She has never known a moment without pain. At eight, her leg was crushed in an avalanche and had to be crudely amputated in the field. At twenty-two, she was disowned by her family. When she was five months pregnant with her daughter, the baby's father left for good, never to be seen again.
Somehow, she made her way to America. Somehow, she found a minimum-wage job as a home health caregiver.
The years passed. To save money, she slept in the same bed with her 25 year old daughter, who has a minimum wage job cleaning out city buses.
The pair saved every penny they could earn. All they asked for was an honest wage for honest work.
Somehow, this past Sunday, Mrs. Dayangji Sherpa, from a one bedroom walk-up apartment in Woodside, Queens, New York, took USD $50,000. --- her entire life's savings -- and commissioned the full reading of the Kangyur, dedicating it to the welfare of all sentient beings. According to the New York Times, "For nearly 40 days, ending last week, about a dozen monks called from around the region read eight hours a day, aloud and simultaneously, seated cross-legged in a converted brick church in Elmhurst."
I pray that the name of Dayangji Sherpa, and that of her daughter Nima, be remembered forever in this land of America.
One remark she made, in particular, sticks in my mind: "People can do this, but nobody does it."
May It Be Auspicious!