Writing Prompt #64: “52 Weeks of Gratitude Challenge” (Week 26)

Week #26: Someone You Got To Meet.

First of all, I can’t believe this post marks the halfway point of this challenge! Time is flying by!

Now, I was originally going to write about Robert Redford, but then I realized that I was only in the room with him that day in 2011, so he doesn’t count (Rats!).

However, I will talk about how I got to meet Sister Helen Prejean.

Here’s a question: Have you seen the movie Dead Man Walking (1995) with Sean Penn and Susan Sarandon?

Did you know it’s based on a true story?

I had the opportunity to write about Sister Helen’s guest lecture at Longwood University for the student newspaper, The Rotunda. I was so moved hearing about her experiences that I immediately wanted to buy both her books – Dead Man Walking (1993) and The Death of Innocents: An Eyewitness Account of Wrongful Executions (2004). The second book appealed to me because of one of the innocent men was from Virginia.

After she finished speaking, I was only able to talk with her for a few minutes, but she graciously inscribed both of my books with personal messages. She thanked me for coming out, and I offered to send her a copy of the article I was writing. I headed back to my dorm that night forever changed! Her work advocating against the death penalty will stay with me for the rest of my life – I think about her often.

The piece I wrote ended up being one of the longest in the eight semesters that I worked on the paper. It had to be significantly revised for publication, but I’m immensely proud of what I wrote, and what was published. I looked – I couldn’t find it in The Rotunda’s online archives, but I know I saved it somewhere on my computer or a flash drive. After writing this post, I’m committed to finding it – Once I do, I’ll share with you all soon.

After I graduated, I added up all of the pieces I had written for the paper. I think it was around 125 total, maybe more. It felt really good.

I’m fortunate that I was able to meet Sister Helen. She changed my world view, forever.


Until the next headline, Laura Beth πŸ™‚

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6 thoughts on “Writing Prompt #64: “52 Weeks of Gratitude Challenge” (Week 26)

  1. That’s so interesting! I’ve never seen that movie, nor did I know it was based on a real story, but your post made me interested in seeing & reading them both!

    I’m looking forward to reading your article when you post it! Good luck finding it without much difficulty! πŸ™‚

    • It is fascinating. I knew about the movie, but I hadn’t seen it before Sister Helen gave that lecture. I think I watched it over Christmas break that year. I devoured both books, and have re-read them several times.

      Thanks! I really want to find it. I can’t wait to read it again.

  2. Wow, sounds like she provided you eye opening food for thought.

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