Today I remember in a special way the anniversary of the death of my younger sister, Teresa Marie, who passed into eternal life six years ago after succumbing to a long battle with leukemia.
I was in Manaus, Brazil working on my film Embracing the Leper during the last weeks of her life. I called her as often as I could, but phones in the area where I was were hard to find. I returned home on a Friday and was informed that the next day they were putting Terry into hospice care. My impulse was to rush to her side. But I had caught a nasty cold in the Amazon; it was so bad I could hardly speak. My family persuaded me to stay home and rest over the weekend and travel to New York on Monday. Terry died on Sunday. To this day, I regret not getting the chance to see her one last time, to hug her and tell her I loved her.
Terry was truly a loving person, who gave herself fully to everyone she encountered.
I miss her very much.
A publisher (who rejected my book on St. Francis) asked who the market was for the book. Without hesitation, I said, “My kid sister.”