Our daughter died in my arms as we lay together in the emergency room bed. In my grief, while holding her lifeless body, I was taken back to the baths at Lourdes, where we had visited just over a month before.
My brothers and sisters, friends, and even strangers had paid for us to travel to the shrine at Lourdes, France to seek a miracle for our daughter and our son, both of whom had Leigh’s Disease, a mitochondrial disorder. My husband was so confident that Our Lady was going to do this for us; that she was going to make our children well and show the world that miracle still happen. I believe in miracles but I had my doubts about a miracle for our children.
Journey to Lourdes
We arrived in Lourdes on our daughter’s 6th birthday. We had traveled to Lourdes with the Lourdes Volunteers, a wonderful organization that takes families like ours to Lourdes for healing. We were staying at the hospital at the shrine, just a stone’s throw from the Grotto itself. It was quiet then; it was Holy Thursday and the pilgrimage season hadn’t begun yet.
On Good Friday we went to the baths. It was a cold, rainy day. I had seen a photo of the baths before I went and I was disappointed in what I saw. I had a grander image of them — more like a hot tub that you could step down into. Instead, they are narrow stone baths that don’t look like they can fit much at all.