The Road That Made All The Difference

By Michelle Kreib • June 15, 2016

A few years ago, my sister passed this letter on to me. It was a type-written copy. I did research to discover whether or not it is actually a letter or if it was written to make a point, but I found nothing. According to the sparse background information that was on the copy, the young man who supposedly wrote it fought in the Korean War. It is a letter to his former school teacher, who was a nun. Whether it is a true letter or fiction, I found it very inspirational.

"Dear Sister,

By the time you receive this letter, I will no longer be of this earth. I received a severe injury in combat yesterday, and the doctor here informed me that I will probably not last through the rest of the week. Don’t worry, Sister, I went to confession and received the Last Rites. I am scared, but I’m also confident that I am prepared for my last journey. My friends told me that in the military you see the world. Looks like I’m getting more than I bargained for because I will be seeing much more than just the world soon enough.

I already wrote my parents, and it’s possible that I will get to speak to them later. But, I felt that I should write you, too. I want to thank you, Sister, for all you have done for me. Since I was a little boy, it seems, you have always been there watching over me, teaching me my Faith, giving me an education, and trying to keep me out of trouble. I’m sorry I was such a handful and gave you so much trouble, Sister. Really, I am. I never actually stopped to think just how much you and all the sisters did both by your work and your prayers. Boy, you all do pray a lot. And, I thank God for that.

When I was trying to figure out what to say in this letter, I thought much about what you and the other sisters have done for me and for the other children you have taught and teach now. But then I really got to thinking, how much good you do for the whole world by your prayers and sacrifices. I can honestly tell you, Sister, I’ve seen war, and it is terrible. But how much worse it could be if you and the other sisters were not praying and sacrificing. How many more and how many greater wars there would be. This thought reminds me of one of your favorite poems, Sister. Remember? That one I could never memorize? Well, you made me read it so often it’s in my head now. It’s “The Road not Taken” by Robert Frost. I sincerely believe that that poem is about you, Sister, the ending in particular. “Two roads diverged in a wood,” and you, Sister, you took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference. The road you took, the life your chose, has made all the difference to me and to all those you have taught. And it has made all the difference in this world. And words cannot express my thankfulness and appreciation for you, Sister.

The next time you hear from me will be, I pray, in Heaven. Please don’t forget me, Sister. Pray for me, and Mom and Dad, too. Until we meet again, I remain your devoted student and friend,

Charlie"

Be grateful for everyone who has made a difference in your life and don’t wait until it’s too late to thank them and let them know they made a difference to you.

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