Today we had the pleasure of transporting 58 year old Juanita to New York to be near her sister Juliet. Juanita has 2 sisters and 3 brothers all of whom were born in the Philippines. In 1985 she, her 2 sisters and 1 brother moved to New York leaving 2 brothers in their home country.
Juanita worked at the ticket counter for Delta from which she retired early and moved to the Cincinnati area. She never had children. Her sister Juliet remained in New York while their brother and other sister Jean moved to Toronto, Canada leaving this family spread over 3 countries. It was Jean and her husband Nelchor in Canada who contacted us to transport Juanita.
Juliet and her daughter had gone to visit Juanita this past August when she fell. While in the hospital they ran some routine tests and discovered that Juanita had renal cancer which had spread to her bones. This diagnosis was very unexpected especially since she had not had any signs or symptoms. With this terminal diagnosis her family wants her near them so they can oversee her care.
We arrive at her bedside to find her surrounded by Juliet, Jean and Nelchor. I could see joy in each of their faces through their smiles. They quickly rush over to introduce themselves and thank us for coming. Juanita is sweet and soft spoken as is the rest of her family. They have made all of the necessary provisions for this move from selling her home to contacting us. Juliet will be flying back to New York with Juanita.
Jean and Nelchor however will be going back to Canada so they ask to follow us to the airport, wanting to spend as much time as possible before their final goodbye. Once we arrive they come out onto the tarmac for hugs and kisses between their smiles and tears as we place Juanita and Juliet on board Nellie.
What a precious family they are. The evidence of their emotions was obvious as they smiled trying to stay strong for their sister while at the same time fighting back tears in knowing how much they will miss her.
Juanita did great during her flight as we listened to Christian music per her and Juliet’s request. Juliet took many pictures to share with her siblings. She said that it had been 3 years since they had traveled back to the Philippines to visit family. She now hoped that their brothers would soon come to the states to visit especially since Juanita would not be well enough to go back there.
We landed on Long Island and made the short drive to the facility where Juanita would now be closer to family allowing them to give her the support she needs. She was definitely happy in knowing that Juliet would be close. We placed her into bed and joined in prayer thanking God for the love of this family.
Our flight home was a little longer than normal as we were fighting a very strong headwind. As we flew westward we watched in awe, as God began setting the sun. It hovered just above the clouds riding along the horizon in brilliant shades of yellow, orange and reds before it finally set. Just as it set there was the moon in its place. Just a sliver was lit but upon close observation we could see its entire outline as He suspended it in the clear sky.
1 PETER 3:4
RATHER, IT SHOULD BE THAT OF YOUR INNER SELF,
THE UNFADING BEAUTY OF A GENTLE AND QUIET SPIRIT,
WHICH IS OF GREAT WORTH IN GOD’S SIGHT.
Thank you to Hal and Jason for sharing this mission with me.
Shelli Engle RN
JUST A PLANE FUN FACT:
Long Island, New York is 118 miles by 23 miles making it a total of 1400 square miles with a population of over 7 million people. It is in size the 11th largest island in the United States making it larger than our smallest state of Rhode Island.