Wednesday, August 14, 2013

I still visit the manor.
I have to, I can't stay away.
My mom not only took her last breath there
but I made many friends over the last 6 years.
One of those people is MR. BILL PITRE.
What a great friend he was to Mom and all of us.
His daughter, Celeste and I graduated together back in 1981
so we have rekindled an old friendship.
Two weeks ago, as I planned my next visit to the Manor,
I texted with Celeste and we met there for a visit and coffee.
Celeste is always ready for a gathering, I love that about her.
As we visited together, along with Celeste's sweet hubby,
Mr. Bill begins to tell us stories of miracles in his life.
Most of his stories are just that, miracles.
How I wish I had asked Mommy more stories of her life,
wish I had written them down as Celeste has done.
Here are his words, Mr. Bill, written by Celeste:

Constant's Miracle

On November 18, 1929, Josephine and Alces Pitre became the parents of baby boy.  They named him Constant Antoine Pitre after his paternal grandfather.  The birth was not easy.  The midwife had a hard time delivering him.  His coloring was not right for days and his forehead had been rubbed raw from the fingers of the midwife trying to help open the birth canal.   His size was confirmed by the family store scale which showed 11 pounds.

Constant nicknamed "Bill" grew normally but at the age of 2 a family member questioned if Josephine thought he might be having trouble seeing. He was brought to a doctor and given his first pair of glasses.  Most children would have been annoyed by this addition to their face but  Constant never tried to take them off.

The doctor advised Josephine to never have surgery on his eyes so for years she faithfully prayed to St. Lucy, the patron saint of the blind and those with eye troubles, to help him learn enough in school to be able to get a job and support a family. She prayed for 65 years to St. Lucy.

Constant wore glasses most of his life. He went from single lenses to bifocals to eventually trifocals lenses.  His nose is scarred from the weight of his heavy glasses.  He lived with constant headaches. He woke up with a headache and went to bed with a headache.  This constant pain made learning and reading difficult.   There were times when Earline, his future wife, would come from Golden Meadow to Cut Off to go to the dances at the Lee Brothers dance hall and Constant would already be in bed because of his headaches.  She had to go without him.

Constant graduated from Cut Off High School in 1948.  He worked in the family store and married Earline Terrebonne Pitre on January 21, 1951.  Eleven days after their marriage Constant was drafted into the army for service in the Korean War.

He left for basic training and Earline stayed behind and lived with his family helping out in the store.

When he was transferred to Georgia, Earline went to join him.  Because of his poor sight he stayed behind and trained the new recruits while his company went overseas.  None of them returned.

After his 2 years of service he returned home on the eve of the birth of their first child.  They settled in Cut Off and raised 5 children.  Constant worked as a clerk and janitor for a clinic and pharmacy in Cut Off.

In  July 1988, Constant suffered a glaucoma attack and lost the sight in his right eye. The doctors had to make an incision to relieve the pressure in his eye. The eye collapsed and his pupil would not close.  He still suffered with headaches.

On the warm summer morning of  July 12,1995, Constant sat out on the swing in his backyard reciting a rosary.  The sweat on his forehead prompted him to remove his glasses.  While praying he opened his eyes and could see a butterfly fluttering on a nearby branch.  Then he looked farther and saw his daughter's house in the distance.  He then realized that his glasses were in his hand!  He was so filled with emotion that his neighbor could see from her window that he was upset.  She asked him what was wrong. He told her that he could see!!!

He went inside and told his wife, grabbed his keys and drove to Sacred Heart Church to give thanks to God and St. Lucy.  His headaches miraculously went away too.

He is so thankful that his mother lived to see him without glasses and able to see.

Doctor's explained the regained sight as "Second Sight" stating that the cataracts in his eyes had actually enhanced his sight.  Constant gives all of the glory to prayer to St. Lucy.  He finally enjoys reading books on the lives of saints or religious stories.  He can even read the fine print on his prescription directives.

Constant is 83 years old and now lives in St. Joseph Manor in Thibodaux . He loves to share his miracle with people to give others hope and strengthen their faith.

by Celeste Pitre Molaison

I will never forget Mr. Bill and his stories.
The compassion he showed to all of us on the day Mommy died
will also never be forgotten.
The morning of her death, while the funeral home was
there to take Mommy's body away from the Manor for the last time,
I looked down the hall and saw Mr. Bill coming down the hall 
with his walker. The minute we made eye contact, he knew Mommy 
was gone from us. His place slowed and he began
to shake his head and cry.
I walked down the hall to meet him and cried on his shoulder.
He hugged me with one hand as he steadied himself with the other 
on his walker. For those few seconds, as he embraced me, I felt
the love of a Father. I hoped that our dear Mommy was being held
in the same way by the Father we all share,
Jesus Christ, himself.
I will forever be grateful to Mr. Bill for those few seconds
and for his continued friendship.
Love you Mr. Bill hope to hear more stories soon!

1 comment:

  1. Lilly, what a treasure you are! As I read your post to Dad we both began to cry. Thank you for posting his story and for being part of our "Manor" family. You are a very special person and we enjoy your visits too. I am glad that Dad could console you in your time of need. Hope to see you Sunday for some cake!