75 year old Rena was diagnosed with breast cancer several years ago and for the last year and a half has been making the trip from her home in Oklahoma to Boston where her daughter lives, for treatment. Recently it was discovered that her cancer has spread making her unable to walk now. With her greatest wish being to return home, her family contacted us at Grace on Wings for help.
Rena was born in San Francisco where she raised her 5 daughters as a single mom. She retired as an administrator from the University of Southern California. Her daughters are now grown and spread across the country between Wisconsin, Massachusetts, California and Oklahoma.
She has been blessed with 20 grandchildren during this time as well. She left California and moved to Oklahoma where her youngest daughter lives. She has also fostered 12-15 children over her lifetime up until her recent illness.
Her oldest daughter Deborah is flying with her from Boston to Oklahoma. Deborah, her husband and their 7 children have been helping care for her mom. Her other 4 sisters have also been taking turns coming to help on a regular basis too. The sisters are all very close. We arrive and Rena is sharply dressed in black slacks and a silk paisley top. We covered her with a couple of beautifully hand-crocheted blankets.
She has been living in a small assisted living apartment in which staff look in on her regularly. It is obvious how close they have become with her and her family. Tears fill their eyes and gently spill out onto their cheeks as they try to fight them back all the while telling her how much they will miss her. One of her granddaughters is there as well helping her to get ready and boarded the ambulance to give her final goodbye.
It was fairly cold and windy as we left Boston with much need for the blankets. We could all feel the bitterness in the air as we transferred Rena on board Abe and Hal prayed over her.
Deborah was unprepared for the weather as well so Hal removed his jacket and put it around her shoulders as she stood on the tarmac.
We had great conversation during our flight with both Rena and Deborah. When we stopped for refuel in Indy the warm weather felt good in comparison to what we had left earlier. We were able to remove the blankets as we all enjoyed the warmer weather. We grabbed a cookie for Rena and some water which she ate while we continued on to Oklahoma. When we arrived there the ambulance was waiting. We transferred her onto their cot and prayed for her health, her time with her family and for travel safety back home for Deborah.
After our “amen” Rena said, “well that prayer was partly true, however, I am not letting Deborah go back home.” That gave us all a good laugh. Please continue to pray for this wonderful Christian family.
1 PETER 2:17
SHOW PROPER RESPECT TO EVERYONE,
LOVE THE FAMILY OF BELIEVERS, FEAR GOD, HONOR THE EMPEROR.
Thank you to Hal and Jason for sharing this mission with me.
Shelli Engle RN