I was thirty-eight, the mother of four teen-aged children. Life was good, very good. My husband, Fred, had a fine job that provided for all our needs. He was a loving, caring man. We were a very united family, and drew our strength from the church community.
But there was something wrong with me. I didn’t seem to have the energy I used to. I went to the doctor, and he told me I had a vitamin deficiency and he prescribed a lot vitamins. They worked for a while. When I returned to the doctor, he ordered lab tests. When the results came back he asked me to come in. My mind raced with fear and anxiety.
When I arrived he told me, “there is no easy way to tell you this but you have leukemia.”
“What can be done?”
“Oh, there are treatments but I can’t offer you much hope your condition is very aggressive and advanced.”
My perfect life was shattered. How could I tell Fred and the children? On the way home I sobbed. I was young, too young to die; I stopped at church to say a prayer. By the time I got home I had composed myself. The kids were at school, but Fred was home working on a project. He took one look at me and put his arms around me and said, “We will work through this, whatever it is.”
A week later, I was in the hospital. I slept most of the time, but was awakened often with the pin prick of a needle which took blood samples. Soon I couldn’t breathe and the doctors inserted an airway to help. I was slipping into a comma and was moved to Intensive Care Unit. That is when the doctor told Fred to be prepared for the worst. Fred and I tried to say goodbye, but I couldn’t bring myself to say goodbye to the children.
The church hadn’t given up on me. They came to the visitor’s room two or three times a week to pray the rosary. So many people came that the hospital asked that the church limit the size of the crowd. The women cooked for my family and delivered the food every night.
One particular evening, I was all alone. The nurses were busy with others. In the solitude, I asked myself, “Would tonight be my last one on earth?” Then it happened. I saw a man. I couldn’t make out his face, but I felt I hadn’t seen him before, but then again, I was in and out of a comma. He leaned over the bed and said, “Do you know a miracle has happened here tonight.” I nodded my acceptance. Then the man left as quickly as he had come, and I never saw him again.
Two days later, the airway was removed. My blood counts returned to normal. The Leukemia was gone. No one could explain my return from death’s door, but I could:
“And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age” (Mt. 28:20).
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