When I first was diagnosed with breast cancer, a very close friend challenged me to chronicle the miracles that would happen along the way of the long battle that lay ahead. She told me that miracles would be there, as they were in everyone’s life, but we are conditioned to hardly notice them as we rush on with life. I took her advice and I sat up and paid attention to something I call “Everyday Miracles” which I have been observing and delighting in for a number of years. It is life changing. Most people think of miracles as some major, unforeseen recovery from an illness or winning the lottery. All well and good, but we know those are very rare events. Everyday miracles are the little, unexpected but welcome happenings in your life. By noticing them instead of all the irritating events, your life can be subtly transformed into one that makes you smile.
Early in my breast cancer journey, I was completely astonished by the number of people, some perfect strangers, who stepped forward all year long to feed me, drive me to medical appointments, help with rudimentary household chores, hold my hand when fear was getting the best of me and celebrate the milestones.
I wrote about this extensively in my book and my purpose today is not to recall those events. My comment about that period of my life, is that I was the recipient of the compassion and generosity of the best of human nature. Each and every day held a delightful surprise. The miraculous element of those surprises was they occurred just when I needed them most. My doorbell would ring unexpectedly and a friend would dive in with lightening speed to change the cat litter, empty the dish washer and take the clothes out of the dryer and fold them. She did not wait to be asked, and neither did the very senior cashier at the dollar store who saw me struggling to lift ice melt into my car. Or a hot meal would arrive just when all I had was the energy to prepare cereal for myself.
That period of my life sensitized me to be more observant about life and the generosity of people around me. I try now to pay it forward and bring smiles to others lives, but the miracles still keep coming into my life.
Just recently I was getting in my daily quota of steps by dancing and walking around my house to Latin music, a beat I find uplifting . I remembered that some years previously I had started a course of lessons at a local dance studio with my late husband. He was never very rhythmical but I wanted to have the experience of dancing with him, even though he had terminal brain cancer. We took a couple or so lessons, it was a disaster really, with the instructor pushing my poor husband around the floor. The lessons came to a skidding halt after my husband’s second seizure, and what had been left of his balance was now severely compromised. But at least I had tried. Two years later I enquired about my unused lessons but was told that they had expired.
Now recently as I moved to the beat of the music by myself in my house, I lifted my arms and imagined I was dancing with my husband. The experience brought tears to my eyes, I could feel his presence, but even with my sensitivity to the spirit world, he remained as always, frustratingly out of reach. And then I could hear his voice telling me I should dance again. I recontacted the dance studio because they had a special introductory offer before Christmas. In my email and application to take advantage of the lesson special offer, I mentioned that I had been a student some years previously, but the lessons had expired, but now I wanted to start over. And then came the miracle. I got back an email saying that the studio had looked up my record and my lessons were not expired at all. I had 4 private lessons, group lessons and practice parties waiting tor me. They sent their condolences. I started lessons just before Christmas 2016, and to my delight found I was strong enough to dance. And as I left the studio on December 22nd, I heard my husband’s voice, telling me that this was his Christmas present to me. I know that I am supposed to dance. It gives me great joy and it was a gift from heaven when I needed it most. Truly a miracle.