Editor’s note: Patricia Letcavage, of Coal Township, submitted this story dictated to her by her mother, Clara, prior to her passing in 1995. She recently came upon it and wanted to have it published in fulfilling her mother’s wish. Clara writes about her husband, Alphonse, who died in 1976.
This is a story of a grandmother who had faith in the Blessed Mother and Our Lord. She kept saying the rosary, believing that our Blessed Mother would intercede for her and help her.
Rose was singing in the choir on Sunday as usual. As Mass was ending, a young man was leaving and the church and looking up, he saw Rose. He knew he had to meet her. They both belonged to the same parish but lived in different sections of town. Through a friend, he learned where Rose lived and came to her house.
Rose lived with her parents, sisters and brothers. He met Rose’s parents and told them he would like to see Rose. Her parents thought he was a nice young man and enjoyed his company. He asked if he could come see Rose again. Rose was not interested in him, but as he kept coming to the house, he won Rose over. About a year later they were married.
Rose’s mother’s house had an upstairs and basement kitchen. It was decided to put a safe bed in the upper kitchen so her mother didn’t have to walk the steps to the bedroom. The basement kitchen was reserved for Rose’s cooking and washing.
After a year of marriage, Rose gave birth to a baby boy named Stanley. About 14 months later, another boy was born to Rose whom she named Al. Rose’s husband helped her out with the two babies when he came home from work. Sometimes neighbors would come over to visit her mother and help Rose with the babies.
One day, Al was lying quietly on the sofa taking his bottle of milk. Rose left him for a few minutes to finish a small task. While she was gone, Stanley came over and pulled Al off the sofa and onto the floor. Rose quickly ran and picked Al up trying to quiet him as he was crying very much. His crying continued for days and Rose realized her child needed to see a doctor.
The doctor prescribed some medicine to give the baby to quiet him. But as the days went by, he kept crying more and more. After she took him to the doctor again, he noticed the baby’s head was enlarging. On advice from the doctor, Rose took little Al to the hospital. For the next couple of weeks, Rose took Al for therapy treatments at the hospital.
Soon Al began to lose weight and go limp. A specialist who examined Al at the hospital told Rose there was nothing he could do to help little Al. An operation would be too risky. The doctor even told Rose he would perform an operation free of charge if he knew surgery would help. Rose came home brokenhearted and told the family the news.
Work went on as usual around the house with Rose’s mother watching the babies while Rose cleaned the house and prepared the meals. Although Rose was busy every hour of the day, there was always time for the rosary.
When baby Al was about 2 years old, Rose gave birth to a baby girl she named Irene. With the new arrival and Al needing extra attention, neighbors would come over and help Rose’s mother with the children. Alex helped all he could when he came home from work. He loved the children very much and especially Rose’s mother, he did all he could to please her.
So time went by and Rose was very busy with the children and her ailing mother. Even though her mother was very sick, she tried to keep a watch over the children and, as always, prayed the rosary and hoped for a miracle from the Blessed Mother.
Baby Al was almost 5 years old. That winter morning Rose was busy as usual in the basement kitchen while watching over the baby. Sometimes she had baby Al with her so she could take care of him. Suddenly, there was a knock at the door. Rose opened the door only to find a stranger. It was a cold, freezing winter day so Rose invited the stranger in. Rose’s mother was upstairs and was not aware of the visitor. Rose asked him what she could do for him. He said he was cold and asked Rose if he may have a cup of coffee. She served him the coffee and asked if he would like some breakfast. He politely refused saying he was cold and the coffee was fine.
While he was drinking his coffee, Rose picked up baby Al because he was crying. The stranger asked Rose what was wrong with the child. Rose told him the story. He then asked, “May I hold the child for a few minutes.” She gave baby Al into the stranger’s arms. The stranger said, “This boy is a strong child. Mother, don’t worry, for in about six months this child is going to walk and be a perfectly healthy boy.” Rose smiled and said, “Oh, God, Oh, God, I hope so.” The man handed her the baby back, thanked Rose and went on his way.
Rose didn’t know him and never saw him again. She went upstairs and told her mother about the stranger. Her mother said it must have been one of the neighbors, and with that, the incident was forgotten.
And so things went on as usual, Rose being busy and her mother watching the children and saying her rosary. Rose’s husband continued to help out as much as he could.
Then one day, it was a little more than six months later, Rose was busy making dinner when her mother called her to come upstairs. Rose didn’t answer. Rose’s mother called again but Rose yelled back that she had to watch the meat on the stove so it wouldn’t burn. Her mother insisted, “Rose please, let it all burn, but come here and hurry.” Rose, fearful that something happened, came running up the stairs. For the first time, Al stood by the chair, his legs shaking but he stood all by himself and was smiling. Rose and her mother were crying and hugging him and thanking God and the Blessed Mother. They knew that the stranger who was in the house months ago was an angel in disguise.
From that day on Al was getting stronger and began walking and developed into a healthy normal child. Then as a young man, he served in U.S. Armed Forces for four years, was married and he and his wife were blessed with eight children. He also became a grandfather.
We went to the hospital where Al was taken care of and asked them if medical records were available when Al was treated. We learned records were only kept up to 20 years and by this time it was more than 50 years later. Praise the Lord!