Some people are just destined to do what they do. Well, my friend Ricardo Garza was destined to bringing healing to the nations. This is why he went to Medical School to become a Doctor. Tragically his studies were cut short due to mold illness and lyme. We all can find our story in his story, we all lost something. I recall my own tragedy. I was only two semesters shy of graduating with my Master’s in Mental Health when we were struck with toxic mold illness. Ironically I wanted to be a victims advocate when I graduated. Even my son died knowing what he wanted to do, Jared simply wanted to be somebody. In death and in life, he was….
This illness robs us of who were are, it robs us of our identity. Yet we still have our calling, it was placed upon us long ago, and it stands even when we cannot. Through our loss God has a way of showing us the silver lining in the clouds, and revealing His plan for our lives. I have to admit there have been days where I want to forget this battle, but it is his voice, the voice of my son, that keeps me moving forward.
Jared knew about Restoration Island and he thought one day we would all make it there. I remember him laughing in the car on the way back from California, saying “Do they know it is not a real island? Yes, it was the island that was created in our darkest hours. It was the dream that we all shared. We all pretended, yes grown adults, we pretended to be on this island. An island free of mold and free of illness. It was the greatest escape of our lives. We felt the sun rays, we heard the ocean tides go in and out and all was with our souls. For that moment none of us were living in mold, or recovering from mold. None of us were bed ridden. We were out swimming or laying by the pool with friends. We were on Restoration Island and everything was good there, everything was exactly as it should be. Except for those few folks who misbehaved and were sent to the “other” island. 😉 We were all friends, but in many ways we became more than friends we were family. Someone was always out there by the fire to talk. Someone was always there to make you laugh.
We played out our fears of a contaminated island, and how we could decontaminate new arrivals to the island. We laughed at ourselves, and the seriousness of “the mold life” faded. Suddenly we were no longer isolated from the world, we had each other. I guess tonight I realize just what Restoration Island taught me in the end. I am reminded that we need to have more island moments. We all need to stop and pause for our daily escape and our daily laugh. Even in the midst of darkness we can create happiness and joy. Some of those island folks we don’t see much of these days, and we miss them. We miss the way we used to be. Some of them healed and moved on and some have taken new paths, but I like to think each of us smiles when we remember the good old days on the island, where our troubles where swept away momentarily by the tide…
For those who are literally going on this island trip, God bless you, and may you find healing in the caribbean waters, just as we did!!! Ricky has made the island dream come true, and he was born to do this. Sure Facebook made him change his name, but all of us still know that his real name will always be “Caribbean Ricky.”
Six individuals are able to go on this trip with Ricky. They are still in need of a wheelchair and other provisions. So, Please support the dream!