Nada Te Turbe
Let Nothing Disturb You
Nada Te Espante
Let Nothing Frighten You
Todo Se Pasa
All Things Pass Away
Today, the second anniversary of my Mother’s death, I share these words written by the Spanish mystic, religious reformer and Doctor of the Church Teresa of Avila in the 1500s. Written long before George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass, Teresa’s words of calm assurance and spiritual conviction were like a mantra for our Mother; the underpinning for how she tried to live; the gift she wanted to share.
As I wrote in my last post, I have gained tremendous solace from friends’ words of comfort since my mother’s death. But the reverse is also true. In the days after her death, it was our challenge to find words to celebrate our Mother’s life and spirit and in turn help comfort our family and friends.
We chose Nada Te Turbe as the cornerstone of our tribute. We printed the words on her Memorial Card; etched it on her gravestone; reiterated them in her eulogy.
I have re-read the eulogy many times during the last two years. Each time I feel a sense of tranquility and even joy. My sister and I collaborated on the ideas but the vision and most of the words belonged to my sister. She captured our Mother’s essence; her serious resolve, her gentle leadership; her mischievous gaiety.
Delivered at the conclusion of the funeral Mass, my sister shared our Mother’s story, and then addressed her with many of the affectionate nicknames bestowed over the years:
Well, my dearest, sweetest Pico, you taught us how to be sisters; you taught us independence and self-reliance, resilience and enthusiasm. You taught us in the words of St. Teresa of Avila:
“Let nothing disturb you
Let nothing frighten you
All things pass away
God never changes
Patience obtains all things
Whoever has God lacks nothing
God alone suffices.”
My sister continued:
But lest you think I have emphasized piety over playfulness, during Hallie’s last visit with her, while eating a banana split, our Mother announced: ‘If there is no ice cream in heaven, I’m not interested!’
Dear Mama, dear Pico, dear Miss Yuma, dear Queen of Hearts: