February 3, 2021

Temporary Help—Topped with Whipped Cream

Sister M. Irena Kober

Interview of Sister M. Irena with Sister M. Elinor Grimm

Sr M. Irena: Sr. M. Elinor, since the middle of November you have been in Algäu. How did that happen? Otherwise you are in Dachau and Kösching?

Sister M. Elinor: Shortly before my name day I received a phone call from my superior on the province council asking if I would be ready to help out with care in our small nursing home. Of course I said yes! It goes without saying that we help one another. The memorial was closed because of Covid-19. I can also work digitally from the Algäu, I thought. So “head over heels” I packed, taking also my PC, as a precaution my Christmas mail…that I actually wanted to get done in time in this pandemic year…But it turned out quite differently…

Sr. M. Irena: Now you would also be there for Christmas!

Sister M. Elinor: I didn’t want to leave them in the lurch after a co-worker had to return to India before Christmas and the manager’s health was only slowly improving. When we work together then it is not too much for anyone. Because the priest for the home lives there, the in-person Holy Masses were a very special gift!

In the time of the coronavirus and, in addition, in the shrine that is used here with the entrance hall as house chapel! There is always a beautiful prayer atmosphere!

Sr. M. Irena: Was anything special, or were there problems, for example because of Covid-19…

Sr. M. Elinor: It is another gift that so far we have been spared of coronavirus cases. The residents have hardly any contact with the outside world, but doctor appointments are necessary, there have been various hospital stays, and employees come in the house…

It is a special joy that there was snow in the beginning of December and just before Christmas. That looked beautiful: Trees with snow, the shrine capped with a “whipped cream” and the view to the snow-covered mountains-wonderful! This is an additional gift—a thank you from heaven for all of your efforts!

I am also grateful that I managed the work because I haven’t been directly active in my profession as a nurse for a long time. Until recently, I helped out in Koeshing, especially with sisters affected by dementia. Here in Nesselwang a case of acute care was added. We did not want to send the elderly sister to the hospital, especially since she was almost blind and it was foreseeable that she would soon be on her last journey into eternity. The house doctor agreed. These last weeks were strenuous due to night duty. Older co-sisters helped so we managed! For my co-sister, the doors of heaven opened the fourth Sunday of Advent. She was able to go home very peacefully to the sound of the parish church’s Sunday chimes our contemplative prayers and singing in the background and. That was really beautiful!

Sr. M. Irena: You can feel the closeness of heaven, the help of the Mother of God.

Sr. M. Elinor: That impressed me again and again when I was allowed to accompany sick, dying people and could be there at exactly the right moment. You can’t make that happen—it’s a pure gift. I think these people have probably also asked for that.

I see it as another gift that I have gotten to know the house here better; in the basement there is a youth-wing with a self-serve kitchen.

I dream of a Dachau-youth project. Youth could join the Cicerone project and possibly live here. Their commitment would be to help at the religious memorial sites in Dachau on weekends and during vacations…Besides they could experience events, also at the Schoenstatt Centers in the area and perhaps also with Karl Leisner in Planegg where he died—Dreams for the post-corona-time.