As a recent graduate of Lincoln Land Community College I would like to reflect on community, and the experience of community that forms us as persons.
All our life is a lesson in the giving and receiving of love. The family is the place of our first education in love. But our experience of family can be so broken. God is the ultimate healer of our hearts, and also calls us to Himself through love, received and given, in our friendships and the communities we form.
During my time at Lincoln Land I have experienced the strength and the beauty of the family of the college. I have benefitted from the care and concern of our professors who genuinely mentor students and help them to grow and flourish. Most importantly, I feel I have a home there.
There’s something about dissecting cats together that makes you bond. Or standing together in a dark physics lab watching for a charge to light up gas in an enclosed tube. You bond even more in the x-ray program, as you laugh, cry, and stress over lab comps and giving your first barium enema.
Over the last year my father has fought cancer. At the beginning of this month he passed away. Thankfully I was able to spend some time with him at his home in Canada before he died. My fellow x-ray students e-mailed me to support me while I was in Canada. Staff throughout the hospital prayed for him. The shuttle man in the Vancouver airport who saw me going and coming inquired after him. The gentleman working in the produce section at County Market put my dad’s name in the prayer chain at his church. There are so many people who have held me in prayer and supported me over the last year. My time in Springfield has been blessed and truly a wonderful experience.
As an x-ray student, I did my clinicals at St. John’s hospital. The x-ray techs there welcomed us into their ranks and taught us with patience and humor. They have also been there to laugh and cry with us during our educational journey. I loved seeing the surprise parties they threw for our radiologists on their birthdays. We also walked with the family of a tech who was severely injured in a car accident.
The flowering of communion between persons is the fruit of the finest elements of our humanity. The greatest civilizations are those which care for their weak, sick, young, vulnerable and elderly. Working in healthcare gives us an opportunity to reaffirm patients’ human dignity and show them love when they most need care and sensitivity. I am happy to have met so many wonderful people and grateful that I was able to share kindness and care with them. Suffering is a mystery in which God draws close. The person who suffers can become bitter or embrace his personal limitations with grace and nobility. I am humbled and awed by patients who bear their illness with a generous spirit. Dealing well with suffering seems to be the fruit of a life lived generously. My time at the hospital has motivated me to live life cultivating the strength of character needed to surrender graciously when I can no longer take care of myself. I am grateful to know that my religious family of Sisters will be there for me throughout life and at its evening.
As a member of the Sisters of St. Francis of the Martyr St. George I participate in our mission to make Christ’s merciful love visible. I am grateful for the education I have received and look forward to serving at our hospital in Alton. Thank you to everyone in Springfield who helped to make my years here so full of love and laughter!
Sister Mary Gianna Nazar was named the 2015 Outstanding Graduate at LLCC. She graduated with high honors with an associate in applied science degree in radiography and an associate in general education degree.