Monday, October 25, 2010

Remembering my Great Aunt Rita Lazzarro

O Holy Patroness of those in need, St. Rita, whose pleadings before thy Divine Lord are almost irresistible, who for thy lavishness in granting favors hast been called the Advocate of the Hopeless and even of the Impossible; St. Rita, so humble, so pure, so mortified, so patient and of such compassionate love for thy Crucified Jesus that thou couldst obtain from Him whatsoever thou askest, on account of which all confidently have recourse to thee, expecting, if not alwavs relief, at least comfort; be propitious to our petition, showing thy power with God on behalf of thy suppliant; be lavish to us, as thou hast been in so many wonderful cases, for the greater glory of God, for the spreading of thine own devotion, and for the consolation of those who trust in thee. We promise, if our petition is granted, to glorify, thee by making known thy favor, to bless and sing thy praises forever. Relying then upon thy merits and power before the Sacred Heart of Jesus, we pray: (my Great Aunt Rita Lazzaro).
Obtain for us our request
By the singular merits of thy childhood,
Bv thy perfect union with the Divine Will,
By thy heroic sufferings during thy married life,
By the consolation thou didst experience at the conversion of thy husband,
By the sacrifice of thy children rather than see them grievously offend God,
By thy miraculous entrance into the convent,
By thy severe penances and thrice daily bloody scourgings,
By the suffering caused by the wound thou didst receive from the thorn of thy Crucified Savior,
By the divine love which consumed thy heart,
By that remarkable devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, on which alone thou didst exist for 4 years,
By the happiness with which thou didst part from thy trials to join thy Divine Spouse,
By the perfect example thou gavest to people of every state of life.
Pray for us, 0 holy St. Rita,
that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray: O God, Who in Thine infinite tenderness hast vouchsafed to regard the prayer of Thy servant, Blessed Rita, and dost grant to her supplication that which is impossible to human foresight, skill and efforts, in reward of her compassionate love and firm reliance on Thy promise, have pity on our adversity and succor us in our calamities, that the unbeliever may know Thou art the recompense of the humble, the defense of the helpless, and the strength of those who trust in Thee, through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen.

This is the last photo on which my Great Aunt Rita and myself took together, it was at my dad's 60th birthday celebration, I will treasure those memories of her for the rest of my life, I miss you Aunt Rita!

This past weekend on October 23, 2010 to today, October 25, 2010, is the one year anniversary of the passing of my Great Aunt Rita Lazzarro. She was a second grandmother to me because my dad's mother who was my actually grandma passed away when I was a child. Whenever I see friends of mine or random people who still have their grandparents alive, I can get abit jealous but I can say I still have my Great Aunts and Uncles still alive and to me they were my 2nd grandparents. Rita Lazzarro was a special lady in my heart cause she was always pleased with my all of my achievements and accomplishments. She and I talk about alot of things about the family or other things on whom I trusted! When I remember the day when I heard that change my life but I decided to pray the hardest. It was the day when Aunt Rita was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. I didn't know much about the disease until I heard that former President Ronald Wilson Reagan had also. So I decided to look up the information about this disease.

Alzheimer's disease (AD)—also called Alzheimer disease, senile dementia of the Alzheimer type (SDAT), primary degenerative dementia of the Alzheimer's type (PDDAT), or Alzheimer's—is the most common form of dementia. This incurable, degenerative, and terminal disease was first described by German psychiatrist and neuropathologist Alois Alzheimer in 1906 and was named after him. Most often, it is diagnosed in people over 65 years of age, although the less-prevalent early-onset Alzheimer's can occur much earlier. In 2006, there were 26.6 million sufferers worldwide. Alzheimer's is predicted to affect 1 in 85 people globally by 2050.

Although the course of Alzheimer's disease is unique for every individual, there are many common symptoms. The earliest observable symptoms are often mistakenly thought to be 'age-related' concerns, or manifestations of stress.[5] In the early stages, the most commonly recognised symptom is inability to acquire new memories, such as difficulty in recalling recently observed facts. When AD is suspected, the diagnosis is usually confirmed with behavioural assessments and cognitive tests, often followed by a brain scan if available.

As the disease advances, symptoms include confusion, irritability and aggression, mood swings, language breakdown, long-term memory loss, and the general withdrawal of the sufferer as their senses decline. Gradually, bodily functions are lost, ultimately leading to death.

Individual prognosis is difficult to assess, as the duration of the disease varies. AD develops for an indeterminate period of time before becoming fully apparent, and it can progress undiagnosed for years. The mean life expectancy following diagnosis is approximately seven years. Fewer than three percent of individuals live more than fourteen years after diagnosis.

