“Why did they believe? Because they saw miracles. Things one man took as chance, a man of faith took as a sign. A loved one recovering from disease, a fortunate business deal, a chance meeting with a long lost friend. It wasn’t the grand doctrines or the sweeping ideals that seemed to make believers out of men. It was the simple magic in the world around them.” ― Brandon Sanderson, The Hero of Ages
They say that there’s a time for everything.
Yet, when my grandfather entered the hospital two weeks ago, I wasn’t ready for the everything. I wasn’t ready for a man I remember most for stubborn humor, knee squeezes and late-night card games to cling the line between life and death. I wasn’t ready for a blood sugar level of 1200, a body temperature of 92 degrees or a blood pH of 6.8. These things were all foreign and scary and so not the grandfather I know.
Isn’t it weird that when the end is upon us, we always realize how much we love a person. We start counting down the minutes and hours, but what about all the days and weeks and years leading up to this moment?
If I wasn’t ready for scary, let me tell you I wasn’t ready for the love and hope and miracles that later followed. I wasn’t ready for my grandfather to, within 24 hours, fight back from a diabetic coma death. Those vital signs I listed above; people don’t come back from them. They destroy and break people down and take away last breaths. In fact, the doctors who monitored my grandfather, in those crazy hours, only witnessed one other person survive similar circumstances. A man. In his 20′s.
So, when my grandfather awoke three days later, we called it a miracle. What else could we call it?
But, here’s the thing about miracles. I think a lot of people get them confused with fate and higher power and things out of our control. And that’s all wrong. Because the miracles are all around us every day and in every breath.
It’s in his knee squeezes and awkward humor. It’s in his stubborn temper and relentless “fixer” attitude. It’s in his beautiful granddaughter who never gave up hope. It’s in our scary struggles when we don’t think we’re strong. It’s in the random phone calls at just the right time. It’s in our heart and our love and our care for other people.
It just sometimes takes the scariness of one last breath for us to see them.
April, with its upswing in temperature and bright sunny days, has brought many different perspectives to me. Most importantly, its delivered a host of realizations of so many little things that I’m grateful for in my life including:
1. Waking up to the birds chirping – I love this time of year when the sun oddly rises between 6 and 6:30 and the birds chirp me awake. I get such a warm fuzzy feeling waking up to nature.
2. Miracles… literally – I am going to write a post in more detail about this, but my grandfather somehow survived a diabetic coma last week. The doctors said that the only other time they’ve witnessed a person come back from the severe vital signs my grandfather experienced was a guy in his 20′s. For me, spirituality has always been something I wanted to have more of in my life and witnessing this miracle gave me a renewed sense of hope and belief in a higher purpose.
3. Humor & Friendship – My friend Kelly and I started a comedy class this week! It’s deathly terrifying but also a lot of fun. I’m starting to learn how to put myself out there and tackle scary situations. The class has also been somewhat challenging because some comedy “games” can be easy for you and others can be much harder to tackle. The class is also bringing Kelly and I closer together!
4. My dog’s temper – I adopted a jack russell terrier mix 7 months ago. She was most likely abused in her former home and is somewhat terrified around other people. She is usually very needy and requires a lot of attention. Lately, however, she’s been acting like a real dog!! Sleeping in, playing on her own and even acting more confident around people. I’m so excited for her
5. Being myself – When I was 21, I think I thought the “growing up” ages were over. I couldn’t have been further from the truth. I’ve learned more about myself in the past 6 years than I ever thought possible. I’m so grateful for knowing who I truly am (the good and the bad!) and being able to accept feedback/criticism from a positive place. I feel so much more confident knowing that wanting to be better each day already makes me good enough.