Sunday, August 18, 2013

Standing With Rosie

I think it's okay to talk about this on my blog, as people have been spreading the word and asking for prayers and positive thoughts and love.

My daughter Bridget, who is 23 years old, graduated a little over a year ago from Thomas Aquinas College (a.k.a. TAC) in California.  If you ever visit TAC, you will be impressed by its beauty and peace and the kindness of the faculty, staff, and students.  Sir Anthony Hopkins just happened to pop by one day, because he saw the bell tower of the chapel from the main road that passes by the school, and was intrigued.  One of the students saw him walking around the chapel, recognized him, and showed him around the college.  A couple of days later, he came back to give an informal talk to the students about his life and work.  Bridget said he was an utterly delightful man -- incredibly kind and personable in visiting with all of the kids.  He also told her that she has beautiful eyes, thus endearing him to her forevermore.

Anyway, Bridget has many dear friends from this lovely school, one of whom is an incredible young lady by the name of Rosie.  And this is a little story about Rosie which I think illustrates her spunk and her spirit.  At TAC, the curriculum is set up in such a way that if you fail even one class during one semester, you have to leave the school and not return until the corresponding semester of the following year, at which time you have to re-take ALL of the classes from that semester, even the ones you didn't fail.  This is because there is only one course of study at TAC, which is taken by 100% of the student body, so all the classes for each year are taught only once during that year, and you have to take all of them in sequence.  So, if you are taking junior level literature, science, math, philosophy, theology, and music during the spring semester, and you fail even one of those classes, you cannot return to the school until the following spring semester, at which time you must repeat all of those classes and pass them before you are allowed to continue.  So, during the spring semester of her junior year, Bridget was really worried about passing math.  This was shocking to me, because math has always been Bridget's favorite subject.  I guess it was a very tough class, though, and she was quite stressed out over it.  I happened to be at the school one day, visiting with Bridget and Rosie.  Bridget told Rosie of her worry about passing math and not being able to return for the fall semester.  Rosie was two years ahead of Bridget, so she had already graduated, and she told Bridget, quite joyfully, "Well, that's okay.  If you fail out, we'll just go to Europe together during the fall.  Europe is lovely during the fall, and we'll have such a good time."  Bridget looked at her in a rather stunned fashion, and I commented that I thought that would be a grand plan.  As it turns out, Bridget got an "A" in the math class, so she didn't get to go to Europe.  Sort of a bummer, actually.

Now, I am so heartsick to have to tell you, Rosie needs all of us.  She needs us to stand with her, because she has been struggling with a serious form of cancer for quite a while.  Through it all, she has remained upbeat and strong.  She has fought hard.  We were told yesterday, though, that it looks like Rosie's fight may be coming to an end.  The cancer has spread throughout her body, in spite of the treatments she has been given.  The doctors have told her and her family that she could pass away sometime over the next couple of weeks.  She is going to try some additional therapy, even though she was informed that her type of cancer does not usually respond well to it.  But Rosie, being the fighter that she is, is going to give it a shot. 

As you may have surmised, Rosie is Catholic.  She has a very deep and sincere faith.  It is not a pushy, judgmental, in-your-face kind of faith.  It is the kind of faith that lifts you up when you are around her.  A joyful faith.  Her family also has this type of faith.  Her family is one of the most special families that I have ever had the privilege of knowing.  She has several brothers and sisters, who are all on their way to be by her side.  And they have all asked if you would please join in praying for Rosie, so that she will be at peace and comfortable at this time.  They have also said that Rosie's spirits are good and that she is actually encouraging others (which does not surprise me, at all).

So, if you would all join Rosie's family, loved ones, and friends in praying for her, it would be so appreciated.  And if you are not comfortable with praying, if you could just surround Rosie with loving thoughts and well-wishes, that would be so kind.

May God bless and Mary keep you.

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