Miracles

Coincidence (n): a striking occurrence of two or more events at one time apparently by mere chance.

Visiting Christy a couple weeks ago, a group of us spent the day adventuring in San Antonio, eventually ending up at a restaurant on the Riverwalk as the day drew to a close. We sat outside enjoying the crowd, the sunshine, the margaritas, and one another’s company. Sipping my drink and watching the passing crowd, I had a weird feeling. A pull. I looked down the sidewalk, and a woman walking away caught my eye.  Though I couldn’t see her face, she was undeniably familiar.  I immediately recognized the hair, the clothes, and the gait. Leaping from my seat, I sprinted after the woman in the crowd.

“Mommy?”

The woman in the white dress and denim jacket turned to face me, and the look of awe on her face mirrored mine.

It was my mother.

In another city in another state far from where either of us lived or were from, we happened across one another. In the exact same place. At the exact same time. When neither of us had any clue the other would be there.

I do everything I can to avoid crying in front of people, particularly a crowd of strangers on the Riverwalk in San Antonio, but at this specific moment there was nothing much else I really could do. An emotional weekend had just been rounded out with me quite unexpectedly running into my mother completely out of context of our respective everyday lives. There was maybe a time when I would’ve called this experience a grand coincidence, but not anymore.

After visiting for a time over the next day, my mom explained she had been in Texas for a work-related conference. Upon leaving, she hugged me. “Rel, I’m so happy to have run into you.  And I really do think I was supposed to see you.  But most of all, I think I was supposed to meet Christy.”  And I have absolutely no doubt that is true.  The meeting was a bit of a miracle.

Today Christy said, “God is continually blowing me away with all of these little connections that are happening and all these things that are falling into place.  I really need to just stop being surprised.”

The miracles that have taken place before, during, and after Christy’s accident are far too numerous to count. There are so many stories that can be told and retold, but here are just a few that stand out to Christy:

When Christy and Tim were preparing to head out to the water, Tim had been wearing a tank top. At the last minute, he decided to change into a long sleeve shirt instead. The ample fabric on the long sleeve shirt became Christy’s tourniquet later that night, applied by Tim minutes after Christy’s leg contacted the boat propeller. Doctors estimate Christy would have bled out in as little as three minutes without Tim’s lifesaving actions. A tank top would not have provided enough fabric with which to improvise a tourniquet. Tim’s wardrobe change was a miracle.

When Christy surfaced, she still held the headlamp that had been in her hand when she dove off her paddleboard. There was no reason that she should’ve still been holding that headlamp after diving, swimming beneath the boat, suffering the trauma of impacting the propeller, and surfacing. Tim was able to swim straight for her and get help from the nearby fishing boat.

Oh, also – that boat. Did Christy mention that she had been on that water so many times and had very rarely seen any fishing boats just hanging out there? But, on this night, there was one fishing boat settled down pretty close to the paddleboarders. That boat was one link in the chain that transported Christy to the hospital so incredibly quickly. Robert and Michelle were miracles. You can read about them in Christy’s post about what happened that night.

Christy’s twin Jess is in the process of becoming a doctor. Christy immediately had a loved one to help advise her in a very scary and unfamiliar situation. Jess is a miracle.

Christy has had countless “I can help with that” conversations with friends, acquaintances, and strangers alike. When sharing her story and her hopes for her recovery, her career, and her dreams for her future foundation and desires to give back, so many have responded with, “Oh, you need [blank]? I can help you with that.” Every phone call, text, email, and conversation Christy has that provides a piece of the puzzle are little miracles paving the way for the big things Christy will be able to achieve and provide for others.

Then there’s the whole “Christy shouldn’t even be alive” thing. Doctors responding to Christy’s trauma didn’t censor their surprise at her survival. More than one stated matter-of-factly, “Yeah, medically speaking, you really shouldn’t even be alive.” Christy’s life is a miracle.

There are so, so many more seemingly improbable things that have taken place, this blog post could feasibly go on much longer. But sometimes words just can’t do all things justice.  As these miracles keep occurring, Christy keeps looking around at those with her in awe, as if to say, “Did you just hear that too?” or “Are you seeing this right now?!”  As we grow into adulthood and maturity we begin to unsee miracles – we begin to lose our sense of wonder and awe in everyday phenomena and mysteries of life. Christy is witnessing these inexplicable events occurring around her, however big or however small, and I hope the rest of us will open our eyes and our hearts enough to see them too.

So, what I leave you with now is this:

For us to believe in coincidences, by definition we must believe in mere chance. I reject the idea that our lives are the product of a series of random events that sometimes collide in a manner called “coincidence.”  Analyzing the probability and chance of the series of events following Christy’s accident would be a statistician’s nightmare.  Miracles, however, require no math.  Miracles require only faith, and the desire of the seeker to find them amongst both the ordinary and extraordinary events of our everyday lives.

Christy’s is a story of many little miracles, comprising a much grander, more exciting, more painful, more frustrating, more moving, more graceful, more inspiring, more beautiful miracle than any of us can humanly grasp at this moment.  And miracle is the word I will continue to use, because life and the many gifts it brings, even in the most unexpected of circumstances, cannot be coincidence.

-Rel

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3 thoughts on “Miracles

  1. I was just reviewing things and being reminded of the miracles and the quality content of the hearts and writing of this site– and it is just awe-inspiring –it brings back that appreciation of the miracles that are life.

    Tom Wise

    Like

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