Emily’s Letter


As my hands and arms continue to weaken I decided to save some energy and start sharing some of the beautiful and inspirational letters I’ve received from friends and family. I received the following letter from a family friend, Emily Sterritt Johnson, who happens to be one of Kelly’s best friends.

Dearest Rosemary,

I hope this email finds you doing well and most importantly smiling because of Harrison, the newest miracle in your life. I am emailing because I recently had an encounter I had to share with you.

This past evening, a friend invited me to join a mom’s group called Wine and The Word. It’s sort of a book club where we drink wine, of course, and read a chapter of A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms. This week’s focus was on Saint Josephine Bakhita, a woman whose childhood was tragically marked by kidnapping, enslavement, human trafficking but later on worked through her immense physical pain to solely support the Church’s mission.

The question to ponder throughout the evening was: “What enslaves you and separates you from complete union with God?” I could have screamed my answer: suffering. My thoughts went immediately to you. As my turn came, I shared your life, your story, your blog, your words and actions. I also shared my quickness to anger at God and tendency to separate from Him, when He is not able to answer my question: “Why give us such amazing people to love, people who make the world better, for such a short period of time that leads to an immense amount of suffering, only to take them away?” Almost instantaneously, a new friend quoted the gospel of John, chapter 9.

Even with my Catholic education, and having been a Catholic schoolteacher for the past nine years, I’m not sure I’ve ever gone to the Bible for any sort of guidance or answers. I guess you could say it’s just not my style, but this spoke volumes:

John Chapter 9 The Man Born Blind 1) As he passed by he saw a man blind from birth. 2) His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3) Jesus answered, “Neither he nor his parents sinned; it is so that the works of God might be made visible through him. 4) We have to do the works of the one who sent me while it is day. 5) While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

Rosemary, we are all in awe of the incredible grace from God that shines on us through you. Your words and actions make God visible to me, and no doubt, to countless others.

You are one of the chosen ones and how blessed are we.

PS – As I typed this email, I went in search of a Bible in our house so that I could adequately share the verses, and found one from junior high at MCC. I found this in the back cover, see attached picture. I’m not even sure you are supposed to write in the Bible, let alone treat it as a yearbook, but your daughter and I sure did, and it made my smile!

I bet it was 29 days till Florida

So Much Love,


back cover

3 thoughts on “Emily’s Letter

  1. What a beautiful letter. I remember her from Mass at Our Lady of Grace when she was a little girl. I also believe God allows suffering so that others may serve.

  2. Rosemary what a wonderful note and what encouraging words for all of but most especially you during this difficult chapter of your life. You are one by one bringing people closer in relationships with family, friends and most importantly to our God who sees and hears and knows every last thing about you. He loves you Rosemary more than possible to imagine and he is right there with you in this horrible disease and he is shining very BRIGHTLY through you to all of us. You are one of his chosen and very special to many, many of us.
    We love you Rosemary!
    Bobby and Mary Beckman

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