When all Hope is lost Miracles can still happen. This is about one of those Miracles.
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When Tragedy Happens
It was a beautiful spring day when a phone call came in. Rosa answers the call. It was the doctor's office calling about the test results she had done last week. The news was not good.
The nurse said. "The blood work came back positive for Cancer and she needed to come in for further testing and talk about possible treatments and options."
Her eyes watered up heavy, tears running down her face like a small waterfall as she sat and listened to the words the nurse was saying. Rosa was in shock, barely understanding the conversation going on.
Her mind started racing with thoughts of; "Why is this happening to me?" She didn't feel any different than the last time her arthritis acted up and the doctor prescribed her anti inflammatory's and it cleared up within a few days.
Rosa's husband Bill was in the garden when she received the bad news. The nurse set up an appointment for her to come in on the following Monday at nine o'clock am.
Bill happened to walk in during the conversation, he noticed Rosa with a box of Kleenex in her hands. He heard the phone ring but assumed it was one of the kids calling to chat then he saw Rosa's eyes were swollen like she was stung by a bee, but it wasn't anything like that.
His heart sank like a ship in the ocean. No words were spoken between them. He knew whatever it is making her cry was not good news. He waited patiently for the call to be over. As soon as she finished, she hung the phone up.
Rosa told him what the nurse just said. "I have Cancer and it is spreading all over my breasts." His eyes filled up with tears as soon as she said the c-word, he sat down beside her and held her tightly. No words were spoken only the sound of their hearts beating could be heard. They cried together for quite some time, nearly finishing a box of tissues between them.
"I will stand by you no matter what we need to do to fight this tragedy, Rosa you are not alone." He held her hands in his and together they prayed for a miracle.
Monday morning came, Rosa and Bill walk into the doctor's office. They were greeted with complete empathy by everyone. The doctor begins to explain to them the options and treatment plans. Rosa (somewhat present) stares out the window as the doctor talks. She is listening, but she is not listening, she gazes at a small sparrow playing in a tree just outside the room. Bill asks the doctor. "What should we expect to happen to her during treatments and is there anything more that we can do?"
He tells them, " Pray! The power of prayer is about the only thing they can do. The rest is left up to how Rosa's body responds to medication and treatment. He explains another option is removing the breasts.
On the drive back home Rosa asks Bill to stop by the cemetery because she suddenly feels the need to be closer to their family members who have passed away. They give each other a sad look, then he holds her hand and she tries her best not to cry and smiles back.
Bill parks the car close to the family's gravesides. Their first child, a son who died shortly after he was born is placed on the left side of her mother who was killed by a drunk driver many years ago when Rosa was a teenager. Within three - years of her mother's death. Her father passed away from sheer loneliness. Then her eldest brother Davie was killed in Vietnam in the late nineteen sixties. He lay on the right side next to her father. Rosa reaches out to touch all their headstones, and she asks them for help with this Cancer in her body.
Their tears began again when she tells them that she will be with them soon because this Cancer has spread too far to save her. Bill says softly to Rosa.
"They will have to wait quite a bit longer honey because I'm not going to give up on you." They hugged each other and cried a few more tears before leaving the cemetery.
That evening their two daughters came over for dinner. They each have three children, the eldest has girls and their second daughter has boys. It gets crazy around the house when they are all there, but Rosa and Bill love it all the same. Afterward, Bill and Rosa sat the girls down to explain what has been happening inside her body because of the Cancer.
The intense moments following the explanation of what they will expect during treatments required a lot more tissues. " Why, and how could this be? " Were the questions asked over and over by all the kids.
Bill tells them, " they can help, but only by the 'power of prayer' and support during her treatments that are going to cause her severe sickness and weakness. No one knows why this happens, it just happens to some people."
He informs them that her first chemotherapy treatment starts on Friday morning and she will be required to stay in the hospital for a couple days afterward. They agreed at the same time. "We want to be there with you both, we love you so much and we'll get through this, you'll see!"
Replied the eldest daughter.
