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In Loving Memory of Lorena

November 29, 2010

This is the time of year that single people have an acute feeling of loneliness and longing for their vocation to marriage that has not yet been realized. Being around family and friends who are married and enjoying the life they long to enjoy is extremely difficult. They get through it and try not foster jealousy and such, but it is an inescapable reality that is embraced and accepted, while finding all the joys and hope still available to them.

But for some, the holidays will be an experience that is hard to imagine.

I was recently touched very much by the story of Michael from New York and Ana Lorena from Costa Rica who met on Ave Maria Singles and married in April 2009, and then the loss of Ana Lorena to cancer one year later in June 2010.

Michael will be spending Thanksgiving and Christmas this year as a widower for the first time after having only one holiday season with the wife he loved so dearly.

He wrote to me after reading my “Is marriage really forever?” blog post and wanted to share their story with me, and has given me permission to share it with you.

I hope you will be as edified as I was, and moved to prayer for Michael and the happy repose of the soul of Ana Lorena. Their story is truly a story of love, courage, and the value of marriage regardless of how much or little time you have together.

Here is their story in Michael’s words:

I’d like to share my story as it is relevant to the blog post and also provided an opportunity to share an AMS story.

My name is Michael and in early 2008, I met Ana Lorena on AMS. I was from New York and Lorena was from Costa Rica, yet despite our geographic distance a seed was sown for a friendship which grew into a courtship. It was not very long into our courtship that we had both mutually discerned our life together as husband and wife. This wonderful discovery came, however, at the same time that Lorena was shockingly diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. Nevertheless, we continued on our journey.

We were married on April 18, 2009 at Our Lady of the Rosary chapel in San Jose, Costa Rica. Lorena remained in Costa Rica with her family while undergoing chemo treatment while I began the process to obtain residency in Costa Rica. We were hoping that I could eventually work in the country, but until that time I would travel back and forth every month. We survived the distance through Skype video calling, phone cards, and God’s grace.

In April of 2010, Lorena’s illness began to advance rapidly manifesting in declining health requiring assisted care. Her doctor had informed her brother and I that she had only weeks to live. Lorena’s hope and faith remained steadfast as ever. In the first half of June we were observing some small signs of Lorena’s health improving which invigorated our hope. But almost suddenly, we lost her on June 14th, 2010.

What a gift Lorena was as a wife, confidant, and friend. Words are truly inadequate to speak of Lorena and to speak of the wonderful time we were gifted with during our marriage. We were both grateful to Our Lord for paving the way for our friendship, love, and marriage through the instrumental ministry of AMS.

‘Until death due us part’ is usually spoken in the context when a couple is either planning for marriage or already married. I know I will need to come to fully accept the reality that Lorena is on the heaven side of our marriage and I continue to remain on the earth side which is one of the lessons depicted in this Gospel message.

For this holiday season, I will spend Christmas and the New Year in Costa Rica with Lorena’s family. It will surely be a time of reminiscing and missing Lorena for all.

Blessings, Michael


8 Comments leave one →
  1. Rosario Catarata permalink
    December 8, 2010 8:36 pm

    Iam so sorry for your loss. I myself is a widow for nine years now, almost ten. My husband passed away at the age of 39 after a long lingering illness of 3 1/2 years. I am comforted with the thought that my husband is now home with our Creator – where there is no more sickness, pain or sufferings. My married life has bee short yet we have a full life together. I also do have good memories of my husband and I am glad that I was able to accompany him during his suffering and as he transition for the next life. Be strong and be comforted that she is happily united with our Creator. I am sure that she was happy to have you too in her life before her death. I hope that God bless you and give you peace and joy to accept his will.

  2. Angela Ragsdale permalink
    December 8, 2010 8:37 pm

    Hi Aunt Karen,

    I completely agree. Life many times does not seem to make sense, but realizing that all of life’s events– great and small, joys as well as tragedies– are part of God’s plan brings comfort. I am glad you enjoyed a re-posting of this beautiful story of true faith and love.

  3. Baby permalink
    December 8, 2010 8:38 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss, God in his infinite mercy will heal your heart. Thanks for sharing.

  4. debbie permalink
    December 8, 2010 8:38 pm

    What a beautiful story, I agree Michael fulfilled Lorena’s dreams, she got to experience a wonderful man if only for a short time. Better this than not at all………………….

  5. Debbie Muzyka permalink
    December 8, 2010 8:39 pm

    I’m so sorry for your loss. May you be comforted by your family and friends. Thank you for sharing your story. I will keep you in my prayers for you and your family in this difficult time.

  6. karen jordan permalink
    December 8, 2010 8:39 pm

    Dear Angela this is a beautiful story and it reminds me that we are not in control of our destiny as much as God is.Sometimes life makes no sense but there is a plan that in the end defines us to be better and stronger individuals. I have seen young people in intense care at the hospital and I wonder why them but remember only one divine power knows the reason.

  7. Anthony permalink
    December 8, 2010 8:40 pm

    What a moving story of love, faith and trust in God’s will. Even though Ana Lorena was diagnosed with cancer, Michael didn’t run away. Instead, he trusted God’s providence and honored his love of Ana Lorena. May God bless her soul, and comfort her husband and loved ones. Merry Christmas

  8. Denise permalink
    December 8, 2010 8:41 pm

    It’s clear to me that Michael fulfilled the desires of Lorena’s heart and he has been blessed with her as his wife if only for a short time. What a beautiful story of strength, love and faith.

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