Monday, October 5, 2009

The Crosses We Bare

My grandma is living proof that God’s still working miracles. Close to a year and a half ago, my grandmother was in the hospice care wing of St. Mary’s hospital. We’d been told she only had a few days to live since her kidneys had failed and her heart was too weak to make it through even one dialysis treatment. Though my grandmother has said for years that she’s ready for God to take her at any time, she expressed that she wanted to get better and intended to do so.

Apparently, God wanted her to get well, too. She went from living on her own, walking an hour a day outside with two canes, playing bridge as often as she could, attending Mass and Bible study, to ending up in the hospital for several months with numerous complications and a dim diagnosis. Her oncologist gave up on her and advised us to do the same, but she wouldn’t give up. Since she wanted to persevere, we were committed to helping her. First order of business was firing her oncologist. After that we set about preparing for her life after leaving the hospital and opened up to God’s ability to work miracles.
Today, my grandmother is celebrating her second birthday since being discharged from the hospital. Not only that, but she’s been doing so much better, she got kicked out of hospice. She’s now living at Little Sisters of the Poor, attending daily Mass, making new friends, watching golf on TV, going to Bible study, narrating plays, reading voraciously, and enjoying outings with my mom and family.
I am truly amazed by my grandmother’s strength and determination in the face of adversity. She has been through so much over the years, yet she maintains a zest for life, is a strong prayer warrior, and a devout Catholic who walks the talk.
I know about some of the crosses she’s had to carry over the years, and I am very grateful to have inherited one of the gifts God has given her: faith. The identical crosses that my grandmother, my mother, and I have show three generations of Catholic faith, prayer, and devotion.
I can still remember when my mom was packing for the pilgrimage she and my grandmother went on when they found the original gold cross necklace in Mexico. We lived in Rowlett, Texas at the time, so I was still pretty young, under the age of five. I kept putting my slippers into my mom’s suitcase, because I thought if my slippers were packed then she’d have to take me along with her. She would take my slippers out and laugh each time when she’d come back from the closet and find them in there, again.
While on the pilgrimage, my mom and grandmother found an unusual gold cross necklace. When they returned home and looked for another one, they couldn’t find anything like it so they had one made. On my eighteenth birthday I was overjoyed to open a box containing my very own gold cross, just like the one my two biggest role models for women in the faith wear.
Lord, thank You for the gift of faith, and for the women and men in my life who have taught, inspired, and guided me closer to You. Amen.
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