- Since my last entry in May, my daughter Adele graduated high school
- I was able to spend a week in Destin with my husband and kids and some of their friends.
- I was put on medical leave from work.
- I found out that the tumor in my lung had shrunk but the tumor on my spine was growing.
- I was referred to MD Anderson and accepted to participate in a clinical trial and rec'd Spinal Stereotactic Radiosurgery on June 15th.
- I have been in severe pain (as expected) since that treatment, but am starting to feel somewhat better.
- I wont know if the treatment actually worked until Sept.
- While in Houston I had an amazing experience meeting John and Barbara Manousso and this is the story I most want to tell....
Later that night I did google him and found a website that explained how the photo had been taken and how when it was developed looked totally different, showing the Angels, and Jesus and rays of light coming from the windows - all only visible in the photo and were not visible to the naked eye. I was then floored to learn that John was diagnosed with a rare incurable cancer exactly a year and a day after taking this photo. His life expectancy was only 3-5 years, and he is still here 17 years +. I was so taken by his story and so convinced that for whatever reason this photo was speaking to me I searched all over the website for a contact. I found an address and wanted to write to them just to say thank you for sharing. So when Mom went to bed, I sat by the light of the tv in our hotel room and at 1 am wrote a 6 page thank you letter to complete strangers. I felt so much better afterwards that I could not wait to mail it. The next morning I brought it up to the hotel front desk and said a prayer that it would get where it needed to be. I had included in the letter my face book info and cell number. The day after mailing it I rec'd a FB friend request from Barbara Manousso and was so thrilled. I told Mom and she was shocked. She asked what I had said in a 6 page letter to strangers. LOL, to be honest I am not sure. I probably rambled on and on. I know I told them how the photo touched me and how I had cancer as a teen and again now and what I was going through. I know I thanked them for sharing this beautiful photo with so many and how it made such a difference in my life. What else was in there, I really am not sure, but whatever it was, it was from the heart and clearly had to be said. I accepted Mrs. Barbara's friend request and to my surprise she asked if they could possibly meet me and Mom. I was so happy. I couldn't believe they would take time out of their busy schedule to meet us. The next evening they came and met us in the lobby of our hotel. I can't explain it, but for me it was like seeing family you haven't seen in years. So familiar and warm. My heart was full of love. As we sat and talked and they told us out loud of their story they presented me with a copy of the photo to frame along with the story, and gave me and Mom each a wallet size photo as well. Mr John then went on to tell me about his Uncle who was best friends with Padre Pio, who is now known as Saint Pio. He gave me a prayer card of Saint Pio with a piece of his robe's cloth attached. Again a sign for me, as I first learned of Padre Pio in school and prayed to him when I had cancer as a teen. Now I was speaking to someone who's family knew him and was close to him. If you don't know of Saint Pio you will find his story one of the most intriguing in Catholic history ( http://www.padrepiodevotions.org/ ). I felt as though I was certainly meant to meet this beautiful and blessed couple. I wish we could have spent more time together. As they were leaving I hugged Mr John and some of what he told me I will keep to myself, but one thing he reminded me of is that "God hears our prayers before the thoughts are fully formed, he knows our needs and hears everything. Stay strong and think positive always and he will never abandon you." I can't explain the peace and joy that meeting brought to me and Mom. I have only one regret - we both forgot with the camera in hand to get a photo with them! I will always cherish that moment with them, and know that I can see them whenever I am in Houston if they have the time. You can go to this website and use the links at the top of the page to read the actual story of the photo and of John's illness. You can also order your own copy of the photo, which some say have healed them and was designated by the Vatican as a Miraculous photo of Jesus Christ. Copies of the photo are only $10 I believe www.manousso.net
From my heart I tell you this - everything is for a reason. I recognized that photo which I had never seen before for a reason. I googled the name of the photographer even though I had read the story, for a reason. I wrote to them for a reason. They responded and came to meet me for a reason. GOD is that reason, and I can't think of a better one, can you? Listen to the little whispers in your mind and act on them - I know it is God speaking.
With love always,
On our second trip back to Houston to have my procedure done we had a free day. We traveled about 30 minutes north to visit the National Funeral Museum. After all this is what Wayne does for a living and because it held the Pope's funeral car and past President's funeral cars and history I thought it would be interesting to see. In the gift shop they had some religious bracelets. As I picked one up I couldn't believe who was on it....Saint Pio! Now I haven't seen one bracelet with his photo in all these months. And I have seen many religious bracelets. I couldn't believe that he was the only Saint in the store. All the other photos on the bracelet are of our Holy Mother and Jesus with 2 separate photos of Saint Pio. Naturally, I bought one for me and for MOM, after all I found them for a reason.....