seizure. I called my next-door neighbour, Sr. Mary, as I tried to get out of bed but I could hardy move I felt so heavy. The ambulance was immediately called and I was brought to the Grey Nuns’ Hospital. I was under observation for a whole week. This unfortunate incident put an end to a very pleasant week-long visit with my sister Frances from Victoria BC.
On the 25th, I was brought directly to the Infirmary of the Sisters of Providence at Providence Centre and was given a comfortable room. God was waiting for me there. This was a definitive transition, a change of place, of life, abrupt and painful. My weakened physical condition indicated that I did not have the necessary strength to do what I wanted to do. But why? I guess this is part of ageing. I have to take up my cross and follow where God leads me.
Ageing is a time of acceptance and self-denial. But life is always there. The essential thing is to choose to live the last years in serenity and peace, with confidence in God. John Paul II once said : « The elderly, by their wisdom and experience, … have entered into a time of extraordinary grace which opens up for them multiple occasions of prayer and union with God. »
I discover this in silence, solitude and prayer, but also in the presence of others in warm relationships where I find solidarity, affection, sharing of old memories and experiences of younger days. I have found compassion there. In other words, with compassion, one finds true love.
May God, my creator, be blessed for the innumerable graces that have filled my life… and I ‘strive to live in hope, in the way Jesus did in his pascal mystery ‘ (A.C. P.9)