Martha… my aunt, my partner in crime, and one who is in great need of your prayers

Prayer is not asking. Prayer is putting oneself in the hands of God, at His disposition, and listening to His voice in the depth of our hearts.”
― Mother Teresa


Martha, pronounced Maaathha.
You must remember this is the South.
It was not until I was much older, did I finally realize that my aunt’s name was not spelled, as my mother had always pronounced it–Mothaa—like a moth with a pronounced “a” at the end but rather like the traditional spelling of m a r t h a.
She is my mother’s younger sister.
She and I are our only remaining links to that side of the family….
We are 20 years apart in age.
We have been through thick and thin…which I suppose started around the time the above picture was taken in what I believe to be 1963.

She lives in South Florida, where she’s been for the last 30 some odd years, but was born and raised in Atlanta. 27 years ago she and I dealt with my mother’s short lived illness and eventual death—we did so together. I never could have survived those dark days with Dad by myself. Three years following that, my grandmother, her mother, died after a sad lengthy battle with dementia. And lastly Martha, who had lived in a 30 year long marriage of emotional and mental abuse had had enough…

That eventually left just the two of us.

To do what you ask?
Travel of course….


Wonderful Salzburg during Oktoberfest


In front of the surreal world of Swarovski’s Crystal world in Wattens, Austria outside of Innsbruck

And so we have, for many years now all over this planet of ours, sought adventure. In part I think we go for my mom who never got to “go”– who lived a life, we have both come to discover and understand, was not the happy life we had assumed. We go to celebrate the lives of those lost and we go as wayward pilgrims on a necessary journey–most often of self discovery. And of course we go to eat…

As in the bowl of Bouillabaisse she had in Bruges….maybe not something to eat in Bruges…


Or the zuppa in Florence at Il Latini—guests had a choice of one soup– since Martha couldn’t make up her mind, the waiter, who seemed smitten, brought her all three—this before the entree of Bisteca a la Florentine–that was the best pappa pomodoro we have ever tasted.


But it has been the news from a week ago that has me reaching out to those of you who are inclined to Pray.

From a routine physical last week at her doctor’s office, blood was detected in her urine. She was feeling fine as she is never one to really get sick. She has joined her local Y and is now a svelte, lean mean fighting machine of an aunt…. so needless to say Martha was stunned when the doctor sent her for a myriad of tests consisting of an Ultra sound and CT scans.

This is when the mass was discovered.

Her left kidney has a very large mass, which appears to be totally contained within the kidney, thankfully. Surgery is scheduled for Thursday in tomorrow—October 17th. They will remove the entire kidney.

As my aunt reads this blog, I asked her if it was all right that I send out this “request” as I am now humbly asking those of you who pray, to please remember my aunt tomorrow morning. I also ask that you please include her daughter and granddaughter in your prayers as they, along with my small family here, nervously approach Thursday morning…and as Martha undergoes the removal of a kidney, I ask for your prayers of Peace…prayers for the doctors and the surgical staff, prayers for recovery, prayers for Grace and finally prayers of Gratitude…..

We jokingly wonder if this has anything to do with her current health scare as she is seen here following the Milanese tradition for luck of, umm, twisting one’s heel on the b@*ls of the bull in the famous Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II…perhaps the bull had had enough twisting….


Here is to my aunt, my friend and my partner in crime—Prayers for good health, healing, Grace and Gratitude….and many more adventures…..


24 comments on “Martha… my aunt, my partner in crime, and one who is in great need of your prayers

  1. Geralyn says:

    Julie – how beautiful the two of you are. And how lovely that you and she travelled together. Of course it goes without saying, that I will remember her and your family in my prayers. It’s quite a thing we’ve got going here, huh? Thank you for your prayers too. Bless you.

  2. nonfatlatte says:

    What a beautiful tribute! I’ll be praying.

  3. Both of you will be in my prayers.

  4. Amanda says:

    Much prayer is being lifted for your dear Aunt Martha.

  5. Melissa McCain says:

    I certainly will be praying for Martha. Please keep me posted.

  6. Lynda says:

    I believe deeply in prayer and will keep your Aunt Martha in prayer tonight and tomorrow as well as mentioning her at Mass in the early afternoon. What a blessing you have been to each other.

  7. Oh, Julie!! You KNOW Lance and I will be on our knees for her – for you – for the family. Prayer availeth much. We claim her peace, strength, and healing from Jehovah Rapha!!

    • Thank you Phyllie—I just spoke with Martha this evening for the last time until after the surgery—her comment to me was that she had such a peace about her and knew that there were so many prayers being said—I’ll touch base letting you know tomorrow afternoon. Hugs to you—cookie

  8. Kaitlin Costley says:

    Hi dear, sweet Cookie…. I will definitely keep your aunt, you, and your family in my prayers. Your strong faith and huge heart have always been an inspiration. You’re such a strong, inspirational person who greatly influenced my life during my high school years… I just want you to know how thankful I am for you and the years you were teacher, confidant, encourager, and friend. Sending lots of love and prayers your way tonight.

    • Well Kaitlin–what a delight!! How in the world have you found your way to the cookiecrumbs? I am so glad that you have!! I appreciate your prayers and good thoughts and I know that my aunt is so prayerfully supported by so many that she is in God’s good care—-always. These sorts of things just tend to make everyone nervous and apprehensive. Are you finished yet with school? You must keep me up to date on your latest adventurers….and we will have to have lunch soon in order to catch up!!
      Again, thank you so much for touching base and for your prayers—a big hug and love to you—cookie

      • Kaitlin Costley says:

        Someone told me forever ago that you started a blog…. I remembered this tidbit of info last week and decided to look you up! I’m in my senior year and will graduate Fall 2014. I have lots of exciting adventures to share– I would LOVE to have lunch soon to hear about your European excursions! Shoot me an email soon, so we can arrange a date– Take care!

  9. Will do. Hang in there, Julie.

    • Thank you so very much Virgil….by the way I just bought the latest book by Kyriacos Markides Inner River: A pilgrimage of Christian Spirituality ….I had read his book The Mountain of Silence about Mt Athos—–a visit to the holy mountain, had I been a guy, would certainly be on the bucket list….but as that is not the case…to see the images and to read of the elders who live there will have to suffice—Blessings

  10. Ginny Downes says:

    Julie ( Cookie) I have know your aunt – my good friend Martha – for 23+ years. She speaks of you often and with much love. You both are blessed to have such a wonderful relationship. I just spoke to her today and hearing her voice is a God send. Thank you for writing such a heart warming blog, it brought tears to my eyes. Our prayers are still heading her way and will be. Much love, Ginny Downes

    • Oh thank you so much Ginny for finding and reading this post regarding Martha. I know what you mean about hearing her voice as she snuck out a call to us here Friday night from ICU. What a bizarre adventure this has truly been. Martha is so blessed having such a wonderful group of friends in West Palm Beach as she, in turn, speaks so lovingly and so highly of her “crew”.
      Please come back to the cookiecrumbs any time Ginny–I actually posted a patient update today—which is truly a God send—-grace and peace—Julie

  11. Laurie Purvis says:

    Thank you for this beautiful tribute to our wonderful Mothaaa! She is indeed loved by her “crew” here in WPB!

    • Thank you Laurie for being Maaatha’s good friend–for all of your love and support of, to and for her—especially during the course of this past week!! She is so lucky to have such a wonderful “crew”

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