As the story continues…
Aunt Y = driver; Aunt F = deceased aunt; Aunt L = aunt with amputated arm; Aunt B = aunt with open abdomen
It’s is now about 10 days since the accident. The wake for Aunt F was on Tuesday and Wednesday, and the Funeral Thursday. I only went to the private viewing of the wake on Tuesday. I keep away from wakes as there are too many people and too many germs. I cannot forget I have CF and need to always be careful. I did attend the funeral. It was such a long day. 8:15 at the funeral home, 9:45 mass, followed by the procession to the cemetery, followed by the luncheon. The funeral mass was beautiful. It was given in Italian, so I couldn’t understand everything, but that’s how Aunt F wanted it. My cousin and Aunt Y each gave a eulogy. Both beautiful. I have included them at the end of this post.
Since my last update, Aunt B is surviving. I visited her after the funeral luncheon. When she saw me, her eyes opened wide and with 2 tubes in her laying one on each end, she gave me such a big smile. She was so happy to see me, and my son. She desperately tried to speak. You can read most of her words but not all. She keeps trying to say something specific, but no one can make it out. They tried having her write, but, it was scribble. They tried an alphabet board, but it was unsuccessful. Her face is yellow. Doctors say it’s either her liver or her body working hard to process her blood as she has had over 50 units pumped through her. She had another surgery on Friday to check the status of her organs. They said they were doing “ok” – but the liver was very stressed and purple. If the liver goes, they said it will be over for her. They did not close her, as they had hoped to. They were planning on placing a mesh over the area. Apparently, since the organs are all swollen, her skin will not be able to be closed, so long term she will need skin grafts. Her right leg has has a cast placed on it for her broken ankle, from foot to just below the knee. She has a low fever and high white blood cell count. They have cultured her and are awaiting results. Today my mom visited her and told me they figured out what she was trying to say. She wants to get out of the hospital. They told her she will be ok – but she replies – “I will NEVER be the same again”. This is true. Doctors are still amazed that she is still surviving. They say she and Aunt L have STRONG genes. Aunt B is scheduled for her next surgery Tuesday.
Aunt L had an MRI and they found that her C6 and C7 vertebrae are fractured. They also discovered that her entire left side was paralyzed; that her spinal cord was stretched. The doctors were doubtful that she would regain feeling, but gave her IV steroids to attempt to reduce inflammation. Now – she did open her left eye and moved her left leg the day after the accident. The afternoon that I found this out, I came home exhausted, and napped for 2-3 hours. I had a dream that we were at Aunt Y’s house and it was a hospital. We were all with Aunt B and Aunt L came walking in to check on Aunt B! We were all amazed. 2 days later (yesterday) – she moved her left foot! Again, doctors amazed at Aunt B and Aunt L! Today she still moves her left foot on command. It is weak, but a good sign. Her left eye is also opening weakly.
This story is truly an amazing miracle in progress. Aunt B and Aunt L have went against every doctors’ prediction! They have surpassed medical logic. Thankfully, the doctors continue to move forward and have not given up from a medical standpoint. Paragraph 3 of Aunt Y’s eulogy explains this from a faithful standpoint. I will highlight that part in red.
In the middle of all this, I keep getting phone calls asking how I’m feeling. I’ve had to remain distant so as not to push myself. They all get mad at me when show up; to the ER, the hospital, private portion of the wake, the funeral… I tell everyone I’m fine. But, I’m not. I started oral antibiotics on Tuesday. My breathing and cough is worsening. I want so much to be with my aunts, but I can’t. I HATE IT! Why does my body have to be so weak when my will is so strong???
This is the eulogy from my cousin: (I edited it to protect names)
Good Morning Everyone,
During this difficult time, I would like to pay tribute to my wonderful Godmother, Aunt F. She was a warm, caring humble woman who endured many hardships during her life. She lost three of her children and then lost her husband at a young age that she adored and was dedicated to. Through it all, she was strong and resilient. It was so apparent how much she loved her nieces and nephews. She had our family to support and love her through the years. She treated her nieces and nephews with so much love and respect as if we were her own children. She never ever missed any of the important events in our lives and constantly showered us with gum and boxes of Baci chocolates.
Some of the best memories we have of Aunt F were our visits with her. Everyone looked forward to them. Before you entered her kitchen she would always make a pit stop at her closet and would hand us gum and candy. Her supply never ran out! She would always say “Which kind do you like the green or the yellow” and we would tease her and say “You don’t have anything else?” and she would laugh. We loved all the goodies she took out for us and she loved and cherished each one of us always looking forward to our visits.
She had close-knit bond with her brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews which was truly special. Although it was unfortunate that she did not raise her own children, she never lacked any love from her family members. We are so fortunate to have had such a role model in our lives that showed us strength, courage and compassion. She worried about each and every one of us. It is because of her love, that her nieces and nephews are what we are today. One of my fondest memories of her is whenever I would say goodbye to her she would say “ I love you- take good care of yourself” every time, without fail and showed me never to be afraid to show my emotions.
Aunt F, I know in my heart that you are at peace now with Zio L, your children your parents ,your sister L and brother R. May you continue to give us the strength that we all admired about you and may you rest in peace. We love you dearly and will miss you so very much.
My cousin (this is me) found this quote written by Thomas Aquinas which I thought was beautiful and profound. To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible.
Thank you all!
This is the Eulogy from Aunt Y: (the driver; also edited to protect names)
God is here. His presence and His mantle of power is in this place.
It is only through the grace of Almighty God that I am still standing. He’s been upholding me throughout this whole tragedy and I know He will not leave me because He says, “I will never leave you or forsake you”.
The more I reflect on all that has happened, the more it confirms to me what I already knew—that we are powerless and that we all need God. He loves us with an everlasting love and wants us to depend on Him for everything. Our lives are not our own. We have been purchased through the precious blood of Jesus that was shed at Calvary.
The physicians shave informed me that I have a fractured back and that I would be in pain. I am not in pain. It is a miracle. What I do have is a broken heart and that does not worry me because God promised that He will heal the brokenhearted and saves those that are crushed in spirit.
What does worry me is the condition of my 2 sisters, L and B. I want to ask and plead each one of you to join me in praying for their total recovery. The bible says that one person will chase a thousand and two will put 10 thousand to flight. Just imagine how much we can accomplish together. Mountains will have to move. Nothing is too hard and nothing is too difficult for God. He stands above everything that was created, and is all powerful, all knowing and Omnipotent. Have faith in God. It is faith that will touch the heart of God so He can act on our behalf. Faith is the victory that overcomes the world. Just pray and believe, then stand still and see the salvation of the Lord! You will be amazed at the miracles that God will perform! I know and have experienced the power of God.
In all of my life, I have never witnessed such manifestation of God’s love being poured out through our family, friends, neighbors and acquaintances. He has blanketed all of us and dispatched His army of angels to minister to each one of us, at home and at the hospital.
Bear in mind, that no matter what we do or how bad we sin, His perfect love covers all; His door is always open waiting for anyone to enter in, so he can embrace and forgive us.
All honor, all power, all glory, all victory belongs to Him, even in this situation.
Thank you and may God bless you all!