- The amazing story of the 13 becoming Catholic!
- Our marriage stories - "The world needs LIGHTS!"
- John's cancer stories
- Now the stories of John's 4 sisters...Ruth, Nancy, Maria, and Susan/Little Sister Hallel!
- Susan Angela Agnes/Little Sister Hallel - the story of a Call
- The story of little Lamb - grandson Patrick
The story of little Lamb - grandson Patrick
The story of Patrick is such a testamony, once again to the power of Prayer and Faith! It will be told soon! Having some time... I will launch this story of being called to TRUST as St Fautina reminds us in the Divine Chaplet of Mercy and our Bishop reminded us at a time of terrifying regrowth of John's brain cancer in November of 2009! "When you face difficult times repeat this phrase - 'Jesus, I trust in you.' " Bishop John LeVoir
I arrived in El Paso just two days before Maria was due to have her 5th child - Patrick! She had two living children and two losses at around 3 months between - now her Patrick was due to arrive! We shared daily mass that day, and the prayerful wait for his arrival started.
I am discovering that Maria and I share much on this journey of LIFE! She discovered in learning Creighton Model before she married Joseph that she was poly cystic. What was that? It means that she might have a tendency to miscarry, and the day of her wedding she got a shot of progesterone. It made me stop and wonder if this had been my problem, and was the underlying cause of my 6 losses. She then got pregnant on her first cycle, and received these shots for her first trimester in order to keep her hormome level where it should be. Nine months later they welcomed Therese! Then in the midst of John's cancer battle her second child, David Joseph arrived just a few days before Christmas of 2009. How I prayed that none of my girls would have to suffer the losses that I had, but when Maria and her two jumped into a car to come up and see Nancy after she gave birth to Augustine... she lost her 3 month pregnancy while here at the farm with her dad and I! Joseph was in Missouri in officer training, so not only did Maria have a mischarriage, but I was with her! How gut wrenched was I when she took little 3 year old Therese on her lap and told her that her new little brother or sister was now in heaven with Jesus! They wept together - much as I had done with my kids over and over in my childbearing years.
The following Thanksgiving - Pat and I drove down to El Paso to take a UHaul with their stuff in it. Once again Maria was about 3 months pregnant, and shocked me with the news after we arrived that she had started spotting again! Yes, she once again had a mischarriage, and I was with her! I sat in the Eucharistic chapel, and wept, and beseeched the Lord - Why? But when I mentioned to Nancy how hard it was for me to be with Maria at these times - "Mom, who better to be with her? And if you weren't you would want to be there to love and support her as one that has been through it!
Family photo taken just as we were leaving for home... two little ones in heaven! Therese told mom - "when we get to heaven we are going to have to get a big van for all those kids!" Already learning the value of LIFE. As Horton says in Horton hears a Who- "A person's a person, no matter how small!" A few months later Maria called me with news - "The good news is that I am pregnant, and the bad news is that I don't want to see you for 4 months!" I knew what she meant, and did not take offense at all! She tells us immediatly about her pregnancies so that we can be praying, and then they find out the sex in ultrasound at 5 months and we pray for the baby by name! So hence we knew that we were going to meet Patrick, and had been praying for his arrival by name for 4 months.
In El Paso the time passed in waiting for Patrick - we started to get impatient as it went from one week to two. Therese would call Patrick a "naughty boy" because he wasn't coming out. Maria swore me to secrecy in not sharing that her sister Ruth had ruptured on a V-back delivery, and she went in to be induced. Her reasoning was that she had a C-section for Therese, and then had a vaginal birth for David, so that proves that it will be just fine.
Maria and I go in for an induction. She is so hopeful and ready to meet her son. Maria has terrible pains and finally opts to have a epidural put in. After I return from getting some supper - she now has oxygen on and she tells me that Patrick is being a "naughty boy," according to the nurses as his pulse dropped a bit. I am sitting there watching the monitor, and noticed that his pulse dropped quite a bit. The nurses come in, and that is when all heck brakes loose! I am terrified and grab Maria's hand as I fear that I am watching my grandson die in the womb! No heartbeat! They have Maria get up on her hands and knees in case it could be the cord as that might help, and they push her out of the room! I am on my knees pleading for my daughter and grandson! A few days later this verse in Romans 8:22-27 in the amazing mass for St Theresa of Avila... about the "inexpressible groanings of prayer." I just went back to that specific entry on October 15... http://familysoulstory.blogspot.com/2012/10/inexpressible-groanings-romans-8.html It is well worth taking time to read! I realized that this was expressing the desperation I felt as I was unsure if either of them could survive this! Alone in that room - I was filled with terror as I called Pat to have him and our family aware and praying! I called the MCCW ladies, and had them aware of the prayers needed, and that we could use the physical support of those that could come and be with me - it looked like I would be going in a ambulance with Patrick to another hospital with a NICU that would have a cool cap to keep his brain damage less. They had resussitated Patrick, who was born dead! He was in very critical condition. Maria was in surgery, and they were having a hard time stopping the bleeding. They came and asked me if she wanted to have more children... I answered "yes" but that by all means save her LIFE! We have heard later about an miracle that happened to the doctor tending to Maria. She called in another doctor to help her and stood there putting pressure on this one spot that was bleeding out of control. Suddenly it stopped!!! They were able to save her uterus! It looked like Patrick and I would leave in the ambulance before Maria would come out of surgery. Soon there was a friend of Maria with me and Patrick, as well as with Maria at the hospital Intensive Care Unit!
