Sunday, February 15, 2009

A Miracle

This post was first published on November 16, 2005, and is being reprised by request for the "Mary Moments Carnival." For more information about this carnival, please visit .

Most of you are aware that I am a Catholic. I was born of Catholic parents - my mom was a "cradle" Catholic, meaning that she was baptized soon after her birth; and my dad converted to Catholicism out of love for my mom (she wouldn't marry him unless he became a Catholic). My mother was a very devout woman - I remember seeing her often times in prayer. When money was tight (as it was frequently), the rosary beads would come out. When a storm would be on the horizon, she would make all of us go to the basement (in case there was a tornado) and pray the rosary out loud. Every night during the Lenten season, the family would gather around and say the rosary. We would say prayers before and after meals, before bedtime, and any time there was a need within our family or friends. We went to Mass every Sunday, and most school days began with a Mass - and my mom was always present for it. My mom had a very strong devotion to Mary, the mother of Jesus. She would often remark how much she strove to be the kind of mother that Mary probably was - patient, understanding, kind, accepting, wise, and loving at all times. She thought she fell far short of that model of motherhood, but I thought she was a wonderful mom. Yes, she had a temper at times, and she was very overprotective - but never for a moment did I ever doubt how much she loved me. My dad, even though a convert, didn't really participate much in the family prayers, and he rarely went to Mass. He was a gruff yet kind man, and probably a little wild at times, much to my mother's consternation. I think that after mom died, dad became quite bitter for many years. Ultimately, he began to truly believe in God when he had a "near-death" experience a couple of years before he died - but that is another story.

I went through my years of rebellion after my mom died - and ultimately, I left the Church for a long time. It wasn't so much that I lost my faith in God, but I was very angry with Him for a lot of reasons. It wasn't until I was in my early thirties that I began a slow and painful process of turning my life over to Him - but again, that is yet another story.

Since I becam a mom almost 18 years ago, I have taught my kids about faith, about love, and about God. I smile when I think of how similar I have become to my mom's ways of professing her faith - praying out loud with the kids, Mass attendance, "preaching" to the kids, etc. I am sure she's quite proud of me! I didn't follow her footsteps, however, in a strong devotion to Mary. I've been giving it a great deal of thought over the past few days as to why I didn't do that - and I still haven't come up with a true answer. I know that some Christians question the Catholic's devotion to Mary, thinking that it is wrong to "worship" somebody other than God - but truly, that is not what we Catholics do. We pray TO her, to ask her for help with things we are struggling with, to ask her to go to her Son with our requests and on our behalf.

Where am I going with all of this? Well, last Wednesday evening, TP took a huge turn for the worse at the hospital. Her temperature just wouldn't go down - it was at 104.8*. She was listless, almost comatose. Her blood pressure kept on dropping, dangerously low (the lowest I remember seeing it was 98/22). She had sepsis, and they didn't know the cause. The doctors decided to transfer her to the PICU unit where she could be monitored at all times by her very own nurse. I remember looking at her attending physician, and bluntly asking if TP was going to make it. His reply was vague, which didn't calm my nerves any.

I stood by the window, looking out into the distance where the sun's glow was diminishing into an autumn sunset. For the first time in almost 18 years, I was terrified of losing my daughter. We had been through so much, what with the lupus diagnosis 18 months ago, but even with that, I just knew she was going to be all right. This time, I had a very sick feeling in my stomach, and I was sobbing.

I was able to compose myself enough to follow TP down to the PICU unit. When we arrived, they told me I had to wait in the waiting room for about 20 minutes until they could get her situated in her bed. I kissed her hot forehead, and her eyelids fluttered in response. I went into the waiting room, and just dropped into a chair. I was aware of other people looking at me, but it didn't matter. It was at that point in time that I began to pray feverishly. I found myself talking to Mary, realizing she KNEW what I was going through, because she had watched her Son suffer so much as well. I don't remember all that I said to her or what I prayed to God, but in a matter of a few minutes, I found myself saying the Rosary. It's a beautiful prayer. I asked Mary to take my prayers to her Son, and to intercede on my behalf, for TP to be healed. I called upon my own mother to pray for TP. I also called on TP's great-grandmother (whom TP was named after) to pray for TP's recovery. All of these prayers were mixed in with saying the Rosary.

