• December 30, 2017

The Power of Being Present

by Bernardo R., on mis­sion in Uruguay

     Jessica had her eyes fixed on the birthday card we had pre­pared for her for at least twenty sec­onds. She turned nine­teen, and for the past four years has been bat­tling with brain tumors. As she lifted her gaze I saw a small tear forming in her left eye, before she bro­kenly said ‘gra­cias’ and leaned over to us to give us a hug. She went on to ask for help to put on the bracelet and neck­lace with a small Miraculous Medal we had brought along for her. While her mobility has decreased, her hearing has dimin­ished, and her speech is impaired, what has remained the same has been the loving pres­ence of her family. Each time I’ve been able to visit her, I’ve met another rel­a­tive, a cousin or an uncle, who was stop­ping by to share a ‘mate’(South-American green-tea like drink) and a couple of laughs, seeking to help bring joy where there is sad­ness. Jessica’s father, Carlos, has men­tioned to us that he often hears her being awake at night, rest­less, attacked by doubts, fear, and anx­iety. He won­ders, why her? Silence, there is no answer. Nothing to be said when con­fronted with this mys­tery. Only prayer, that through Jessica’s daily trials, she may remember that close to her in these moments is the Virgin Mary standing next to her, at the foot of the cross.

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