The cause and progression of Alzheimer's disease are not well understood. Research indicates that the disease is associated with plaques and tangles in the brain. Currently used treatments offer a small symptomatic benefit; no treatments to delay or halt the progression of the disease are as yet available. As of 2008, more than 500 clinical trials have been conducted for identification of a possible treatment for AD, but it is unknown if any of the tested intervention strategies will show promising results.

A number of non-invasive, life-style habits have been suggested for the prevention of Alzheimer's disease, but there is a lack of adequate evidence for a link between these recommendations and reduced degeneration. Mental stimulation, exercise, and a balanced diet are suggested, as both a possible prevention and a sensible way of managing the disease.

Because AD cannot be cured and is degenerative, management of patients is essential. The role of the main caregiver is often taken by the spouse or a close relative.[14] Alzheimer's disease is known for placing a great burden on caregivers; the pressures can be wide-ranging, involving social, psychological, physical, and economic elements of the caregiver's life. In developed countries, AD is one of the most costly diseases to society.

I couldn't believe myself that there is a disease like this that rob your memories in a instance! So I decided to pray so hard that my Great Aunt can be cured of this dreadful disease. I prayed to Jesus, the Almighty Father and even to Saint Rita of Cascia, her namesake saint! Saint Rita of Cascia is the patron saint of Lost and impossible causes, interline travel, sickness, wounds, marital problems, abuse, mothers. Whenever I went to a church, I would have the prayer card of Saint Rita of Cascia with me to ask her for helping my great Aunt. These 2 prayers on I recited to Saint Rita: Dear Rita, model Wife and Widow, you yourself suffered in a long illness showing patience out of love for God. Teach us to pray as you did. Many invoke you for help, full of confidence in your intercession. Deign to come now to our aid for the relief and cure of {my great Aunt Rita}. To God, all things are possible; may this healing give glory to the Lord. Amen and Holy Patroness of those in need, Saint Rita, you were humble, pure and patient. Your pleadings with your divine Spouse are irresistible, so please obtain for me from our risen Jesus the request I make of you: {my great Aunt Rita Lazzaro}. Be kind ot me for the greater glory of God, and I shall honour you and sing your praises forever. Glorious Saint Rita, you miraculously participated in the sorrowful passion of our Lord Jesus Christ. Obtain for me now the grace to suffer with resignation the troubles of this life, and protect me in all my needs. Amen.

It was until the day before she passed, when I was sleeping,I got a small vision of Saint Rita telling me that she is bring your great Aunt up to heaven tomorrow and I didn't know what she meant by that but I woke up and went to work the next day and my dad came to picked me up and told me the sad news, I knew then what Saint Rita told me about she is going to heaven. I was truly upset and sadden to lose a wonderful lady in my life and I will treasure those memories with her forever in my heart. I am pleased that I went to the wake and funeral for my great Aunt. At the wake, I met alot of people on whom my Great Aunt made a impact in their lives that it made me shed some tears of both joy and sorrow that she is nomore on Earth but I know now she is watching me in heaven with the rest of my family. It was abit odd not see her at Christmas but I know she was happy to see the family celebrating her life then the oddest thing was recently I have not told anyone this until now, on the day that I was celebrating my Aunt and Uncle's 40th wedding anniversary, while her husband, my Great Uncle Frank Lazzaro, was sitting in a sit alone and looking at my newest baby cousin, Samantha Grace Soto, I believe I saw my great Aunt looking at me and the new cousin and showing gratitude and grace by kissing her on the head and nodding to me on take good care of the new cousin. To me that moment was truly a blessing to see my great Aunt Rita, one more time before she asscends to heaven to be at eternal peace without anymore suffering and fearing death.

In conclusion, I will do my best to take good care of my new cousin and try to help out with The national Alzheimer's Association to help fight a cure for this dreadful disease and allow other people feel the same fate as I had with my Great Aunt Rita Lazzaro. Requesting Prayers for my Aunt who died one year ago this past weekend at the age of 83 years. May she rest in peace and may perpetual light shine upon her.

Every member of the family has a unique role to play in the family unit. In every family these roles are different. A role that an Great aunt may play is that of helping parents getting along with their children. Much like grandparents, an aunt is not subjectively involved in what happens in the family. She is often able to see things in a more objective way. She also may be able to build relationships with her nieces and nephews and give them a place to get away from the family for a while. An aunt that is committed to her great nieces and great nephews can play an invaluable part in their lives.

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