A few weeks before Christmas, I was contemplating where I would spend the holidays. In making the decision, I relayed on this blog my experience of visiting St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City - and how it affected my decision. The result was a posted I titled, "A Candle Carol."
A friend recently read the post, and emailed me her response. It was such a touching response, that I asked her if I could post it on my blog. She agreed. And as a result, below is "A Candle Carol: The Sequel" - in her own words. And for your convenience, and clarity, following my friend's story, I have re-posted the original "Candle Carol."
"A Candle Carol": The Sequel (by my friend who I will call "Julie")
I love your story...
I have to share ours about St. Patrick’s cathedral in NYC (as yours reminds me of ours).
As you may or may not know, Tom and I started seeing a Dr. in Manhattan to try and conceive a baby about 2 years ago (this was after spending 2 years at Strong Fertility in Rochester).
Each time we went into the city, we made a stop into St. Patrick’s to say a prayer that one day we would have a baby.
One day I remember walking down the streets of NYC and Tom found a $20 bill (can you imagine...a $20 bill laying on the streets of NYC that no one had picked up?). We were headed to St. Patrick’s. We picked up the money and I said to him that it wasn't ours...but instead we should give it back to the church and light the candles with it as a donation. We did just that.
On one of our later visits to NYC, we had my surgery to retrieve what appeared to be my last eggs to try and have a baby. The retrieval is all about "when your baby is ready and the eggs are most fertile."
Amazingly enough, my body was not ready until St. Patrick’s day. (My doctor's office is on 5th Avenue. You can only imagine how hard it was to get there and get out of the city in the midst of a large parade. The surgery was that day.)
I woke up from the surgery and my Dr. patted me on the leg and said…it might be time for an egg donor. We only got 3 eggs out. Only one of those 3 eggs fertilized. Amazingly enough, that is the embryo that is back in my now and I am 8 months pregnant.
I am most certain that our prayers we said at St. Patrick's each and every visit were answered. I truly believe the candles are magical there.
"A Candle Carol"
by Herbie J Pilato
(originally posted December 11th, 2009)
Where to spend Christmas?
It's always a quandry.
More so, this year, than others.
This year, I'm working in Pompano Beach, Florida, after only seven months prior, moving from my hometown of Rochester, New York back to Los Angeles (where I've held periodic residence since the 1980s).
So I did this morning what I always do when I have a decision to make:
I took a walk.
My pace this morning took me to St. Gabriel's Church in Pompano Beach, where good friends of mine recently celebrated the Baptism of their beautiful infant son. The father is not only my friend, but my supervisor at work.
That said, once in St. Gabriel's, I decided to light a candle. But when I walk, I usually do not carry any cash - and this morning was no different.
So, there I was, praying in church, which was so nicely decorated for Christmas, and unable to light a candle for a special prayer.
Immediately, I recalled a business trip last September to New York, where myself, my supervisor and his brother, the president of the company for which I work - and also my friend, had visited the historic St. Patrick's Cathedral.
And we had done so by mistake. Or at least we thought so.
As we walked to enjoy the sights of New York, we came across a church, and thought, "Well, this looks like a nice church. Let's go in here and say a prayer."
Once inside the beautiful structure, we realized where we were - and we were immediately in awe.
As we slowly toured through the palatial interior, we passed beauitful illustrations, images, paintings, sculptures and statues, all of which were overwhelming.
In time, we came across the candles, the cost of which to light one was $2.00.
But there we were - three successful adult men, with credit cards, debit cards and check cards - but just $4.00 in cash. And that meant we only had enough for just two of us to light candles for prayer.
Whether or not the president of the company, who also happens to be elder brother of the two, would be able to light a candle was never a question.