Saturday, January 31, 2015

January 31 - Dear Nicholas Sparks

Dear Mr. Sparks,

Today I have been thinking a lot about miracles and what they mean.

When Shane came home from the hospital, I was told that he would never see, hear, walk or talk.  That I was "taking home a vegetable to die".   The doctors were so convinced of this fact that his surgeons and pulmonologist bet money on it.  They all lost that bet.

When Shane was home less than a month, his sight started to return.  The first thing he saw after regaining his sight (lost to brain damage at 4 months old due to lack of oxygen from pneumonia in the hospital), was lights on our Christmas tree.  We could see his eyes focus and follow the lights and he would turn his head towards them wherever we put him in the room. 

When he was 2, he was off of the ventilator and completely breathing on his own.

By 3 he was walking.

At 6 years old, we took him to his audiologist because he kept pulling his hearing aids out and throwing them the across the room.   We thought they were broken.   Tests showed he no longer needed them.   I can still see the look on that doctors face as he kept shaking his head and saying "I've never seen this before".

I believe all these incidents were miracles.

Over the years I've seen other cherubs granted miracles.   Little Killian just celebrated another birthday.  If you had told me he would be here riding around an electric truck like other young boys, I would have said you had the wrong kid.  He was so sick, he literally hung on by a shoestring more times than we could count.  We posted more emergency prayer requests for the baby boy than probably any other cherub - because he was always in a medical emergency.  Those prayers paid off.

I've met adult survivors who beat that 1% odd to still be here after being born without the medical technology most of our kids need today to survive.

I've heard stories of dozens of these children who were given Last Rites or whose parents were told they wouldn't make it through the night and yet they are still here.

I do believe in miracles.

When I say that, many people ask how I can still believe when my son died.   When I am surrounded by sickness and death of young children and babies every single day.

I believe miracles can and do still exist even when you don't get the results that you so badly want. 

Shane's miracles are no less miraculous because he died in the end.  We all die in the end.  It doesn't discount what happens between birth and death.

When I was 12 years old, I was struck by lightening.  I was carrying an umbrella and it was hit.  I felt the heat go through my body and out of the thick rubber soles of my 1980's tennis shoes.  Other than a slight burn on my feet, I was completely unharmed but knocked to the ground.   4 or 5 other kids were under that umbrella with me.  None of them were hurt either.   I believe that was a miracle.

I lost my baby sister, Debra, to cancer at 22 years old in 2002.  She left behind 3 young children and even though Rhabdomyosarcoma has a 100% mortality rate, she fought it for 2 years with every thing she had and she never gave up on that miracle.  In those 2 years, she got to know her children more.  She turned her life around and she found faith, even when she knew she had to say good-bye.   She found her worth in this world and meaning for her life and the miracle is that she ever found that at all.   I thank God every day that even though she suffered horribly, she found that peace and had that time to mature.   She could have died in a car accident without ever having really known her children or making peace or finding forgiveness.  Even though she isn't here either, she did get a miracle.

Another younger sister, Trisha, was diagnosed with breast cancer this past summer.  She found a lump and went to the doctor.   That lump was benign but the tiny lump that they found during those tests, the lump so small she wouldn't have felt it for months possibly... was malignant.   It was caught so early that her prognosis is very, very good.   She could grieve for the breasts she lost or the fact that she has cancer at all but instead she has a miracle to rejoice over.   She will live.   Her cancer was miraculously found so early that even though she opted for a double mastectomy, she will not have to undergo chemo and radiation.   She gets more years here with her husband, children and grandchildren.  She gets time to take God's miracle and allow Him to use her to help others. 

I'd like to share another story about what I call a miracle.

After 2 years after Shane died, I was alone in the same car that I had driven him around in a thousand times.  I was pulling out of a store parking lot, not thinking about Shane at all at that moment and trying to make it across traffic at sunset.

I looked to the right and the sun was glaring so much that it was very hard to see.   I looked to the left and then the right again to make sure it was clear to pull out to turn left. 

As I pulled out, I felt someone kick the back of my seat and I heard Shane laughing.   I instinctively slammed on the brakes of the car in the middle of the highway.   The transfer truck that missed me by less than 3 inches blasted his horn at me and the wind of him speeding by turned the car in it's place.   It all happened within 5 seconds but I could hear Shane laughing and could feel him kicking my seat like he had done so many, many times when he was alive.  I could feel his spirit in that car with me.

I believe that was a miracle.  I believe at that moment, Shane and God saved me from certain death that would've have happened had I not hit the brakes in time to avoid being jackknifed by a truck going 50 miles an hour.

Some would say that's not a miracle but my own stupidity at not seeing that truck in my blindspot or maybe insanity that I imagined hearing my son at that moment.

But I have a seen enough in this world to know that miracles do exist.  That every thing is not black and white or scientifically proven. That there are many things we don't understand.   But I do know that it wasn't my time to go yet at that moment and that there is more I am here to do.   In the midst of all my grief at that time, I got a miracle.

I do believe that miracles happen all the time, every where and if we will just look for them, we can see them.  How is it not a miracle that any of us are here in the first place?  

You write a lot about miracles in your books.  Thank you for believing and sharing that belief as well.

Dawn M. Torrence Williamson
A Walking Miracle

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