UR MIRACLE WAS SHOWN to us through the family of
another patient at CHRISTUS St. Patrick Hospital. My father had
fallen ill just before the Christmas holidays in 1997. He was admitted
to CHRISTUS St. Patrick on Dec. 13, and we were told that his condition
was grave, and that he probably would not make it through the night.
Although his condition did improve, our family spent
the better part of a month in the ICU/CCU waiting room at the hospital.
During this time, we met another family whose loved one, Neil, was
a young father with a teenage daughter. He was in the ICU for a
very long time and they, too, were told that Neil probably would
family, in spite of their own worries and concerns, offered an unbelievable
amount of support and inspiration to us. We attended mass in the
hospital chapel each Sunday morning. On one particular Sunday, my
fathers condition appeared to be deteriorating and as we were
leaving the chapel, I became very upset. Neils sister, Theresa,
approached me and gave me a hug. As she did, she pressed a beautiful
green rosary into my hand. “Hold onto this,” she told
me. “It will give you strength beyond belief.”
My father survived through the holiday season, and
even was able to come home for Christmas. Immediately after the
New Year, however, he was re-admitted to the ICU. Our “guardian
angel family” Neils family was still there,
too. My father died on Jan. 12, 1998. Neils father was strong
enough to look beyond his own grief and leave his sons bedside
long enough to visit the funeral home where my father was taken
and to offer his condolences.
I carried that green rosary everywhere I went for
almost two years. Occasionally, I would encounter Neils father,
and he never failed to ask how my family was and to let me know
that we were still in his prayers.
Recently, my husband came home from work and told
me that Neil had passed away. I felt compelled to visit the funeral
home and return the green rosary to Theresa. At the funeral home,
I approached Theresa and offered my sympathy. This time when we
hugged, I pressed the rosary into her hand and said, “Hold
onto this. It will give you strength beyond belief. Take it from
someone who knows first-hand.”
It was amazing that this family, while dealing with
their own difficulties, still had so much support to offer strangers.
While we havent managed to keep in touch in the usual ways,
that wonderful family is still in my prayers and I know in my heart,
that I am in theirs.
billing systems trainer
CHRISTUS Medical Group
Lake Charles, Louisiana