Trying to keep a journal like this one is somewhat difficult because the accounts of this journey are tracked by Ruth and her family. It’s funny, how we keep our notes and call each other to compare. Thank God for our administrative gifts, we are able to put this all together.
We pray that one day we can sit down, look back, and see how we’ve been able to continue this journey with God’s mercy and grace. Oh Lord, keep us safe and keep us true. All we want to live for is to live for you. Our earnest prayer each day is Lord please have your way in everything we say and do. As we now sit here and contemplate at what has occurred for the last several months, we thank God because his strength is perfect when our strength is gone.
Throughout this difficult ordeal, we have been able to count on friends and relatives. There were so many visitors that were coming in and out of Ruth’s room. Many things happened throughout the months while Ruth was at Forest Hills Hospital, North Shore University Hospital in MICU, 7th and 8th-floor units. We can’t begin to tell you how the Holy Spirit revealed itself throughout many visits from friends and relatives. We felt at this point that we didn’t want to compromise the integrity of the incidents that occurred, so we decided to tell you about them now rather than in the other chapters, although they may have occurred during that time. We believe God was working and still is working in our lives and especially in Ruth’s life. As our Bible tells us in Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths”. 1st Corinthians 14:33 tells us that “God is not the author of confusion but of peace”. 2nd Timothy 1:7 tells us that “God did not give us the spirit of fear but of power and love and of a sound mind”. James 3:17 also tells us that “The wisdom from above is pure, peaceful, gentle, easy, full of mercy and good fruits”. Therefore, we pray that as you read these stories, you would be touched and filled with the Holy Spirit as we were and still are.
We have our cousin Papo and his wife Elizabeth who we love so much. I’m not sure if it’s because he reminds us of our Father. But we still love him anyway. He has been to the hospital several times praying and reading from the Psalms, Ruth’s favorite book. Ruth has been through a lot even before she got sick. Ruth is a person that is full of life and loves to live it. However, Ruth was working some things out with God and we know that she was beginning to turn her life around.
When Ruth was in the ICU at Forest Hills Hospital, she saw her life slipping away. A couple of days before, Papo gave Abbey a Spanish Christian CD to download to his IPOD to listen to during downtime. We really didn’t intend for Ruthie to listen to music due to her headaches. However, this day, Abbey our brother in law decided to ask Ruth if she wanted to listen and she said yes. All of a sudden, Ruth began to cry. Then something weird happened. She began to sniff and opened her eyes and asked her sisters Mary and Noemi if they were smelling what she smelled. We looked at each other and responded “no”. Right at that moment, she said she felt our Dad in her room and all her tears disappeared. She later said that her Dad and her nephew Tito were pushing her back to reality.
While Ruth was in ICU at North Shore University Hospital, it surprised us how she still had a sense of humor. If you know Ruth, she loves to laugh and make others laugh too. Although Ruth was aware of the situation she was in, she would find a way to make sure that her sisters and family would have a laugh.
While Ruth was in ICU and the Physicians were doing their rounds, Ruth recognized one of them and said, “I know you”. She continued to say “you were the one that performed the bone marrow on me”. The Doctor answered, “Yes, I remember you”. Ruth proceeded to tell the Doctor, “It doesn’t matter how much schooling or how intelligent you are, remember, that you wouldn’t have any of that if it wasn’t for the man up there.” The Doctor was so amazed and said, “Keep holding on to that faith” and walked out of her room.
One evening Ruth asked her sister Evelyn to get in touch with her friend and co-worker, Akia. Ruth had mentioned to Evelyn that Akia was a Baptist prayer warrior and wanted her to come and pray for her. Evelyn quickly got in touch with Akia and two days later she came to visit Ruth.
Today, June 8, 2009, Ruth began to take her first steps with a walker. The Doctors were all taken by surprise when they saw her in the hallway taking her first steps. They all shared tears, started to clap, and shared laughter.
Ruth was seen by the Doctors today as they were making their rounds. They are astonished at how quickly Ruth was recovering. Her platelet count was over 1000. They found no lesions on her back and therefore she didn’t need the back brace. From the two treatments they were giving her, they took one away. Her skin was healing in a drastic way and her skin color was coming back. Even the nurses that saw her when she was brought into ICU were amazed at what they were seeing. Some nurses have even shared with Ruth and her sisters that they had seen angels in her room. The nurses told us that as soon as they can coordinate with an acute rehab facility for a transfer, Ruth would be taken to this rehabilitation facility for further physical and occupational therapy.
Today, the Flores family, Junior, Rachel, Ashley, and Joshua, came to see Ruth in the ICU. During the night they read bible verses which spoke about healing. They began to pray and after the prayer, Ruth told them that as Junior laid hands on her feet, she felt a warm sensation over her legs and began to weep. They told her to stay strong and whatever she felt that was not from God, not to receive it.
Our cousins Lizzy, Mary, and Richie came to visit Ruth from New Jersey. Prior to this visit, our other Cousin Joseph had been explaining to his aunt Mary about Ruth’s sickness and condition. Our Cousin Mary began to explain to Ruth what she had learned about her sickness and tears began to roll down her face. As this was occurring, our Cousin Mary said: “Ruthie, you have to get back to serving God again because you know that your Father, my uncle, raised you in the ways of the Lord.” Mary continued saying, “Ruth, when you leave this place I want you to come to my house and give us a home church service again.” We learned that Ruthie was remembering a time when she and her Dad had given a church service at Lizzy’s house. Ruth response was definitely, we will give you a home church.
We remembered a time when our Mom, Evelyn, Noemi, and Ruth visited our Tia (Aunt), who is our Dad’s only sister. Our Aunt was admitted to hospice due to a terminal illness. During our visit, Tia had a setback. Her body began to shake. Our Mother decided to anoint Tia from head to toe. While we prayed, Tia stopped shaking and said that she felt like something was lifting her up. She was saying no, not yet and at that moment, she returned back to us. Tia opened her eyes like if nothing had happened to her. The following week, our cousin Papo went to visit her with intentions of speaking to her about God. During their conversation, he asked her if she wanted to accept Jesus as her Lord and Savior. She immediately said yes, with all her heart. The week of Mother’s Day, our Aunt went to be with the Lord.
That afternoon our Mom went to visit Ruth at the Hospital. The Holy Spirit came upon our Mother and she anointed Ruth with oil and prayed. We had never heard our mother pray like she prayed that day. We opened our eyes to notice that Ruth was in tears and seemed to have been touched by God. Ruth’s hand was so warm as if it was God’s hand touching her.
That evening while the sisters were leaving the hospital, Ruth was calling them on their cell because she wasn’t feeling well. They were approached by long-time friends of the family who drove from New Jersey to see Ruth. Rev. Carlito Rivera, our Dad’s best friend, entered Ruth’s room, and to her surprise saw Rev. Carlito, his wife Lydia, and their sons Abner and Carlos Jr. During their visit, Ruth requested for Abner to sing all of “Sandi Patti” songs. Rev. Carlito began to tell Ruth how God has blessed her with her musical talents and how he knew from day one that God had something special for her. Prior to leaving, Abner began to sing the song “Levanto Mis Manos” and while praying for Ruth, she began to raise her hands towards heaven in total surrender. The sick feeling that she had when she called her sisters was gone. She was in total peace.