written by Sherry Antonetti '88,
author of The Book of Helen, freelancer and blogger @Chocolate For Your Brain!
What I hope for each of your girls, and my own...
When I went to my 30th reunion, I looked around and all I could see, were beautiful strong women. I saw women who ran marathons, fought cancer, became lawyers, ran schools, stayed at home with their children, some who worked for non profits, and others in the corporate world, I saw women of every stripe, but all of them Saint Mary's. All of them had a desire to connect, to return to this place that helped shape them to face whatever storm came at them when they left.
I saw women who I remember as girls, weeping over the boy who broke their hearts, now caring for women who are escaping from men who break their hearts and more. I saw women who struggled with anorexia as girls, who now work in counseling and nutrition. I saw artists who now seek out other artists, English majors who now have written books that became movies. I saw a friend who struggled but quit smoking, and another who struggled with depression, now so fully alive, it is luminous.
My friends and I also wept for the missing spaces, the friends who we'll never see in this life again, who lost battles to health issues, but who were at SMC and ever after, women of faith, courage, service and love. Some of them were classmates. Some of them were professors. All of them were dear.
I discovered classmates I didn't know then, who overcame personal loss, in some cases, the kind that can leave you forever stuck in that moment of pain, but who came and were shaped but not stapled by that suffering. It was the vision of Sister Madeleva, the once President of this school, all the girls who came to this college, their divine potential rendered in reality, sitting at the table.
All of these women, all from different walks of life, all from different vocations, all taking joy in each other's company, in the mass, in the meal, in the time remembered and time spent during the reunion. That is my hope for each of your daughters and mine, that they get to sit at a table, 35 years from now, reveling in the rediscovery of who each of them have become.