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Lucia was in her early twenties when she met Joseph, the man who was to become her husband, at a church sponsored dance.
Lucia and Joseph decided that the “ideal” family they would like to build together, given God’s grace and blessing, would include exactly three children.
Through eleven years together, God provided according to their desires and His will. He gave three healthy children (two boys and a girl in the middle)!
When the children, Thomas, Clare and Robert were just 7, 4 and 2 years old, Lucia felt a familiar physical feeling come over her – she believed that she might be pregnant for a fourth time. She visited the family doctor to confirm the pregnancy she suspected and undergo a routine exam.
Lucia was indeed pregnant for a fourth child, but early during this unexpected time the doctor discovered a problem and he hospitalized her immediately – she had a cancer raging uncontrolled in her colon!
The doctor and surgeon prescribed an abortion, and surgery to remove the cancer- as the only and best possible treatment they could offer.
Lucia was just 35 years old and less than 2 months into her pregnancy. She and her husband already have three small children -exactly what they had “planned”. She had given up a fashion design career she had begun when she was single to have and care for the family she bore. Lucia was deeply devoted to her three small children and husband. They all needed her.
The baby growing inside of her was less than an inch long. The fetus already looked human. Brain waves were present in the growing baby. The eyes, ears, nose, toes and fingers were formed, the heart was beating for its fourth week. Blood flowed. Reflexes occurred and parts of the skin were already sensitive to touch. Fingerprints had started to form along with lines on the palms of the hands.
But, Lucia’s life was in mortal danger, she was just 35 years old, and she had much to do and to live for. The baby’s life was also in mortal danger. He was just 8 weeks old. His mother’s womb had suddenly become a very dangerous place to live, but- he had no “choice”.
Lucia made her decision -not last year, -not ten years ago, nor even 20 years ago, -but over 40 years ago in the fall of 1955! At that time there were no magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines or computed tomography (CAT) scans available for carefully calculated precise measurement and diagnosis of the growing cancer. Crude chemotherapy treatments were available, but, laser or orthoscopic surgery tools or sophisticated biochemical treatments were not. Cancer was greatly feared- justifiably so, because there was remarkably little that doctors could do but possibly isolate the cancer by surgical removal. Slim hopes usually relied on surgery and getting it all, if possible.
Lucia understood God’s perspective in this situation. The decision for her was clear. Why? Simply put, she knew what was right. She knew the value of life. Lucia was determined to keep the child, a gift from God, the author of life, the creator of all things, who said:
“I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse; therefore choose life, that you and your descendants may live, loving the Lord your God, obeying his voice, and cleaving to him; for that means life to you and length of days…” (Deuteronomy 30:19-20)
Lucia refused the abortion, but underwent surgery in October of 1955 at about 8 weeks of pregnancy to remove most of her colon. As a result, she lived the rest of her life with a colostomy.
“. . . for that means life to you and length of days . . .”
God blessed her family with a complete cure of the cancer and many more years of life on earth for Lucia. Years enough that she would witness the birth of all six of her grandchildren. They would grow old enough to have their own memories of her. He brought her much comfort and peace as her health failed, gently and mercifully putting her mind at ease. His providence was truly amazing as time and time again he sent her just what she needed to move from this life to Him with grace and mercy. His plans for her complete, the Lord brought her home to everlasting life in 1995.
James married Bonnie and now they have two children of their own, gifts from God.
Their family is prolife.