Raquel is getting better everyday, despite the illness we know is still there, and the extra recovery she has had to make after her emergency surgery 10 days ago. YOU WON’T BELIEVE WHO has been praying for Raquel (besides everyone we know, and many people we don’t…I’ll tell you in just a minute). Each day she has had a little more energy and has slept a little less. We finally got all the previous sugar-laden, cheaper formula through her system, and I really believe the new food is making a difference.
A Sweet Visit
Today, one of her best friends, Chloe Wilson, came to visit from Cedar City with her family. The hospital has really cracked down on visitors over the past month because of a sickness that’s causing many kids serious respiratory problems. So they won’t allow any visitors under the age of 14 years, so Chloe’s younger siblings waited in the ICU waiting room. They still wanted to come on the six-hour drive even though they knew they wouldn’t actually see Raquel. So sweet!
But Chloe was able to sit with us for little while. She brought some big poster cards from Raquel’s high school seminary class, on which all the kids had written happy messages. She helped tape them up on the big door to Raquel’s room.
THANK YOU, all you great kids, for creating that! We’ve also received in the past, sweet posters, notes and cards from her track team, Mike’s work, her church youth group, our entire church family, our own extended family and many others. I know there are whole church families praying and fasting for her.
Anyway, we had a great visit, with Chloe reading cards and letters from friends and people from our community who have overcome serious illness and other great challenges. Chloe watched as the respiratory therapist had to adjust Raquel’s trach, and she was able to get a good look at the tube in her throat. Chloe got a little light-headed afterward, but then was fine (I think my peppermint oil helped). It gave me an excuse to bring in both her parents, which they wouldn’t have allowed otherwise. They all stood by her bed and expressed their love. Raquel was so happy to see them all. She waved her hands, and when it was time for them to leave, she stretched out her right arm to give Chloe several hugs. It was the most heartwarming sight!
Raquel still isn’t able to smile or talk yet, but with the progress she’s been making, I don’t think it will be too long. You all know, she’s a fighter. She’s working hard to get better, and I know she will!
A Sweet Story of Prayer
So, now I want to share a very special story with you. So special, I’ve been hesitant to make it public. But I attended church at the hospital today, and it made me wax spiritual. Many of you know that my mother sang on the Lawrence Welk Show for about 12 years. Here name is Sandi Griffiths, and there are videos of her on YouTube and my other blog (that is sometimes not up-to-date). Many members of our church know who she is, and loved watching her perform over the years. They still play some reruns of the show on PBS in many areas of the country.
Anyway, about 3 weeks ago, my mom was packing up to move from Los Angeles, CA to southern Utah. Out of the blue, she received a personal letter from Thomas S. Monson, the president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. We revere him as a living prophet on the earth today. He wrote my mother to thank her for her good example and years of performing wholesome entertainment. It was a big, sweet hug to my mom (and we thought it was pretty cool too).
She had written President Monson back, mentioned her grand-daughter who was fighting a terminal illness, and she sent him a CD of her vocal music recordings. She had received a call from his office saying he was very happy to receive it.
Well, the day after Raquel’s surgery 10 days ago, when we were so overjoyed and relieved that Raquel was still with us, my mom relayed the following news. She said that President Monson’s office had called that very morning to ask the name of her grand-daughter, so that President Monson could pray for her. Wow! The thought of our prophet, praying for Raquel, along with soooooo many others, has lifted my spirits repeatedly, and brought so much hope to my heart.
Even so, I know the Lord hears all prayers, and he is aware of the smallest sparrow. I know He has been aware of Raquel’s trails and even of her smallest challenges, along with mine and everyone else’s. I know that His son, Jesus Christ suffered for all our sorrows, as well as our sins. I know that He governs His church on the earth through a living prophet, through whom He sends special messages, instructions and comforts for us as we journey through this life of disappointments and joys. I especially love President Monson’s talk from last general conference called “Be Strong and Of A Good Courage.” And I know that ultimately, we will all be raised up from death, to be together with our loved ones who have passed before, many of whom watch over us and are our guardian angels. I believe there are many angels surrounding all the children that are here with us. This knowledge comforts me and brings peace and hope to my heart.
I look forward to more news of progress and improvements to share with you this coming week. We will be starting radiation, and working on some dental issues. I feel that with all the prayers and the Lord’s watchful care, everything will go smoothly. xoxo