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Letter to Petra, by Lola Giménez FI

December 11, 2016

My dear Petra,
I’m going on the train after leaving you in Madrid. With the void left by your absence and with many feelings alternating, it is as if pain and fraternity, pain and affection, mystery and hope were going hand in hand … But gratitude has been intense as well: to God who gave you Life, to your family that left its mark in you and imprinted a way of being in you, and to the Congregation that has helped you grow, to us your sisters, friends and colleagues who were fortunate to share with you work, hopes and dreams, horizons and even sufferings.
Everything has been for you an opportunity to smile, listen, understand, accept … You have managed to make life easy, you have managed to transmit happiness and to infect with the desire to live. You have planted what we have already begun to harvest …
I have known you and loved you. I think I could understand your word which was condensed and full of content with your laughter and your guffaw that I never found superficial … Many times your silence spoke and your gestures and your eyes were able to synthesize the wealth that you carried in your heart.
When you entered the Congregation, to the reasonable position of your parents who wanted you to finish the year you were missing to complete your career, your only reasoning was: “It’s my moment!” Now God has also chosen his moment for you, your time …
It pains me very much that you are not here, but I’m glad you’ve arrived. Is it because you liked to walk, because you needed to walk? Because you were quick in your decisions and projects?
Only in the last stage did the illness paralyze desires and plans that were programmed … and it further developed your ability to communicate: your silence, your hands, your eyes, your monosyllables spoke…
Your last words will always remain with me. They were saturated with a universal flavor because you reminded me that the sisters in the renewal course in Bolivia were finishing their SpEx and a message had to be sent to them. In your last moments your mind flew where you could no longer go.
I thank the Lord for having allowed me to accompany you during your last exercises in September. Your availability was firm and the principle and foundation was very clear. With ups and downs of desolation but with the evident security in the God who surprises and loves you and wants you to put yourself once more in His hands. The symbol of the fig tree that was so expressive in defining your moment and your situation. But your mathematical mind was fading away with the gospel. And your surrender was full of generosity, detachment; you always used to choose a place to put yourself in …
Thank you, Petra !! No longer can your laughter be heard from outside but it is as if it had been embedded in the heart as the best gift given by friends. Do not forget what you have left, what you have built, what you have desired and what you have loved.
In silence, without words and without laughter and before your lifeless person, I have recalled with the heart many moments lived with you, many confidences full of concern and affection … I have heard what so many times has been so important in your life, those desires to follow Jesus …
Murcia, Elche, Madrid, Granada, teachers, Alcor and so many people who came to say goodbye, we wept and we consoled each other. Xavier’s Christ has received you and has fused his smile with yours.
We have been left with your death and you take LIFE with you. I told Our Lady to put us, too, next to her Son. Watch so that we may be Daughters of Jesus according to the desire of M. Candida, send us a young woman to take your place and … as there is no time, soon we will meet!
My embrace is joined to that of so many people who miss you. Your older sister loves you,

Lola Giménez fi