The girls and their children stayed late into the evening to talk and help her pack up a few items that she might want to have with her at the hospital. Like her books to read and maybe a little makeup.
" We love you Mom and we'll see you Friday morning." They all left giving grandma and grandpa kisses and hugs. As soon as they got back to their homes, they called everyone they knew to tell them the news then asked for prayers for their mom.
The week went by fast. It was hard for Rosa to focus on much of anything these days. Her thoughts are mostly of her death, and what would her funeral be like. She imagines herself witnessing her service. " What would my family and friends talk about? Was I a good person? Will I be missed? Or forgotten?"
It has been consuming her mind all week. As soon as Bill and Rosa pulled up to the hospital that Friday morning, it was as though a national news flash went out all over town about her having Cancer. When they approached the lobby there was a sea of family and friends that were standing there before them to pray and support her. Rosa smiled, she hugged and cried with everyone there. Bill was overwhelmed and he didn't feel alone that day. The outpouring of love and kindness was grander than they could have ever imagined.
A longtime friend of theirs made his way through the crowd. He was also the Priest of their church. When he saw Rosa and Bill he asked them if he could begin a community prayer before they take her in for treatment.
" By all means," replied Bill. Everyone gathered around Rosa and Bill hand in hand until slowly they disappeared into the sea of family and friends. The Priest began the prayer with, " Dear Lord Our Father in Heaven, we ask of thee to protect this honored lady Rosa and give her the strength to fight this Cancer that has entered her body and allow her the miracle of life you have given her so she can continue to live your gift longer with her family and friends."
As he spoke those words a flash of light suddenly flickered like when lightning hits and quickly jolts the power off then on again during a thunderstorm. He ended the prayer with an " Amen " that was said by everyone there in unison, then it happened once again. No one really paid any attention to the power jolts because it happens a lot in this old town.
Then after a few moments of silence, everyone began to give their best wishes to Rosa as the nurse came over to take her away for treatment. Everyone there said, " We love you Rosa! " They cried out to her until she could no longer be seen. Bill held her hand for as long as he could. The nurse assured him that she will be fine and they would bring him and their daughters back to her as soon as they were finished. When he let go of her hand he couldn't help himself and he broke down on his knees in prayer. Their daughters and friends gathered around him with loving hugs and support.
Bill and the girls were waiting in her room when the nurses brought her in. She looked like she had not slept in a week or more. She looks like she ran a marathon, exhausted and tired and when they put her into her bed she suddenly had to vomit over and over again even though there was nothing in her stomach. The chemo had made her so sick. The nurses asked them to step out of the room so they could clean her up.
Bill nearly wore out the print on the floor from pacing, nervous and upset, wanting so much to be in there with her. Finally, the door opened and the nurse told them, " She gave her some medication to help her rest." Bill rushed in and kissed her head. He told her how much he was still in love with her and that he couldn't think of living without her. Their girls were holding her other hand with tear filled eyes. "We love you Mommy so much. Everything will be okay!" They both felt it was the best thing to say that wouldn't make her feel worse.
Visiting hours started coming to a close. The children are getting tired and it's time to go. "We will be back in the morning." They said before they left.
The hospital laid out a small cot for Bill to sleep on so he could stay with Rosa. As she laid there so quiet and peaceful he began to pray again. He couldn't hear anything but the lonely sound of his own voice asking God for a Miracle.
During the next few days, Rosa's strength slowly began to come back. Her arms were very bruised from all the blood that had to be taken everyday.
It is finally the day for her to go home. Rosa was so happy to see the house again, though it was only a week to her it felt like a year.
Bill cared for her like a newborn in great need of its mother. He cooked, cleaned, did all the washing and more. If he had to shop one of the children would sit with her until he returned. She was never left alone.
When the time came for Rosa's first follow up from the cancer treatment she hugged Bill and said, "No matter what, I'll be with you always and forever."
The follow up went quickly along with more blood that was needed from her still bruised arms. The doctor said. "As soon as the tests come back we will call you in for another treatment. Until then I have no further changes."