Those twenty minutes seemed like twenty hours. They finally called me back to her area, and I opened the curtains up - and there she was, sitting up and alert and talking to the doctors and nurses!!!! I must have looked extremely shocked, because TP looked at me and said, "Mom, are you okay?". I said I was just fine, but I asked what had just happened here. The doctors went on to say that a few minutes after they had wheeled Sara back to her area, she "woke up" and starting talking. They had no explanation for it whatsoever. Dare I say that this was a miracle?

After awhile, TP decided to take a rest. Her blood pressure was still out of whack but no longer dangerously low, and her temperature was still elevated but nowhere near the high of 104.8*. I had called a priest earlier (he happens to be a close family friend) to ask him to come and visit TP, and to give her the Sacrament of the Sick, and he showed up at this point in time. He asked TP if she wanted to receive this Sacrament, and she nodded her head. While administering this rite, and then when we were praying the Our Father, TP had the most serene look on her face - very peaceful and calm. This sacrament is given to heal the body and soul when a person is gravely ill, and she understood the significance of it and didn't hesitate to embrace all of the graces given as a result of receiving it. I honestly believe that this Sacrament helped TP's body in the healing process, and it certainly calmed her soul.

So, in essence, I am so grateful for the miracles bestowed about my daughter last week. I shall never forget how close to heaven she got - and how heaven reached down and gave TP enough strength to continue on with her earthly journey.


At 3:44 PM, Blogger Sarah said...

Wow Valarie. Miracles happen, I am a witness of that as well. Continued prayers being said for Sara and your whole family.

At 5:20 PM, Blogger Barbara said...

Thanks Be to God

At 8:04 PM, Blogger Mrs. Diamond said...

Praise God

At 5:11 AM, Blogger Anonymous said...

What a wonderful story!

You have my prayers for your family's health!

At 8:25 AM, Blogger Tyra said...

What a wonderful post Val, gave me goose bumps. It's so awesome too see God move like that. God is always there and moving on our behalf but sometimes it's in such a big way that you can only sit back and say that was God!

At 2:39 AM, Blogger Barbara said...


I re read this post and found it so moving. I am glad you derived such comfort at this time.

The power of prayer is not to be underestimated is it..

Do you know, another thing that I have taken away from this post, is that fact that your Dad came to faith eventually.. That is encouragement to me as you know and, though you have told me this story before, it was a very timely reminder for me..

God bless

At 7:58 AM, Blogger My Kid's Mom said...

Dear All: Life is beginning to return to "normal" around here - so I am able to respond to each of you once again.

Sarah - I know you've had your own miracle - little Anna! Doesn't it take your breath away every time you think of it? Thank you so much for your prayers.

Barbara - You are such a kindred soul to me, and I am so glad that we have "met". I thought of you when I wrote that bit about my Dad - knowing full well that you would understand it and would take away from it some hope. Prayers are being said for you, too!

Mrs D - Yes, indeed. Thank you for your support and prayers!

Steve - Welcome to my blog! I appreciate your kind words and prayers, and I enjoyed browsing your site - thanks for mentioning my story there.


At 3:34 PM, Blogger Gayla said...

Beautiful post Valerie! Just beautiful. :)

I also wanted to offer you kudos for your stand against Kohl's etc. (from your comment on my Walmart post)

At 3:30 AM, Blogger Barbara said...


You are such a blessing

Thank you

Hope you have a far more relaxing weekend than the last one!!!!

At 7:23 PM, Blogger HeyJules said...

That was amazing...amazing! I'm so very happy things turned out the way they did. What a testament to faith you are, Valerie!

At 5:35 PM, Blogger Julana said...

Thank you for sharing this. I know I have been on the edge like this a couple times, but it's been quite a few years. I'm so thankful you had your faith to support you. Our son's tutor is Catholic, and prays novenas when her children are in tough situations, over which she has little control.

I think Protestants are coming into a deeper appreciation of Mary than we used to have.

At 9:09 PM, Blogger Hector said...

Praise the lord! I'm very happy for you and your daughter. What a loving God and a loving Mary!

At 9:54 PM, Blogger Shawnda said...

WOW! I can't imagine!!! I truly can't imagine! Praise the LORD for His grace!!!! He is GOOD! SO GOOD!

At 2:47 PM, Blogger Don't Lick The Ferrets! said...

I wish I could just give you a big hug. I have always admired your faith...I miss mine, but am still findng my path. I am glad TP is doing better and so happy you have your prayers and miracles to sustain you both!

At 12:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Lord for everything. I enjoyed reading this Valerie.


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