Sunday, September 23, 2012


Soooooo. Yeah. I finally spilled the beans. Came out. TOLD MY PARENTS THAT I'M DISCERNING!!!!! 
It didn't happen as I had hoped that it would. In fact, it was totally spur of the moment and brought about by a huge emotional breakdown at the kitchen table. But NUNtheless (teeheehee) they know now, and there's no going back...
So how did they take the news? Dad took it pretty well, and he even said, after it had sunk in for a few minutes, that he would be proud of me if I decided that it is my vocation to be a religious sister. Mom, on the other hand.... She freaked out a little and made sure that I was going to continue my education, and I wasn't going to decide that day. (I felt like saying, in a sarcastic tone, "yes, Mom, I'm going to decide tomorrow.") But  after calming her down a little, and calming myself down, I think that she is okay with it. When I make nun jokes (which I have been making all along, but now they finally get them) she laughs or comments. She even has been asking questions, which makes me happy to know that not only is she open to it, but she wants to learn more and learn why I might be attracted to it. Dad has been chatting with me about it, and he doesn't seem to mind the idea of me becoming a sister. He has even called me "Sr. Kylie," which I don't mind AT ALL! ;) He has told me where more convents are and where I can find more nuns. (He works in a window business so he has put in windows in convents around here. I call it the Catholic Desert because there are hardly any religious communities and barely any devout Catholics. And it's super tricky to find nuns here. So he's been a great help)
Anyway, a few days later (Sunday the 16th!) I sent in my first ever inquiry form to the community that has attracted me from the beginning - The Sisters of Life in The Bronx, NY. I still haven't heard back from them (it's been one week), so I feel like God is testing my patience with this. ;)
When I posted something on FaceBook about sending in an inquiry form, I was met at school with "Congratulations! You're going to be a nun!" ...(facepalm)... I had to explain to them what an inquiry form is and that I'm NOT applying to become a nun or, (my favorite) starting "training" to become a nun... But after clearing that up, people at school were very receptive to my possible vocation and were interested to learn more, since they've "Never met someone who wanted to be a nun before." (again, the Catholic Desert prevails!)
Now, NOT EVERYONE knows about my discernment. Even though I have told a few people, I like to keep it in my circle of friends and (now) family. However, one of my bosses knows, and my brother's history teacher knows (because her sister is a Salesian Sister, of John Bosco in NJ, who I have been chatting with).
Not that I'm trying to hide it because I'm ashamed. I am NOT ashamed at all! I just don't want more misconceptions about me than necessary. People hardly even know about nuns; they don't know why people "decide" to become one, nor do they know about different orders, charisms, or any other specifics. They have no idea how one becomes a nun, and I get questions ALL THE TIME about if they can have boyfriends, if people are "born into being a nun," or if they can have sex. (I tell you, CATHOLIC DESERT!!!!) And as soon as people find out that you're JUST THINKING about religious life, they automatically assume that 100%, without a doubt, you're going to be a nun. And then they ask you, "but don't you want a family? Children? SEX?" I try my best to educate those who don't know anything about the religious life, when the opportunity arises, and as long as I can't blow my cover completely.
So yeah, I finally told them. And it feels pretty good! I promised that I would keep you posted! So, now you know! :)

Thank you for reading!!

God bless you!


~Kylie P. K. Spinelli

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

36. Numb...

So this summer went from great in the beginning, to tragic in the end.

My community has just suffered a major loss. A rising junior died suddenly of an unknown infection a week ago. He is my friend's brother. And we're all numb. Angry. Sad. Distraught. Depressed. Unsettled. Confused. Blinded. Scared. ...

For the first 5 days, I was just numb. I heard constantly about "that boy who died." At work, at Church, everywhere. My priest felt the need to preach about it EVERY. DAY. at morning Mass, and during the weekend too. My heart would twist and be wrenched every time I heard his name or saw his photograph. News cameras flooded the football game played in his honor. The newspaper startled me when someone put it on the belt at work (I'm a cashier at my second job) and his photo was on it, staring back at me. I was sad, but tears wouldn't flow. I guess God was making me save them for the past two days.

