It was an ordinary day. I went for a walk with a friend in the late morning and set out to pick up around the house after Ty's therapy this afternoon. While I was in my bedroom I stopped to press my finger against a necklace with a medallion of Saint Peregrine (patron saint of cancer). It was hanging over a framed photo of Ty. When I did that, I was reminded of an older man that came out to meet Ty at the Iron Riders event back in July. What was it that he gave me? I had to find it, so I set out searching through my things and quickly came across a handwritten note from this gentleman. A sweet man who survived cancer by a "miracle of God," he told me.
His note was brief, and it mentioned a special cancer healing mass in honor of Saint Peregrine that would be held at a nearby church that I had never heard of before. Low and behold, it was on September 15th. "Oh no!" I thought I must have missed it because it was already so late in the day, but then I saw it wasn't to begin until 7PM. The fact that I came across this note on this very day, there was no doubt in my mind that I had to go. I told Lou that I was taking Ty to a healing mass at Mount Alvernia at 7PM and without questions or hesitation he said he'd meet me there after work.
It was a totally gross and rainy day. I recently had my car washed and there must be residue on the windshield from waxing or something because I had a terrible time seeing through my windsheild the entire way there. It was dark, my windows were cloudy and it was a miserable drive that took more than a half hour. Then, when my navigation told me I was two minutes away, I noticed there were sunbeams breaking through the clouds and illuminating the tops of the trees while the rain continued to pour down. I swear to you, there was this one spot in the sky where it looked like the rain had stopped and the sun was shining and I smiled to myself... "wouldn't that be something if the church was over there? Oh, please let it be over there!"
There should have been an opera playing in my car as I got closer and ultimately pulled into the driveway of this church. What a beautiful, serene and spiritual place! It was an adorable church set back on acres and acres of green lawn and surrounded by trees. I started to tear up when I saw the amazing sky blazing with a fiery setting sun and I told Ty that it was all for him. The very first car I saw was Lou's car, and when we stepped out I saw it.... the most incredible rainbow. It was so bright! So magical! It was the very first rainbow Ty had ever seen in his life; it reached way up into the sky, and perfectly centered in the middle of the arch was a beautiful white statue. I wish I could have captured it on camera, but it was way too big. Besides, it was supposed to be too big for a picture. It was too powerful to be captured like that. But, I will hold it forever in my heart. This tiny piece of the rainbow doesn't do it justice, not even remotely, but I know you'll understand.
A woman who was getting out of her car at the same time said to us... "Wow! Now I don't believe that is a coincidence." And I said, "no, I don't believe it is."
The church was tiny. It was painted all white inside and walking in I felt as if I was entering a very special place. To put it simply, I felt like I was supposed to be there. My eyes just kept tearing up because I was just feeling so many different things it's hard to even put into words. Lou and I were pretty much the youngest people there, and Ty was the only child. All eyes were on Ty, and all I could think of was how grateful I was because I knew every person in that room - whether they had cancer themselves or if they were there to pray for someone they loved with cancer - every one would also say a special prayer for the adorable little boy who was in that room tonight. The pastor looked our way quite a bit and I felt as if he was putting a lot of his energy into Ty as well. It felt good.
Sure, Ty whined here and there during the service, but he was really such a good boy. He was very tired because it was a late mass but he stuck it out for almost the entire hour. He received the annointing oil on his forehead and hands, and we decided to leave a few minutes early because he was falling asleep. Upon sneaking out during the closing song, a woman followed us into the foyer. She said... "you're going to think I'm crazy, but I just had to share this with you..." She went on to tell us about a segment on Dr. Oz and she told us to please look it up because perhaps it could help Ty. Then she said the following statement, and this is what I consider another amazing sign of hope:
"I don't know what his diagnosis is, but I want you to know - and I promise you this - miracles happen. I had metastatic breast cancer that spread to my spine and today it is GONE. It's a miracle."
I don't remember what else she said, and I don't think it was the Dr. Oz segment that I was supposed to hear about. It was the simple statement about her miracle that I carry in my heart tonight. There are two reasons why it was so powerful. First, because in December we were told Ty's cancer had spread to his spine and that there was no hope for a cure. It has since stopped growing in his spine and completely baffled his doctors. Second, because when Ty's cancer metasticized in June, our neurosurgeon used an example of breast cancer when he said, "if breast cancer metasticizes into other areas of the body, there is simply no hope for a cure. Ty is in a similar situation because he has two new tumors in a different area of the brain, but I think with surgery I can give him a good summer."
Miracles DO happen. I BELIEVE! When I heard the words metastatic breast cancer and spine come out of that beautiful woman's mouth I couldn't say a word because I was going to burst into tears. I wanted to tell her that Ty is a miracle, too! That he was also disgnosed with lepto-meningial disease that has since disappeared, but I couldn't get the words out. It doesn't matter. What was supposed to happen in that exhange happened. I received the message I was supposed to recieve and it has calmed my spirit and allowed my soul to rest easier tonight.
On our way home, I called Lou to discuss what we should pick up for dinner, and he asked me "isn't the moon amazing tonight?" I couldn't see it. It wasn't until several minutes later that I turned a corner and practically jumped in my chair because there it was, hanging so low and so bright. What a beautiful full moon - I hope you all saw it, too! I promised Ty we could stop at a candy store and no matter how tired he was he didn't forget about that. I wasn't familiar with the area so I couldn't find a CVS or anything but I did stumble upon a Chuck E Cheese. I hadn't been to one of those places since I was a kid myself, but I asked Ty and he wanted to go! We got four tokens, played four games, and he won enough tickets to claim a piece of.... CANDY. How perfect, right? Best dollar I ever spent. Goodnight and God Bless.