Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Sister Alexis,Patti J. Smith,Walla Walla and A Healing Visit!


When my mom became ill, we received many calls from friends and family for moral and spiritual support. One of the calls was from mom’s friend from her high school days in Walla Walla, Washington. I had never met Sister Alexis but knew of her from stories my mom would share about their time together. She maintained contact throughout mom’s illness and became a source of comfort for me, especially after mom passed.
Three weeks ago my husband and I took my dad on a road trip to Oregon, Washington and Nevada. There were many people we wanted to see and the list of who to visit was extensive. Unfortunately, we only had a two-week window so we had to shorten the list … but I insisted Sister Alexis remain. Even though we had never met, something deep in my soul pulled me towards her.

I told the receptionist at St. Joseph’s residence we were there to visit Sister Alexis. She made a call then told us Sister would be down momentarily. Now, the only picture I had of her was when she was a young nun in a habit so I didn’t know who to look for. It was a particularly busy day and many people exited the elevator while we waited but the minute she stepped out, I knew it was her. She walked up to me, gave me a long hug and I immediately felt an overwhelming calmness that drew me to tears.

We all sat down in a private parlor and talked about everything under the sun. She shared a few more of her and mom’s adventures including an impromptu trip to San Francisco that angered both of their parents. (Now I know where I got my need for spontaneity!) We lamented over the Seahawks Superbowl loss (she’s a big fan), discussed our enthusiasm towards Pope Francis and, of course, spoke of mom’s last days.
As we ended the visit and said our good-byes, Sister Alexis kissed me on the cheek and hugged me. Once again the tears flew. Although wrapped in Sister’s arms, I felt like I was in my mother’s, and for the first time since her passing I was at peace.
God knew the pain I still carried in my heart and used mom’s oldest and dearest friend to soothe it.
A little about Sister Alexis: Barbara Melancon entered the Sisters of Providence in 1949 and made her profession in 1951. She taught school for thirty-five years then managed Emilie House (low-income housing for the elderly) for sixteen. Between assignments, she took a sabbatical to Jerusalem, Israel, for nine months. At that time, she had a jeweler make a silver ring with old Hebrew letters that said, “I have loved you with an everlasting love.” She wears it to this day because it expresses the relationship she has with Jesus that was deepened and strengthened in her time in the Holy Land.

Please visit Patti's blog-Gridiron Granny Football Fanatic:


  1. Nice tribute to your mom and Sister Alexis.

  2. beautiful story about your Mom and Sister Alexis. They must have been something together. Thanks for sharing.