The passing of my dear friend Sister Teresa Mitchell at the Carmel in Eugene leaves the world a darker place. She always reminded me of one of my favorite flowers, the daffodil — a bright and cheerful spot in the gray cold of spring.
I first met Sister Teresa when we were the only girls in physics class at Ashland High School. I was an underclassman, stepping out of my own group to attend a senior-level class, and she took me under her wing. She continued to mentor and watch over me when we enrolled at Robertson’s School of Business. She already knew how to type, but I didn’t, so she encouraged me and applauded my beginner’s efforts.
If I chose two words to sum up Sister Teresa’s life, those words would be “care” and “service.” She cared for and served her family and friends. I will always remember the cakes she would make for my birthday and the Christmas candles and ornaments that she made and gave each year. She also cared for and served her fellow creatures, getting up at dawn to tend her horses and rushing home from school to exercise and train them.
I often was amazed by the energy and dedication she brought to her service. Even when serving as mother superior or prioress, she was working hard in the gardens to prepare them for spring planting. Recently, as her health declined, she wrote about rededicating herself to iconography. Always she wanted to be doing and working and creating.
Albuquerque, New Mexico