“Do not wait for leaders;
do it alone, person-to-person.”
Mother Teresa (Albanian nun, 1910-1997)

Stella was Polish, a devout Catholic, married to a man named Frank, and they had two sons. I don’t believe either son lived to reach the age of 50. Later in life, Frank started to lose his eyesight, and then he went blind.

The son of a family they knew, an older adult with a disability, became too much for his own family to handle. Rather than sending him to a care facility, Stella and Frank took him in to live with them.

With every sadness, every obstacle, every lemon handed to Stella made her more determined than ever to help others. She never stopped working for those less fortunate … the poor. She was always collecting clothes, food, house goods, etc. If you had something to donate, Stella would take it and make good use of it. Frank was a carpenter, and he was great at making repairs to most anything.

Stella would prepare meals for those who had no one to help them. She took people to all kinds of appointments, the pharmacy, the grocery store, or she shopped for them. She never stopped doing for others.

Going to church was the only time Stella slowed down. She loved the Lord, and she loved going to church.

One year, Stella went to Rome with a group from her church, and she met the Pope. I kid you not, Stella met the Pope. If anyone should have met the Pope it was Stella. When she returned home and talked about her trip, you could tell she had been humbled by the honor. Stella was more determined than ever to help the needy.

Stella passed away a many years ago at the age of 93. She lived a full life doing for others; oftentimes, doing it alone. She never waited for someone to tell her to start or stop. Stella had the compassion and drive and determination to see that others didn’t go without.

To me, Stella was a living saint. Everyone who knew her was changed in some way and always for the better.

© Catherine Evermore. All rights reserved.

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