Friends and Family,
Tomas is 77 years old. He is the father of 8 and over 65 grandchildren and great grandchildren. All his family have built their homes together in their small plot of land. He is well accompanied now in this final journey of life. He has liver cancer; we have taken him to the city to the Cancer hospital; his diagnosis is confirmed and the family is aware and accepting that comfort care is all that can be offered.
Tomas worked over 30 years in the Clinica Maxena as janitor and night guard; he retired two years ago; he is well loved and respected by all the workers. He has a very deep faith and shares his spiritual wisdom with all. He is a eucharistic minister and often visited the sick to administer the blessed sacrament; now others are doing the same for him. He spends most his day in the reclining chair that the clinic bought for him. Daily visitors are coming to spend some time with him and his wife Maria. He can barely now get around with the walker.
We decided last week to bring Tomas to the clinic to share lunch with the workers. We welcomed him and his wife Maria with music and joy. He is weak and jaundiced but as always he is smiling. We all enjoyed chicken stew lunch. On the table was the statue of Hermano Pedro, a proclaimed Saint for the SICK. Hermano Pedro is from Guatemala and his picture hangs in the entrance of the clinic. I presented the statue as a gift to Tomas. After lunch each worker knelt to hug Tomas. Tomas continued his don of giving encouragement and advice to each worker. Tears and hugs shared.
Tomas is my Cumpadre, that is, I am the Godmother of four of his children in Baptism. I was very young then when he asked me. I remember very fondly taking him and his young family on a journey to Esquipulas, the National Shrine of the Black Christ. This was an eight hour journey and we went on the bus. I remember there were beggars on all the steps up to the entrance of the church. Tomas went up the steps, dropping a few coins in each of the beggars hands. This deeply impressed me as Tomas and his family were very poor themselves.
Life has its blessings and having Tomas as a friend and cumpadre is a very special blessing for me. Thank You Tomas!!
Attatched are photos with Dr Ever presenting Tomas with funds collected from fellow workers, the statue of Blessed Brother Pedro with candle and Tomas giving words of encouragement and gratitude to me.