I'm getting ready to head to SLC for the visitation of Carmela Nielsen.
I loved her. As a teenager she was an influence, a force for all that is good to me. She was motherly, a protector, a professional, caring, smart, funny and beautiful. She was a physical therapist at my dad's clinic at Holy Cross. I hear her scolding me, with love, about the importance of being on time, about wearing socks with my shoes to work. About presenting myself with confidence, about standing up straighter. Where else does one learn these lessons? In the years since I worked at the clinic whenever I would see her she would light-up. Is that not the most incredible feeling - when some is physically brightened by your presence? She was joyous, her voice was full of depth and reflected the character deep inside her. I was fascinated by the stories of her life, of serving in the Israeli army. She taught me about treating all people with dignity (the homeless that would sometimes enter the clinic and she would say, "prepare a hotpack and let them have a place to rest"), about sucking it up and doing your job (when I would balk at cleaning the whirlpool after a burn victim may have been treated). Love and safety are the words that fill my mind today. I miss you. I want to be like you.