A Hail Mary

"My life has been a string of Crosses and blessings, both of which have been interwoven with one another. As Catholics, we are taught how to respond to suffering. We know that there can be merit, meaning, sanctification and fruits in the suffering. Now whenever suffering comes, I think to myself, “Oh something great is around the corner. I just have to suffer through this to get there.” I know that I can unite my own suffering with that of Christ’s on the Cross and join Him in the Resurrection.

My husband and I have struggled with our health over the years. In 1999, I had a severe toothache, and I went to go see my dentist who sent me to my family doctor. When he checked my vitals, he raced me to the hospital in his car. He called my husband and said, “I think your wife is having an aneurism, please get to St. Joseph’s hospital as soon as possible.”

It was a horrible time life threatening time in my life, full of panic, full of fear. I had a two year old daughter and a four year old son at home. Throughout my marriage I had worried that one day I might lose my husband, and here it was happening to me.

During that time, I had extensive testing and a variety of procedures done, which lasted about a year. I was eventually diagnosed with a rare disease called Fibro Muscular Dysphasia, which is an attack on the artery between your kidneys and your aorta. The doctors told me that I needed to have a Renal Bypass to be able to save my kidneys.

When they told me this, all I could think about was my husband and my kids. I was worried about how we would support ourselves. Seeing as we were both self-employed, we didn’t have benefits and so I knew he couldn’t take time off. But then I worried about who would look after my little ones.

When you are faced with a health scare, you deal with a rollercoaster of emotions. Feelings of loneliness, frustration, dread, depression and fear fill your waking moments. Some days you just feel like you want to give up fighting. I felt like this one day until my daughter came into the room and knelt before my eyes and started to pray a “Hail Mary”. I knew I had to continue fighting for her. I was the only person that could be her mother. That thought and her prayer saved me in that moment. The whole ordeal ended up being a real gift in more ways than one."

#CatholicsOfToronto Part 3/4 of Dorothy's Story.

Photo: Anna Dzieciol Photography

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