Bella Rodriguez-Torres's Journal
Thanksgiving- Six months since Bella went home
Written Nov 28, 2013 8:12am by Shannah Rodriguez-TorresToday marks six months since Bella was called to heaven. We miss her terribly. We now know the meaning of heartache in the physical sense and struggle with a range of emotions through the day. At times the grief simply robs us of the ability to breathe at moments.
It is easy for us to know what we want. We want Bella here with us, eating her "Turkey Dinner" attending Mass, singing her songs and being her joyful self. BUT of all days, today is not a day to think about what we want, rather as Bella taught us, today as we should everyday- we give HIM thanks. And so as difficult as this day may be, today we will give God thanks and praise. We give thanks for the gift that was Bella. We give thanks that because of our faith, we know without equivocation that BELLA IS ALIVE in heaven. We give thanks for all the amazing people that have come into our lives and lifted us up. We give thanks for the generous donors and team at Live Like Bella Foundation who are continuing Bella's mission of helping children with cancer. And we give thanks for all of you who have loved the child entrusted by God to us, even if you never met her in person. thank you for loving our family and for your unceasing prayers. We give thanks for you!From our family to you and yours- Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving! May you all enjoy a day of abundant health, peace and joy! We also want to wish our Jewish friends and family a very blessed and joyous Hanukkah!
Written Nov 2, 2013 7:55am by Shannah Rodriguez-TorresDear Bella’s Believers:
We pray this post finds you and yours well! Thank you for your continued prayers for our family.
We apologize it has taken so long to update this page. Things have been as expected with “Highs and Lows.” Thankfully far more “Highs than Lows.” There are moments of deep and indescribable grief because we miss Bella so much. At the same time, we know she is alive enjoying paradise in heaven and we feel her presence so very often in all we are doing with the Live Like Bella Foundation. We are in NEED of your help. We are excited about Live Like Bella Nights of Lights which will run from Nov-January at Pine Crest gardens. This will be a very beautiful display of lights in honor of Bella. Sponsorships are tax deductible and we need your help. Please visit: www.LLBNights.com and choose a sponsorship on behalf of your family or company. Approximately 30K people are expected over the six week period.
We are also working very diligently to fund a new clinical trial with Rhabdomyosarcoma. We are steadily approaching our goal and cannont wait to fund this study so that it can begin in January. You can learn more by visiting www.LiveLikeBella.org
Additionally, we are working with one of the worlds premier children’s health systems for a joint venture towards a global pediatric cancer initiative that is very exciting. We look forward to announcing more about this soon.
Thankfully Rayna is doing very well in school and continues to make friends as do Ray and I. Nanny is recovering nicely from her knee replacement and PRAISE God Lisa, is off of the ventilator, and in a rehabilitation hospital, she will soon be going home and can now walk and speak. Thank you so very much for your prayers!!
As we knew to expect, we find Holidays very difficult. We remember Bella in so many things. Bella loved to dress up for Halloween and this year it was difficult beyond words to only concern ourselves with one costume, one candy basket etc. We know that this is a process and we continue to find strength in our Faith, our Family, and Friends. We are so grateful to all who continue to lift us up. Indeed the weight of this cross is heavy, but we find solace in knowing so many care, so many love us, and so many pray. On Halloween we visited Bella’s grave and left a few items and prayed after we had gone trick or treating with Rayna. Yesterday on All Souls day, we heard many beautiful reports of how Bella was remembered during Masses celebrated and homilies given by clergy and others. We continue to be amazed at how many loved and remember Bella.
This Tuesday was 5 months since Bella went to heaven. Below was a post by Raymond on this day."Five months ago today, I held you tightly as you exhaled your final breath into my chest. At that moment, I prayed, and into His hands I commended your soul. While I miss you beyond what human words can express, I know you are more alive than ever; enjoying paradise in heaven. In your name, in your memory, I promise we will help find a cure. I am proud to be your daddy. I love you Bella. Pray for us. #LiveLikeBella #VictoryInChrist”
Thank you all for your prayers and support. Know that we appreciate all of you and love you dearly.
Victory in Christ!
Shannah and the R-T Clan
Update on Lisa & Live Like Bella Way
Written Sep 29, 2013 8:25am by Shannah Rodriguez-TorresDear Bella’s Believers:
Thank you for your continued prayers for our family and particularly for our sister in-law Lisa. Thankfully Lisa has remained stable and has now started moving her extremities. She is still on a ventilator and has a long way to recover, but thankfully her condition seems to slowly be improving versus getting worse. Praise God! Thank you for your prayers.
Additionally, Raymond’s mother (Nanny) had total knee replacement surgery this week. While she is dealing with the pain that is customary with this surgery, she is doing well and currently in a rehabilitation hospital. Please pray for Nanny, specifically for a painless and quick recovery.
We have been extremely busy this month with Live Like Bella events. Every weekend in the month of September which is childhood cancer awareness month, we have been fundraising for a clinical trial for pediatric cancer we are funding. It has been very rewarding on many levels. This week we partnered with Linq Financial & Mass Mutual for an event on Friday, International Mall on Saturday, and the Miami Marlins on Saturday night. (Click here for our interview with Fox News)
While it has been exhausting, we are making remarkable progress and we know that Bella is smiling down from heaven on the work we are doing in her memory to help others. In addition to funding the clinical trial, the foundation has already sent approximately 25 iPad/android tablets to families across the United States. We have additionally assisted some families with purchasing a proper headstone for their children who have passed from cancer. For more information/or to make a donation, please visit: www.LiveLikeBella.org
Tomorrow is a very special day. YOU ARE ALL INVITED! Tomorrow at 4:30PM EST, is the ceremony for the unveiling of “Live Like Bella Way.” The event will be held at the corner of SW 107 Ave and SW 120 Street, which is the corner of where our church St. John Neumann Catholic Church is located. Many of Bella’s police officer brothers and sisters will be there in addition to the Mayor of Miami-Dade County and other special guests. If you are in the area, please join us for this very special event. It is fitting that this street be named in her honor during Childhood cancer awareness month.
We thank you for your continued prayers for our family. While we miss Bella beyond what words can describe and often feel a deep sorrow that cannot be put into words, we know we are doing exactly what she would want us to do- Serve others.
May God bless you with abundant health, peace, and joy!
Victory in Christ! #LiveLikeBella
Shannah and the R-T Clan