A small group gathered this morning at the school in solidarity and to sing our school hymn, and I was able to join via live transmission. It was special, and I'm so grateful I could be part of that moment that helped bring some closure to us all. I could barely sing through the tears, and was glad to end the song with our traditional cheer, ¡Espíritu, fuá!
I can't imagine all the ways my life would have been different had it not been for the blessing of Colegio Espíritu Santo. I may very well owe my strong faith to this institution and the many teachers and inspiring nuns who instilled in me, beginning in third grade, not only a deep, abiding faith and trust in God but also a discerning mind and spirit. My strong prayer life and desire to live a life of service are rooted deeply in Espíritu, our teachers, and the various organizations to which I belonged there.
The blessing of an academically solid bilingual education with a strong foundation of faith, truth, and hope are incomparable gifts. I am forever grateful to my parents for driving 30 minutes in city traffic each day to get my brother and I to school all those years!
I learned to love theater and dance even more through our professionally planned and executed talent shows, for which we became known all over the island. I also experienced the blessing of true community, something desperately needed in our world today.
As the author of four books, I am so grateful for the class where I mastered speedy typing! And who can forget the 'torneos' we'd host and staff faithfully (concessions, anyone?) and the away games we'd join regularly to cheer for our teams and friends!
My friend group -- such exceptional human beings -- are still in my daily life more than thirty years later. What would life be like without each of you, my dear friends? I can't even imagine it. I love you ALL, whether we remain actively involved in each others' lives or not. I love each of you as the family you are!
Finally, I join all CES alumni in expressing our immense gratitude to EVERY teacher who invested in our education and in our lives. Some of you were quite literally lifelines during some of our toughest times in life. Your investment in the formation and lives of young people has left an enduring legacy of love and excellence that will continue to bear good fruit down the generations.
We LOVE you -- our amazing teachers -- and we are GRATEFUL for each of you. Thank YOU.
Going forward, no matter what happens, I know there is something we all can do to give back, and it has to do with how we continue to live our lives. Each of us will keep the fire of the Spirit alive, making sure the education we received at our Alma Mater continues to make a difference in our communities and in the people we are called to serve, influence, and love. Let that be our legacy for Espíritu.
¡CES por siempre!
Con gran amor, gratitud y esperanza, gracias a nuestro Dios, quien es la Verdad, nunca nos falta y es el mismo ayer, hoy y por siempre. (With much love, gratitude, and hope -- thanks to our God -- who is the Truth, never fails us, and is the same yesterday, today, and forever.)
Amaryllis (Dr. Mari)
Video from this morning's gathering at Colegio Espíritu Santo.
Video of children singing our school hymn during the pandemic.
Our school hymn, written by Frankie Jirau: