A Dream Come True

Yesterday, I was able to see an old friend realize a long-held dream.  She didn't want to go to Disneyworld.  She didn't want to fly in a hot air balloon.  She didn't want to go skydiving.  She didn't want to go horseback riding along the Pacific Ocean.

No, at just shy of her 89th birthday, Irene Ulanowski had a very specific dream.

To see my younger brother Philip ordained a priest and receive his blessing.

For the last six years, ever since he went to the seminary at age 18, she would tell me, "I hope I live to see him a priest!"  Through having to leave her house due to rising crime rates, to suffering a nervous breakdown, several hospital visits, rehab, moving into a senior apartments complex, to having a stroke that paralyzed her left arm and leg - through it all, Irene kept praying, clinging stubbornly to the Catholic Faith as she was raised in it and to the Polish traditions of piety handed down to her from her parents.

And yesterday, in a nursing home in Rochester, she finally realized her dream.

"You made my day," she said, with the old twinkle in her eyes.  Then she added, with a grin, "Father."

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