Sr. Hortulane at Immaculate Conception High School in Lodi, N.J. was my French instructor, who happened to notice there were a few students who were not doing well in their studies and took it upon herself to keep these students after school to find out what was happening at home first, then try to counsel us during the hour she detained us.
My home life was not conducive to helping me with my studies due to the fact my dad was unpredictable when it came to his drinking, then bringing strange people home afterwards from the tavern he had been in. Very often, we would get a call in the middle of the night to drive across the George Washington Bridge to pick him up and drive him home. Invariably, when we’d arrive, my dad would not be there because he took the Red ‘n Tan bus across the George Washington Bridge where he’d fall asleep and be dropped off at the last stop in New York State. Needless to say, when it came to school and the work involved, I would be fighting myself to stay awake and try to do a decent day’s work in class. Invariably, I at times thought of suicide, that my home life combined with the failures done at school, my self esteem was at its ebb.
Thank goodness for Sr. Hortulane, who helped us get on the right track to do well, not only in class, but at home as well. Today, I am a wife, mother, grandmother, and great grandmother who loves her husband of 57 years and our adopted son, who has given us beautiful families to share with for the rest of our days. Sr. Hortulane is forever in my prayers. Thank you.