As Patrick was being transported by ambulance I was in the front seat traveling through the night in El Paso,TX. My cell phone rang and it was my husband - "Ruth said that you should baptize Patrick." Walking into the hospital with the group of medical people that had been in the ambulance with Patrick - I asked the nurse walking with me about getting Patrick baptized. It was 1a... she told me that there was an elderly priest that was the chaplain for the hospital and it wasn't sure that he could come at this time. "I can do it." I said She told me that she would come and get me in there before they put the cap on his head, so that I could baptize him. Weeping in the waiting room - in a few minutes she called me into the NICU for the first time. She had a small bottle of sterile water that she handed me and led me into this world of NICU filled with basinets and tiny hands and feet visible all around me as well as tubes and beeping machines. There were many nurses, doctors, ambulance people and the babies all there around Patick at his baptism! I through my tears dipped water on my fingers and making the sign of the cross on his head said with great faith and emotion - "I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, Patrick." He became cleansed of original sin and a true Child of God and his Church! When they went to the nearest Catholic Church to the hospital to have the baptism registered - it was the Cathedral Church of El Paso - St Patrick's Cathedral!
Just a few blocks down the street from Patrick - the glorious St Patrick's Cathdral! Little 2 year old David found great interest in St Patrick when he noticed the many snakes that were being chased ahead of him out of Ireland... he suddenly became a really cool fighting guy and good guy! This St Patrick truly was and how he interceded for his little namesake! Another relentless prayer warrior was his grandpa, Patrick, he admits that having Patrick named after him is a deep bond of Love and Hope! Just as Patrick was going in for his EEG to show us the damage his lack of oxygen might have on his brain - both grandmas were walking into St Patrick's and had that time in deep prayer together in the Eucharistic chapel with a homeless man! As he packed up all his worldly possessions to leave there - Joe's mom followed him out and gave him a donation as well as asked him for his prayers for Patrick. We know that the poor are much closer to God! They are truly Christ in our misdt! Patrick had a few seizures in the first few days and there was a few places where the brain connections were not prefect, but otherwise his brain waves looked good! We rejoiced!
Maria managed to get transferred to the same hospital that Patrick was in and met her son for the first time outside the womb! I had spent the first night at the side of Patrick at the NICU and watched the nurse put tube after tube in him and on him and wire after wire. They certainly were keeping track of everything they could! In the morning when the shifts change we are asked to leave the unit for a window of time. I was yearning to go and see Maria now that she was in SICU across town. I got into a cab and went to be with her. I wept when I found her at the great fear that I had watched Patrick die in her womb. "Mom, we both made it." was her simple and direct responce to my tears, and I had to cling onto that Truth with both hands! I had to believe that Patrick would be alright, and know of all the prayers that were surrounding us. John called to say that he felt that his prayer warriors and miracles now needed to pass on to Patrick. He felt a strong connnection in their helplessness and the turning to Christ! Both Lambs that were lifted into his loving and forgiving arms and carried down the path of healing and new LIFE!
It was quite obvious that Patrick was not a vegetable and that he knew his mom from the first day in NICU! There were so many following his progress with prayers. I asked Maria if we should start a caringbridge site, but she prefered to use our blogs to keep people up on how he was doing. Each day we saw progress and more and more tubes and wires were removed. He was breathing on his own and keeping his oxygen levels up. So his tube was removed and a nasal cannula was put in his nose, so we took big steps in recovering. The siezures still were being watched and he did have a few in the first days, and he was started on medication for those.
