“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.