Aiva's Angel
By Monique

My granddaughter was diagnosed with Leukemia in May of 2013 at the young age of 2 ½.  The difficult time that followed was filled with much sorrow, gratefulness, hopefulness and a lot of prayer.  Aiva was put on a schedule of chemotherapy treatments in the time to follow and scheduled to receive these treatments for about 2 &1/2 years after.

Coming from a Catholic family, my uncle kindly organized ten masses to be said in her name at an old nostalgic church located in the core of Edmonton Canada. When a person is named at one of these masses, the service intentions are made solely for this person.

I had attended one of these masses, however my daughter. Tara, was reluctant to take Aiva out to a public gathering because of potential germs at the risk of Aiva's low immune system. None-the-less, she felt the desire to attend at least one of the masses said in Aiva's name. God's love had already assisted Aiva's journey thus far, and we were all thankful that she was already in remission and on a hopeful journey to full recovery.

One of the masses was being said on a Thursday afternoon in late July, only two months after Aiva's diagnosis.  Aiva was out of the hospital at this time, and Tara felt that this service would be the best to take her to; hopefully being a short weekday mass it might attract lesser of a crowd.

Myself and my son, Tanner (Tara's brother), met Tara and her three children (Hailey, Austin & Aiva) and all six of us drove down to the church together.  It was a perfect sunny summer afternoon. On the drive down, Tara proceeded to tell me that she explained to Aiva that we were going to visit God's house – whom they prayed to every night before bed time. Aiva's response was energetic and spontaneous, “God is going to give me candy!”

“Well,” Tara laughed and said to Aiva, “...I'm sure that if God's wants to give you candy that he will find a way.”

When we arrived, we all gathered into a middle end pew at the mass. I could sense Tara's anxiety as we looked around the beautiful, large old church. Wow! There were a lot of people there, much more than we had expected. It actually seemed that the large church was almost half full. I was surprised, because it was a noon weekday mass, and we had expected this would be a quieter service to attend. Tara, with hand sanitizer close by, was ready to fend off any germs that Aiva could possibly come in contact with during that half hour time.

The service began, and being three years old, Aiva had a difficult time to sit and stand still. We kept her in between all of us, hoping to contain her as much as possible. At one point she put her mouth on the front pew and actually licked it!  “Aiva!” Tara's firmly whispered to make her stop.  My daughter looked at me with grave worry and almost tears in her eyes, “Aiva just licked the pew!” I felt the anxiety growing inside of me and wondered if this was this a good idea to bring her here to this crowd?  But we were in church after all; where was our faith?  I whispered back, “this whole mass is being said for Aiva, I'm sure that God will look after her.”  Inside I hoped and prayed that I was right.  This little girl with her low immune system was so vulnerable.

About ten or so minutes into the mass, Aiva was still having a hard time to sit still. She dropped a little toy on the floor within the pew and crouched down to go pick it up. Being beside her, I reached my hand out to protect the front of her head to prevent her from bumping the front of the pew. But all of a sudden she went backwards instead and she bumped the back of her head!  "Great!"  I thought ,and Aiva let out a little cry. 

Tara reached across to comfort her, but instantly a hand reached back from an elderly lady in front of us to hold out a little wrapped, old- fashioned, strawberry candy in the palm of her hand. My immediate thought was how we shouldn't take candy from strangers and I was thinking that I should say no thank you to her offer.  But Hailey who was in between Tara and Aiva, grabbed the candy without hesitation and passed it to Aiva, who immediately unwrapped it, popped it in her mouth, and was content once again.

Without remembering what Aiva had said earlier in the day, I thought that I would tell the lady thank you once she turned around during the customary hand shaking and peace be with you. I waited, but was surprised that she never turned around.

Then I thought that I would tell her thank you after communion and/or after the service, but she disappeared after communion and I didn't see her after that. The elderly lady never did turn around and I never saw her face. Ironic that her hand had reached back and knew exactly who she should hand the candy to to ensure that Aiva received it.

After the service, Tara looked at me with astonishment and asked, “Don't you remember what Aiva said before church?' “Oh my gosh!” I thought, "Aiva said that God was going to give her candy!"

When we left church I looked at little Aiva and said, “Aiva, I guess that God found a way to give you some candy afterall.” “Uh, huh” Aiva said with certainty, like she already knew this and had told us so already.

How our God works in mysterious ways!  Perhaps it was a coincidence and we will never know for certain.  However, in the depths of my heart, I believe that an angel came to fulfill Aiva's promise from God that if she came to his house, that He would giver her candy. When He told her this promise, none of us may never know.

I read in a book once that angels don't want to be thanked because they come to fulfill God's requests and then simply slip away. Young Aiva's faith was so strong and certain that day that it has brought more faith and gratitude to our family, as we wait hopefully for her full recovery.


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