It is this season that Debbie is remembered most. Fifteen years ago I was volunteering at Winthrop Hospital to pray with those from my parish then that were in the hospital. I was also in ministry for those who wished to deepen their faith in God. I was asked by a friend of Debbie's to visit her. Debbie had just given birth 3 months prior to her third child and was diagnosed with breast cancer.
I arrived at the hospital one morning and as I was walking through the emergency room I noticed a girl standing against the wall. I said good morning and caught her eyes, she returned the greeting. I continued to walk to get my list of patients when I felt compelled to turn around and go back to this girl and asked if her name was Debbie, she said "yes". Divine Providence! I introduced myself and mentioned that I was asked to visit her, her surgery was the next day.
Back to my ministry at my church; we were sharing on the scripture of the nativity, where the shepherds were walking through the fields and all these angels appeared in the sky directing them to where Jesus was born. The moderator opened with the question "what would they think a myriad of angels would look like to them"? One man, an orthodox Jew, shared that he thought that a myriad of angels would look like twinkling stars in the sky.
Debbie and I kept in touch frequently. She would call at least once a week for prayer and I would pray over the phone with her. This continued for a few years. Her cancer returned in two. We prayed everyday for just a few minutes each morning before I went to work and before her children were sent off to school and her baby would wake.
Debbie was not responding this time to treatment. Debbie called me Christmas eve, she asked that I pray with her that she would be blessed to live just until Christmas Day to see her children wake up Christmas morning and open their presents. My prayer went like this " Lord, I beg you to allow Debbie this one last Christmas with her family, please send a myriad of angels around her and her family, grant them peace". No sooner did I finish this quick prayer, Debbie said to me "Noreen I see a million stars twinkling so brightly in my living room."
Debbie's husband called me on December 26th, as my family and I were celebrating my sons birthday and said "Noreen, Debbie had a wonderful Christmas morning with us and at the end of Christmas Day, we all said good night, hugged and kissed and snuggled." Debbie has just today passed away.
Debbie's image of the twinkling stars in her living room and Eli's image of what a myriad of angels would look like was yet another confirmation for me of how we are always, always connected . All of us on earth and all those in heaven are always, always, always connected for eternity. I love you Debbie I am forever thankful for the lesson your life here taught me. Until we meet again please intercede for all those mothers who are on the journey you once were. Assure them of your eternity. Debbie please send them a myriad of angels!