Yesterday was the wake. I got there early, expecting a mob scene. The whole school, including students, faculty, staff, parents, the like, was expected to show up. I hadn't been warned that it was an open casket. I made my way through the line, hugging friends, and chatting nervously with others. I finally got to the family, and I began to tear up. After hugging his brother, I knew I would lose it. I looked ahead, and then I saw him, laying face up. Peacefully. I knelt down beside his casket and cried, and prayed for his soul. I didn't think I would lose it, but I nearly did. I got up and looked at pictures, which didn't help. So I took a few Kleenex and went out to my car, where I could cry in privacy.

Today was harder. Much harder. I had been asked to sing with 3 other friends at his funeral. I made it up to Communion when the organist played a Canon in D and the whole congregation stood up, if not to receive communion, then to just hug and pat backs and cry. It pained me to see all of his friends, family, everyone whose lives he had touched, gather for the Eucharist, and to say goodbye to a friend. As people processed up to the priest, they laid a hand on the casket. My heart broke. I teared up, but I held it together, for the most part... Until the last songs. An instrumental version of "You've got a friend in me" from Toy Story and an impromptu version of Amazing Grace. I was crying during You've Got A Friend in me, and sobbing by Amazing Grace. I tried to continue to sing, but after my voice cracked very badly, I gave up. It was so sad thinking about his brother, my friend. And how his parents have to bury their son. How it must have felt to put a shovel-full of dirt on his casket, 6 feet under. It was hard enough for me to bury my rabbit a month ago. I can only imagine burying your SON.

And I could only think of the nevers. How he would never have the experience of touring schools, of going to Prom, of waving goodbye to his parents as they drop him off at college, of getting in a car with the back window painted "JUST MARRIED" or holding his firstborn. He would never get to play on the football team again. He would never laugh or cry with his friends. He would never win another mock trial, or another student senate election. He would never get his licence, or fill out the ever (un)joyful FAFSA.  He would never ... He would never ...  But I tell you now, his family loved him - they still do. And the whole student body loves him too. And the whole community loves him now. We all love him. And we miss him. And even as I write this, I shed tears again. I've been crying on and off all day. It's truly a miracle that all tissue boxes in my house aren't empty. I know the one in my room is... My eyes hurt. His mother's must be permanently red and puffy.

Finally, after a week of fear, uncertainty, sadness, depression, anger, numbness, I finally got words on paper. I finally wrote something that I wish John could read. Maybe he's reading it over my shoulder, smiling and crying along with me. Or maybe he's patting my back and saying it's okay. But if he is, I sure wish he was doing that for his brother and not me, because I don't need it nearly as much as his brother does. School starts in 2 days, and if I were his brother, I wouldn't show up to school. Not then, not ever. I'd be in mourning perpetually, for the rest of my life.

So here's what I wrote. It's not much, but it is from my heart. Words can't describe fully what a person is feeling. Just remember that.

"Somewhere tonight, a mother cries.
Somewhere, a boy mourns his brother.
Why is it always the good one who dies,
and why hadn't God chosen another?

I want to put my arms around the family
and assure them, somehow, it's alright.
But it feels like this just shouldn't be
and a brother is underground tonight.

I don't know how to console those who mourn
but how I wish they could be comforted.
I know that their hearts are ripped and torn
thinking of the little time he was afforded.

I look at pictures of a boy I barely know
and sob as I look past his face, his smile.
I can only imagine the pain, aching sorrow
as the casket was wheeled down the aisle.

We hope that, like Christ, we will all rise
it's so hard to grasp the fact that he's gone.
And as we say our final goodbye's,
we just pray that you rest in peace, John."
-Kylie P. K. Spinelli   9/4/2012

RIP JRV 8/28/12

In our hearts for eternity