Thursday, October 9, 2008


From left: Tia Cynthia, little sister Yvonne, My Mom, My Grandma, Tia Yvonne, my Sister Sharlene, Me, Cousin Monica
My sweet Grandmother has been battling cancer for a few years now. She was first diagnosed when our baby Hudson was in the hospital two years ago and was told she had a few days lucky if she had months. She was not convinced of her time and told everyone she was not ready and was not going anywhere. I have been back to Florida twice to "say Good-bye". A few days ago she was taken to the ER where she is still at the moment for liver failure and this time she does say she is ready. I am not! My family is very close my grandma is a STRONG Christan woman that loves Christ with every fiber its illuminates from her glow. She is very charismatic, there is never a dull moment when she enters a room. Compassion is the gift that she has given me. Her name is Maria. Maria purchased a bar from her brother right down the corner of her house. This bar was a haven for the towns drunks sadly this included my grandfather. I would sneak out of the house to go bring him home again. Maria was happy to own the property and turned it into her non-profit called "The Rescue Mission". She housed prostitutes and drug addicts to give them a chance at turning there life over the God and getting clean. She dedicated her time and energy to the poor of our island, and is well know for her hospitality. Her heart is for the poor to be rescued. She is nicked named "Sister Maria". She traveled to Countries when she felt called and one the is close to her heart is Guatemala. Growing up with her was a challenge, in the sense that her charisma embarrassed me, I Laugh now because of it. But when I would bring friends home to my home she would ask them if she can pray and anoint them with oil....AHH!!!! RUN. My friends grew to love and her, and even knew who they could go to and ask for prayer. The way this woman prays shakes the roof off. When she opens her mouth its like a thousand angels are present she prays with authority and gumption! When she prays you feel like her prayer was the one the one God did listen to even though he listens to them all. We are just convinced that she had to pray for God to do something.
Tuesday night as my Aunt Yvonne sat next to her at the hospital updating us at every event via email via text. I wrote an email to my aunt to please kiss my grandmother for me and how much I wish I was there to touch her aging hands. So much of me wished to be right next to her at this moment. She is in Florida and I am in Washington across the states. My aunt opened her computer to check her email while my grandmother slept peacefully. As she was reading my email to herself, my grandmother wakes up and says "Natalie, oh she was just here!" my aunt surprised at her sudden wake replies "No Mom Natalie is not here!" to which my grandmother replies "Yes she was here and she kissed me and said she loves me, she was just here!" My Aunt had to leave the room because she was overcome by this strange encounter. I spoke with my grandmother who asked if I asked God to do that for her. How amazing is that.
I have been in tears for two days my eyes are so puffy and red, my heart heavy with the knowledge that a great woman my hero will be leaving this earth.
Pray for Maria when you think if her, pray for our family as we have to say Good-bye.


Our journey said...

Oh Nat! You guys are in my prayers. What a glorious woman and an angel here on earth. When she reaches God she will really be able to spread her wings and fly.

Lots of love and prayers.

Heckert's Highway said...

Oh Nat, I am so sad for you. I know how it is to be so very far away from those you love. My heart grieves with you. I will definitely be praying for your family. God is so loving and knows that you can't be there, so He made sure that your Grandmother could feel your touch and your kiss. He's such a loving Father... I love you my friend, Jenn

Mark and Kels said...

You, Maria and your family are in my prayers sweet friend. Let me know if you need to talk. I know how important those abuelitas are.

Mason Mama said...


I am so sorry about you having to say goodbye, she sounds like she is an amazing woman. You will be in my prayers. Much love your way. Candace

Mason Mama said...

I am so sorry that you have to say goodbye, she sounds like an amazing woman, much love your way, Candace

Sarah said...

i lost my grandmother (who was more like a 2nd mother) a year and 10 months ago. i wasn't there when she passed, and she too spoke of me right before. i think it's because to the people we love the most, we are always in their hearts. i still miss mom every single day, but like your grandmother she battled a hard disease. i'll be praying for you. AND, what a group of beautiful women in the pix!

The Tulloss Family said...

I'm praying you receive comfort and peace. What a wonderful gift your grandmother has been. God bless her and your family.

The Redman's said...

HI Nat- Just wanted to let you know that I've been thinking about you TONS!! I'm so sorry that you're having to deal with this... and from so far away.

Praying for peace and comfort.



Natalie, what beautiful pictures of the women in your family! What a beautiful picture you have painted with your words about your hero. Thank you for sharing just a bit with us about your Gramma. May God bless you and bring you comfort and that strange sort of peace that only He can give.
Love ya,
jen in mi

Renee said...

I always cry when I visit you;) YOu are good for the soul woman! He is your strength! It will be very real when you need it.

Other than that, I am crying with you over here in MI;) She is going to see HIM face to face! think of how estatic she is going to be. Sounds like the *glass darkly* was a little frustrating for her. Thats quite the legacy you come from!!

Love you!!!

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Pray for sweet Abby Riggs!!