Reflection by Sister Elaine Marie Roggenbuck
All Administrators of North Dakota Long Term Care Facilities were asked to go to Bismarck, Wednesday, December 14, for a noon to 4 North Dakota Long Term Care Association Membership meeting regarding State funding for Long Term Care Homes. This included Sister Rebecca, Administrator of St. Anne’s Guest Home in Grand Forks.
Usually on long trips like this I get to drive. I enjoy driving. Sister Rebecca rides on the passenger side, calm and quietly embroidering, operating the rosary and spiritual CDs and the radio. She is not the back seat driver that I am. I am terrible in this regard! Just ask Sr. Rebecca.
Well, this time I was very nervous about this trip. Normally, as the driver it is a mini-vacation for me. But this time, with all the winter weather reports, news of jack-knifed semi trucks, overturned cars, skidding on ice, and sliding on black ice, I was quite apprehensive. Also, having bumped into items before because I could not stop on ice, having the experience of driving in white out conditions, and having rolled our van on black ice a few years ago, I was fearful.
Consequently, I asked numerous persons I saw in St. Anne’s to please pray for our safe trip to Bismarck and back. It was consoling as people responded with a promise of prayer, praying an extra prayer as they attended Adoration in our Chapel, prayer board petition, and many wishing us a safe trip. I knew we had the prayer backup of so many people at St. Anne’s and the community. Thanks!
Well, experiencing this in the quiet and calm of inside St. Anne’s is considerably different from hanging onto the steering wheel, searching for the two white lines on I-29 and I-94 with snow blowing across in areas, especially curves. No cruse was programmed in. It was foot driving. I drive with both feet. Then, there would be a good stretch of highway with no snow, and presumably no ice, and I did use the cruse. But, it was released as soon as any semblance of snow came.
We made it to Bismarck, which had many ice-compacted streets. Three times, the brakes scraped the tires as I tried to stop at a red light. Once we slid a little. Driving with both feet and having my left foot positioned to brake at any time as needed, I got a charlie horse in my left leg entering Bismarck. Had to massage it.
Through all of this, I often felt tense. Then I said to myself, “Sister Elaine, you have all these people praying for both of you back home. Our Lord Himself, our Blessed Mother: Our Lady of the Highways, and your faithful Guardian Angel, all are helping you drive. Goodness sakes! Use your faith and trust. That’s what it is for.” And I did.
It worked! I was calm, confident, peaceful, yet still careful and vigilant. God expects us to do our part, too. He, our Blessed Mother, and your Guardian Angel, surely are trustworthy. Trust! It really works. God loves us all!