In the Fall of 2008 I had just finished my rounds of radiation and chemotherapy for cancer treatment. At that time my father was living in Peru and I planned to visit him and his wife for Christmas. It was going to be a beak after all the hardships of the treatments.
Close to Thanksgiving I was hit with a severe case of bronchitis. If that wasn’t enough, I got the stomach flu so bad I spent a night vomiting and passing out. In one of those rounds I fell to the floor, hit my nose very bad and broke my glasses. I was totally dehydrated and thankfully a friend took me to an emergency clinic so I could get some help.
I was so weak so I had to cancel my plans. I even had to cancel any plans to visit my daughter and her family for Thanksgiving. That was depressing! But something very good came out of this. In my lowest moments I came up with a plan.
One of the many ministry endeavors of my parents in Peru was feeding stations for needy children. For many years Edita, one of the students from the First Promotion of the Bible Institute Dad founded, was in charge. At this time more than 100 mothers were represented. They had to take turns cooking the food for the children and Edita had weekly teaching sessions for them, with Bible instruction and lessons on how to take care of their children. One of the desires these mothers had was to have a Bible of their own.
In my lonely Thanksgiving celebration, a day when I didn’t even get up and get dressed, I figured out a plan to give these mothers a Bible for Christmas. I emailed everybody on my list and asked for donations. I for sure didn’t have the money to buy all those Bibles!
Some people responded, ten dollars here, five dollars there. A great surprise was when one of the brothers in the church I attend, Faith Assembly, surprised me with an offering that had been taken for this project. With that and the ten dollar here and five dollars there, I had enough.
Now began a back and forth contact with Edita so she could negotiate with the Bible Society and get the best price. She handled everything superbly and for the Christmas program the mothers got their Bibles.
Happy “mothers” with their Bibles
That was to be the last Christmas Edita celebrated with “her” mothers. Half a year later she was in a freak bus accident, traveling to the city where she ministered. Due to her husband’s work she lived in Lima, but oversaw the work with the feeding stations in Huancayo. Her two sisters took care of the daily routines. The youngest one is now my stepmother. Dad married her after being a widower for a few years. They had worked together for more than twenty years, so she knew my mother very well.
I was reminded of all this when I saw on Facebook some pictures of the three-year memorial of Edita’s passing. I asked her daughter for permission to show them on my blog. I have never seen such a beautiful display in memory of someone’s death.
The few months that Edita lived after the marriage of her sister to my dad, my brother Pepe loved to give her grief calling her Aunt. She was my aunt too, quite younger than myself. That was what my brother thought was so funny, that he had such a young aunt.
Family gathered at Jardines de La Paz (Gardens of Peace) in memory
of three years since Edita went to be with the Lord
“Third Anniversary, We love you very much Edita”
on a beautiful flower bed
Milene, Edita’s only daughter, at her mother’s grave
I’m glad to have this last memory of working with Edita in providing Bibles. It took getting very sick and the generosity of Faith Assembly, but most of all God’s grace.
Since Dad married Mary, Edita’s sister, Milene is now my cousin, in Spanish my “primita.” By God’s grace, maybe some day Edita’s daughter and I can do another Bible distribution, to a new set of “mothers.”
By God’s grace, so be it!