It was a week later when they were having their morning tea and biscuits watching the news that has become a ritual for many years now. The call came in and the nurse said to her, " that some of the tests came back inconclusive and that she would have to come back in for more blood work and more x-rays."
A sickening feeling came over Rosa at that moment. " Not again!" She repeats over and over in anger. Her eyes beginning to water. Rosa yells out,
"Inconclusive, what does that mean?" ( She knows what it means, but the sarcasm in her voice left Bill with a curious expression on his face.)
She slams the phone down and tells him what was just explained to her and what more has to be done, which is nearly everything she's already been through because it's all, " inconclusive results. "Neither of them knew what to think. They did what was asked again. The testing went on as planned and the waiting started all over again, but now it is more stressful because there were no answers to the first tests.
Days went by, it felt like her time was running out. She called them every few days, all the doctors' office would tell her was, "that the tests were still not in and that they will notify her as quickly as possible and thanking her for being so patient with them." But they don't realize that her patients is really running out.
The days started getting chilly at night time. Autumn is just around the corner. Rosa couldn't stop thinking that the day of her funeral is going to be cold and miserable for everyone. The thoughts consumed her mind, but to Rosa, she didn't want anyone to go through a miserable day like that on her behalf. Rosa's youngest daughter stopped by to see if she felt good enough to go shopping for some fabrics.
" I have a cute outfit I need your help momma to make it, of course." She asked in hopes that it might give her mom something else to think about. Just then Rosa's cell phone rang. It was the doctor's office. Finally, maybe they will have an answer for her about the tests.
"Can you come in the office Tuesday on the twenty- third of October?" Asked the nurse. " Yes, that is fine. See you then." Rosa's daughter was just as excited with her that the call finally came in. She called for her father immediately, he yelled out with hope in his voice that maybe their prayers have been answered.
The feelings and visions you have of your future to come when you get a diagnosis of cancer leaks through your mind like a faucet that drips all night and you can't sleep.
Rosa and Bill are sitting in the doctor's office holding hands. She rests her head on his shoulders and they always keep their conversations on the positive side. The doctor and nurse come in, but now there are three other doctors and one of them had a paper tablet holder and was taking notes. Her primary Cancer doctor greets them and introduces the others and why they are there. When the one eldest doctor there interrupted and said, " just tell her!" Rosa and Bill glanced at each other and frowned. Tears start to turn into a flood as the doctor begins to talk.
The doctor was trying to explain to them something that could not be explained! "Doctor, please...What are you trying to say?" Pleaded Bill. As they sat there in shock!
" So, your telling us the Cancer is completely gone and that there is no sign or trace in the tests that it was ever there?" They all complied and nodded their heads in agreement with huge smiles on all their faces.
"It's a Miracle from God." Shouts Bill and he jumped from his seat. Shaking everyone's hands in the room smiling and chuckling with joy at them all. Hugging Rosa telling her he feels that their blessings have been received. Both of them smiling all the way out to the car, still in awe about the results. "It's unbelievable!" Bill keeps saying. Rosa can't stop smiling and thinking that she was so close to death. "It's a miracle to me too." She says.
Along the ride home Rosa asked Bill to stop at the next flower shop. "I want to pick up some flowers for the family and and share the news with my parents." Bill gives her hand a gentle squeeze in agreement. He pulls over and Rosa get out. She returns with a couple of pink bouquets and ribbons. She says to Bill, "I think these are perfect. Don't you?" Bill has never been one to disagree with her, "Of course honey they are beautiful!" He said.
They pull up to the gravesides and step out the car, flowers in hand Rose and Bill kneel down and pray to the family and with sheer joy she says to them that her cancer is gone and she truly believes in "The Power Of Prayer."
If you know anyone who may be going through this. Call for help and support from; Cancer.gov (NCCN.org (National Comprehensive Cancer Network) Cancer.org (American Cancer Society) 24/7 - 1800-227-2345 💖