AN ORDINARY HEROINE
Death is not tragedy, but lost life is a tragedy…..Marta Bukowa from Mirocin did not lose her life, which she devoted for her daughter’s life
She found out about her illness on 11 March 2013. The diagnosis was explicit – colon cancer. A tragedy for Marta, for her husband, for her four-year-old son Bartek, for parents, for whole family, and – as it turned out later – for the whole parish.
A heroic decision
During medical examinations connected with the deteriorating health state it turned out that Marta was carrying a new life under her heart. Doctors suggested that the best solution in that situation was abortion: ‘I want to give birth to this baby’. Doctors advised her not to, as they did not give any chance for life, either to her baby nor to her. So, the fight was about two lives – life of Marta and of her baby. The fight for the baby’s life was won – on 14 August this year, in her seventh month of pregnancy her baby daughter was born, whose parents gave her the name of Mary because she was born on the eve of the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
After the birth, Marta was getting weaker and weaker, her health state was getting worse. She returned home from Warsaw where she was generating her strength to fight the disease. At that time her family, neighbours and friends and later the whole parish and those who even did not know her, were praying for her and her baby. Many Holy Masses, novenas and special prayers were said nearly all over Poland. The Mother entrusted her baby’s life to the Baby Jesus in the sanctuary in Jodłowa. For the need and for belief in healing of his parishioner, parish priest Ryszard Królicki initiated a novena to the patron of the parish – St. Juda Tadeusz, a patron for difficult and hopeless issues which is celebrated every Tuesday.
Attributes of the spirit
What was Marta like? She was quiet, calm, modest, very religious and simply good. It must be added now that she showed her heroism, responsibility and great love, giving her life to her daughter. From her youngest years she was a very calm and quiet person – her school mates speak so about her. Marta belonged to the Catholic Youth Association, made five foot pilgrimages to the sanctuary of Our Lady of Częstochowa. In her adult’s life she had already fulfilled her role as a good wife of Marek and mother of Bartek. At her work she always gave a lot from herself - she was a chef in the kitchen of the Primary School no 2 in Przeworsko. During the funeral Holy Mass, the headmaster of the school emphasized that she was a professional full of heart for children and her colleagues responsible for what she did, and also friendly and helpful. Without any hesitations she agreed to go to Bieszczady, where it was necessary to cook for ill children at the camp. She also often prepared the Christmas eve dinners for the homeless. There always were the longest queues for her meals.
The last dream
She spent the last weeks of her life at her home, among her relatives. She was suffering a lot. She never complained, but she sacrificed her pain to Jesus. She was dying consciously although she believed till the end that she would overcome the illness. The last period of her life was her Golgotha and for a family – a continuous prayer for the miracle of healing and thanksgiving for the gift of Mary’s life. Her husband Marek was accompanying Marta in her disease. The last dream of Marta was baptism of her daughter. She wanted it so much and she was looking forward for this day. On Saturday, 5 October, the parish priest celebrated the Holy Mass in her house during which he baptized her little Mary Magdalena. Marta received the holy communion and made a sign of cross on her daughter’s forehead, blessing her for her whole life, as it turned out, the last time. On that day, in the evening she died. She passed away when being calm. The day on which she baptized her daughter and gave away her spirit, was the day of Mary – it was the first Saturday of October, the month of Our Lady of the Rosary.
A testimony of Marta
Shortly before her death she had written a testimony which was read out by her will during the funeral Holy Mass celebrated for her. Here are her words:
‘In March 2013 doctors diagnosed my cancer illness – colon cancer. Further medical examinations were made, that is, CT scan with contrast, in order to diagnose possible metastasis. After the CT scan I was advised to consult a gynecologist. During a gynecologic examination it turned out that I was in the ninth week of pregnancy. As the gynecologist said, after this kind of examination with contrast, from medical point of view, I might have miscarried but I did not. An oncologist suggested abortion and started treatment but we did not decide for abortion. In the first USG examination, when a doctor was showing my baby on the monitor, I saw only a little dress in the shape of a triangle. I thought that when I saw a dress it would be a girl. Later my mother-in-law brought us a newspaper ‘Divine Miracles and Graces’, and I saw Baby Jesus in it in the same dress as I saw on the monitor during the examination. Before Easter I and my husband and our four-year-old son went to the sanctuary of Baby Jesus in Jodłowa to ask Baby Jesus for care about me and my baby. Since then I was sure that my baby would be all right and that she would be born healthy (although doctors did not give her any chances). It happened so. On 14 August, on the eve of the feast of Our Lady of Assumption I gave birth to my healthy and beautiful daughter in the seventh month of pregnancy. The doctor who was taking care of my baby in hospital, said when discharging us from hospital that although my baby had been prematurely born, she was so healthy as if she had been carried till the end and there were not any health problems typical for prematurely born babies. We gave her the name of Mary Magdalena’.
Many people who knew Marta say that she was a saint woman. The former parish priest of Mirocin-Rozbórz, Fr. Jan Częczek said during a sermon which he preached during her funeral, that he was sure that Marta had already been enjoying her eternal joy. He emphasized that he deeply believed that she would help her children, husband and parents. Mother will remain mother forever, even if she is not present physically any more…