I am picking this up, today, on St Patrick's Day 2013! I am sitting here in green and thinking about my two amazing Patricks! My husband is very busy with calving at this time, and the cold challanging weather is making it a very hard time for those little baby calves. This picture was taken just before we took Patrick and his family to the airport after they visited us for an early Christmas week in December. How Pat loves to have such an amazing little namesake. And the prayers that surrounded Patrick and brought him back to LIFE and healing... make him such a special namesake indeed! I will never forget the time of Patrick's EEG to check his brain activity for the first time after his traumatic birth. Joe's mom, Gail, and I had just dropped off Maria and Joe to see Patrick and we were walking into St Patrick's to spend some time in prayer. They texted us to let us know that right then he was going in for his EEG. Just as we were entering the Euchristic chapel to fall on our knees in prayer...We both called our husbands to also be praying. Pat was just getting out of the funeral mass for his aunt, who had died. He didn't go down with the relatives for the meal, but he sat in front of the tabernacle praying for Patrick. And then to hear that his brain looked very good, and they were amazed by this!
Yesterday we had Augustine and an older and smiley Bernadette here for a visit. Pat, my husband, is so in love with babies! He wants to hold them and snuggle them and make them LOVE him, and they all do! I told him that he loved babies so much that he has a baby magnet in his heart! It just seems that if they are any where that he can get them into his arms that he will do that at all costs. That is what made me fall in love with him more than anything I can think of! It is like the babies are drawn to his LOVE baby magnet in his heart! Little Augustine walked into the door, and went straight up to a picture of grandpa and pointed to it - like where is that grandpa that I LOVE? I am sure that the 5 days that Patrick is here... he will learn to love grandpa Pat just as Therese and David do. One of Pat's motto for LIFE other than "The world needs LIGHTS" is the Truth that the more children our love doesn't get stretched thinner - it just grows bigger! And with him that is a beautiful sight to behold, and he shows so wonderfully how special that is for the children as well as the parents and grandparents! More kids not more stuff is the key to happiness!
I need to get back to this ongoing story of Patrick!! Joseph heard from a priest friend, who happens to be their daughter,Therese, Godfather...He told them to pray expecting a miracle, and as Patrick just kept getting better day after day - they started to say that even not knowing what the future would hold for Patrick, that he was truly a miracle boy!
One beautiful story I would like to share here is gift of the rosary... One of the friends of Maria brought in supper on the 3rd night or so after Patrick's birth. She handed us a black mended rosary in a well worn white case. "We had a mass followed by a rosary for Patrick yesterday, and this older man came up to me and asked what his name was. I told him Patrick, and he handed me this rosary and said that he wanted him to have it." I wept at the sight of this much used rosary - knowing the power in seeing the prayers that had been said on it. Later Maria found out that it was the father of one of her friends from Council of Catholic Women. She told us that she was embarassed that her dad had given us this worn rosary - until she read how much it meant to us just for that reason. She also shared that she had a brother named Patrick, who had downs syndrome. There were years and years of prayers to our divine Mother of heaven and earth for a special Patrick said on that rosary!!!! What an amazing gift beyond all gifts!!! I had to write and thanks this man, and knowing of people like that storming heaven for Patrick - no wonder the Lord listened to our "inexpressible groanings!"
One beautiful gift that we are blessed with by our son-in-law, Joseph, is his musical talent! He plays the guitar and sings, and that has been huge for him to connect with his kids while he is away. They tape movies of him singing for them, and they watch it to have some quality time with dad and so that the smallest, David, wouldn't forget dad while he was gone. When he returned we were told by the nurses that he surprised all in NICU by singing to Patrick! I am sure now that Patrick is part of the happy group that sings and dances while dad plays for them!
Such a gift of Happiness and Joy to the Lord! Patrick heard the loving sound of his dad's voice as did the other tiny sick babies in NICU. I am sure that it was the utmost of music therapy! A dad showing his son his presence there to fight the battle for his LIFE!
David rejoicing to have dad back home! Little Dave has such a strong feeling for good and bad guys now. He has his dad there to stand up for the Truth in the midst of this world. Joseph carries Faith with him and all the Spiritual armor of God!
10" Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God."
Maria and I would go and see Patrick together and then Joe and his mom would go so that Patrick would have more time with us! Maria and I started going in at 3a as that was the time that they would wake him up for cares and vital signs. It was special being in NICU in the middle of the night with him, and often he would delight us with being wide awake and knowing mom and responding to her. How they love each other and took strength from their time together. Maria would bring in her milk and how we rejoiced when they started feeding it to him down the tube in his nose, and then the next step of him sitting up and drinking out of a bottle for the first time! Then when all the tubes were out - he nursed on the first try! So wonderful for mother and son, and no one could believe that he would and could do that! Maria has heard from many that they thought that he would come home with a permanent feeding tube into his stomach, and he has thrived on nursing from the first chance he got after the arterial line was removed because he was doing so well! Each day seemed to have at least one thing to celebrate as he got rid of more and more tubes and we started to hear sounds like he could look at coming home soon! He moved out of the most critical intensive care down to the next level and then the next and then finally HOME!
Finally holding him in mommy's loving arms! Rejoice at the miracle of his healing!
Then he was in the arms of his family at HOME!