The Rosa Mystica: A Few Words about Cubby and from Cubby on the Four-Month Anniversary of her Death

Cubby Rosa MysticaI have written about Cubby LaHood, my mentor from Isaiah’s Promise, a few times. Today I want to hold the space to remember her in her own words. I am so blessed to be one of her last moms that she mentored through a pregnancy with a fatal “diagnosis” earth-side. I’m sure that she is helping many from the heavenly realms. Following is a brief excerpt from a longer chapter in my forthcoming book.

Cubby’s son Francis Edward died after birth of a kidney disorder. As a mentor, she offered me guidance based on her own experience after dedicating decades of her life in service to others. Many people offer the platitude “I know what you’re going through” with no such knowledge at all. Cubby did know. She had walked through the difficulties and knew how we felt. Her words reverberate still with incredible love and kindness. She wrote me many e-mails from the time that she offered support through Isaiah’s Promise until her death.

E-mailing Cubby was so good for me because I would weep and write when I could not sleep. I couldn’t speak on the phone because I would cry and couldn’t talk. I often told her about my concerns with the pregnancy. In May I write to Cubby about how hard it is to be in my pregnant body during the pregnancy. I tell her about my anxiety and worries for my unborn daughter. She responds

May 26, 2014

Yes, the suffering is what we all worry about so much. Its like a catch 22, we want them here with us, but we also want God to take them. You must not feel guilty, you have carried her because you love her – in life we all suffer in some way, even a healthy child suffers along the way. It is just that Mary Rose will have all the joy, love, and suffering, in a short period of life….With all the babies I have helped deliver – I have not seen suffering. It has always been very, very peaceful, like falling asleep. Even with Francis, it was slow and peaceful and I was not afraid. We held him always. You won’t need any equipment because you will not be putting her down.!!

Mary Rose deserves dignity…she will always live in your heart. She will give you strength.

I confide my feelings to her many times between May, when we began to correspond, and Mary Rose’s birth and death on August 8, 2014. She responds again

May 31, 2014

Oh My Friend – I know how hard it is…I would stare out the window at our swing set and weep, knowing my son would never play there…However, the closer I got to delivery, the more I became calm because I wanted to MEET him after all those months…I wanted to hold him and love him even if that was all we could do…I was HIS mother and I would cherish him every second. All of my fear and doubts would ebb and flow, but on delivery day I was only ready for love. I really prayed hard for strength. God gave me this baby son – if only for a few minutes. And I was going to love him…

June 18, 2014

YOU are stronger then YOU think – right now it is all the unknowns that make life so tedious – After birth, things will fall into place – even though you sense that Mary Rose’s time will be short – you must begin to look forward to meeting her – whatever the outcome. Love and letting go will be a part of it – but nothing is more important then love…

In the meantime – we will keep praying for you, especially for strength – and remember LOOK forward to meeting her – God has given you a great gift.

When I was still pregnant with Mary Rose she told me about the Rosa Mystica. It was June and Cubby was sick, but I did not know that she was sick yet. She didn’t tell me that she had stage 4 cancer until the fall. Cubby did not want to burden her mothers with her problems. I am taking care of the Rosa Mystica she told me. I googled Rosa Mystica and found out about more miracles of Our Lady, learned that the rose is her flower. Mary Rose. I didn’t know the significance of the name that entered my heart when I was pregnant. I believe that Cubby had the statue in her home, that there was to be a prayer service that night. I will pray for you and Mary Rose she told me.

And she still does.


Photo credit: Mary Frances LaHood. Cubby seated with her friend Kathy Schaef near the Rosa Mystica.

Author: Dianna

DIANNA VAGIANOS ARMENTROUT is a published writer, teacher, workshop facilitator and poetry therapist. She graduated from Adelphi University’s Honors Program and earned her MAW from Manhattanville College. Dianna’s pregnancy with her daughter, Mary Rose, who died an hour after birth of trisomy 18, changed her life completely. Her blog, Walking the Labyrinth of My Heart, was launched in April 2015 as a way of offering support to others going through pregnancies with life-limiting and fatal diagnoses.

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