About six years ago, we were rushing to the ICU and my mind was racing. "This can't be happening to one of the strongest, fittest women I know. We have all these bike rides planned. We have trips to take, parties to make. There are streams to float, pedicures to schedule. Oh, and what about the weight we planned to lose on the buddy system?"
We grew up together; we worked together; we exercised together; we sorted out all of life's problems together; we laughed hysterically, inappropriately and loudly together; we traveled together; we shopped together. And now she was having a heart attack without me!
Family history is not on her side, but I am hearing that she is stable so I am stabilizing myself as we drive into the city. If I am going to be of any use whatsoever, better to be calm and collected. I call forth the "Business Jeanne" and prepare to meet the situation as objectively and powerfully as I can. That is what she would want me to do. Get the facts. Deal with the facts. Definitely, don't overreact. See what we can do to help and do it calmly, intentionally and keep the drama down to a mild roar. I hear medical staff calling it a "heart event." Easy for them to say; easier for us to hear.
Fast forward a week. Time to reflect. Time to imagine how terribly all of this might have turned out. Time to soak it all in. Time to travel back to the day of the "heart event."
Somehow she was not out on her bike riding alone in the heat as she often did on a summer Sunday. Somehow she chose to deliver hay with her husband instead of staying home alone as she was planning to do. Somehow her husband got her down from the hay loft when she started feeling that something was very wrong. Somehow he got her to the emergency room just in time. Somehow she received just the right care at just the right time. Somehow she was transported by air to a larger hospital where the testing began immediately. Somehow she was found to have only a small amount of damage. Somehow seemingly small decisions and circumstances interplayed to create a single miraculous outcome. Or maybe Jupiter finally aligned with Mars.
And now I am beginning to wonder how many other seemingly small and apparently disconnected things may be going on all around me that ultimately work together for good. In this past week alone, I was able to notice four coincidences, or minor miracles, just by paying attention. Simple things like missing a former colleague who lives in Michigan and ten minutes later receiving a surprise call that he and his wife were in town and would like to get together. We had a delightful visit.
I am reminded of the famous question, "if a tree falls in the woods and nobody is around to hear it, would it make a noise?" If miracles are happening all around us and they are not being noticed, are they still miracles?