Update on My Aunt – Plus Why My Aunt is My Uncle

I just posted this morning about prayer intentions, and promised this update on my aunt. These are two emails my uncle sent to me over the last week. I’ve removed anything too personal, but the family did give me permission to post the updates so that anyone who was praying for her could see it. They thank you all for praying for them, and I also thank you.

From 8-10:

Greetings from Texas.

First of all, a huge thank you to everyone for your unbelievable support and prayers. They are appreciated more than you can imagine. Keep ’em coming, because we’re in this for the long haul.

This is just a short note to let you all know how B******* is doing. She’s been at the St. ******** Rehabilitation Center for a week now, following the surgery to remove most of her tumor. Her rehabilitation is going fabulously – her left hand is doing well (not speed-typing yet but things are looking good), her left arm is coming along, and we’re starting to see some signs of motor control in her left leg. Things look great on the rehab front, and we’re looking forward to doing some pool therapy starting on Monday.

Radiation and chemotherapy to knock back the remaining tumor cells begins this coming Wednesday. Both are supposedly “well-tolerated”, and we’re optimistic that things will go well. Besides the doctors’ skill and experience, we have a tremendous number of prayers being lifted up for her. We pray that God’s plan for her is extensive and that we’ll have many things to be thankful for during future Thanksgiving celebrations, e.g., B*******’s good health and the arrival of our first grandchild.

Apologies if you’ve tried unsuccessfully to get through to her. Rehab is more effort than we’d expected and if she’s not in therapy then she’s either at a meal or possibly sleeping. In the latter case, we sometimes ask the switchboard to hold her calls so that she can recharge her batteries for the next session. I’ll try to send out periodic updates to let you all know how she’s doing.

Next on the horizon: a trip home (day trip) this coming Sunday. That should be fun and a well-deserved mental health break for her. She’s my inspiration, she’s so positive and motivated, and I know that getting home for even a few hours will make her even more determined to overcome this obstacle.

Thanks again for all those prayers…

Love, B*******

Then, from Sunday evening, 8-12:

Greetings, all.

This is just a quick note to report that B****** had a nice “off” day today. There’s no rehab scheduled for Sunday, so we were able to go home and visit the boys, K******[ed: their daugher-in-law], and the dogs for several hours. It was tough for B****** to leave home and come back to rehab but it was a good visit and we’ll do it again, perhaps one evening this coming week.

She had a tremendous rehab day yesterday. She raised and straightened her left arm 10 times during therapy, and then raised her left knee and straightened her left leg just before bedtime. That was a great way to end the day.

Thanks so much for the good wishes and prayers. Knowing that you guys are all pulling for her really helps a lot. We look forward to another week of achievements in rehab and the start of cancer treatment on Wednesday.

Miracles happen, and we’re praying for her healing and also that all of you receive peace and healing as a consequence of your praying for B******.

Have an awesome week, and hug and kiss your family. These are the “good old days” that you’ll look back on. Make them count.

Love, B******

In response to that email, I wrote:

Uncle B******,

Thank you so much for keeping us updated on Uncle B******. We have been praying for the whole family since the first email, and we will continue to do so. We have decided to particularly ask Pope John Paul II for his intercessions because I learned that when he was still Father Wojtyla, he prayed for a friend of his who had cancer; she was cured.

Also, I have asked for prayers for the family from everyone I can think of. I even contacted Catholic apologist Mark Shea and asked him to please publicly ask for prayers on his blog (which is read all over the world), and he did so. He’s also put up the updates and asked again for prayers for the family. I will be putting an update on my own blog (http://domestic-vocation.blogspot.com/), and if it’s okay with you, I would like to add your emails without the details to protect your identity online. I won’t put the emails up unless it’s okay with you.

Know that we have been praying very hard, and we will keep it up. You, too, are in our prayers.

May the Lord protect you all, and may His Blessed Mother also protect you under her mantle. God bless you!

Christine (and Hubby and the girls, too)

And his response was:

Howdy, Chris.

I just read your note to UB (she’s resting after a very tiring but productive physical rehab session) and she loved it. By all means, feel free to put as much of our updates and emailed notes on the Internet. I believe this is an opportunity for a win-win situation, where prayers benefit both the recipient (Uncle B******) and the pray-er.

Uncle B******

Oh, I think I have to explain something about my aunt. You’ll notice that I refer to her as my “Uncle B.” That is actually a funny story.

When I was a very small girl, I was pretty observant. My mother has two sisters. My father has four brothers and one sister. Using the powerful deductive capabilities I had when I was about two, I figured that anyone on a mother’s side of the family was an aunt, and anyone on a father’s side was an uncle. So my father’s sister became Uncle B******.

When I was somewhere between five and six, I went to her and gravely stated, “You know what? You are not my uncle. You are a girl, and girls are aunts. I think I need to call you ‘Aunt B******’.” She begged me not to do that. Being an uncle was special! (Especially for a girl!) And so it came to be that my sister and I were the only people in the world with a female uncle. And now our children call her by that, as well.

Also, I wanted to mention something else that was in my emails to and from my Uncles B&B. You’ll see that I have requested that we all ask John Paul II for his intercessions. If you are such a tradition, please pray in this manner. His were always very powerful prayers, and we are asking God for a miracle. As the Champions of Faith movie said: Ask Him for everything. He can always say no.

So please pray for my aunt and her family. And please ask John Paul II to pray, too.

Thank you and God bless you.


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