Monday, January 10, 2011
The snow falls so lightly this morning that it almost appears as a shimmering mist outside my bedroom window. In moments when the sunlight escapes through the clouds and reflects off of the falling snow just right I could swear that the world is being covered in swirling sparkles of glitter.
The morning I slipped and fell on my driveway, the concrete sparkled. I didn't notice this until after I had fallen and was laying there in the gutter in front of my home with my injury, unable to move. Maybe it was the angle from which I could now see the driveway, maybe it was because I had experienced firsthand the ice rink that my street had become. Perhaps the glimmering I saw was simply a result of the shock I was experiencing due to the pain in my leg. Either way, I remember thinking that if I had to lay there for a long time before someone discovered me, that driveway sure was a pretty sight. I started to wonder if maybe there was actually glitter mixed in with the concrete when my neighbor Mr. C., out walking his dog, came to my rescue.
Probably the one thing I have thought about most as I lie here in my bed day after day is the timing of my accident. Because it was 9:00 in the morning during Christmas break, my neighborhood was still asleep. I wonder if Mr. C. took regular walks at this hour or if something may have held him back or pushed him forward so that he left a bit sooner or later than usual. Just as when Coolister broke his ankle last March, I have learned that there are no such thing as coincidences in situations like these.
It was no coincidence that Mr. C. came by when he did and crossed the street to where I lay in order to offer assistance. I have never even met this man before that day, yet he did not hesitate to come to my aid. I have honestly thought in retrospect that we could have named our son after Mr. C because that is how grateful I am for his help that morning. I'm not sure I could ever really express the depth of my gratitude.
It was not a coincidence that this happened during Christmas break, when my older kids could be home tending to the younger ones so that Allen could stay in the hospital with me. When the paramedics showed up, All-a-Boy was downstairs playing a game with the littlest kids so that they would not see me in pain, surrounded by strangers in our front room, carted on a gurney to the ambulance.
It was not a coincidence that our nurse in the emergency room was the daughter of a neighbor who we knew well. It helped me feel at ease to talk about something familiar as I waited to hear what course of action would be taken to repair the dislocation and breaks in my ankle and leg.
It was no coincidence that the on-call surgeon was the same one who operated on Coolister's leg last march. We found him to be a bit arrogant and rude throughout Coolister's ordeal but we saw firsthand how Coolister's ankle healed beyond what we were told was possible and had confidence in the doctor's skills as a surgeon. I also do not think it was a coincidence that the aforementioned surgeon was actually kind and considerate toward me (well, minus the waiting time before surgery) despite his typical reputation.
It was not a coincidence that, when our little boy was born 3 weeks early, he weighed in at 8 pounds, 4 ounces and was perfectly healthy and ready to be here.
When I went for my surgery the day after I had given birth, it was no coincidence that I saw my OB twice (there to perform surgery on others under his care) while waiting for my surgeon to show up. He offered me words of encouragement and support when I was ready to explode with some mixture of anger, fear, frustration and tears. He helped me feel a sense of calm when I needed it.
As Allen waited on me in the hospital, it was no coincidence that our neighbors showed up at our home to provide our family with pizzas for lunch, meals for dinner and treats for whenever they wanted one before anything was coordinated to make this happen. It helped me to know that my family was being watched over while I selfishly kept Allen by my side to help tend to the needs of our newborn baby as the nurses tended to the needs of my post-surgical healing.
There are many more instances of non-coincidences over the past 2 weeks which I'll keep tucked away to be remembered personally by myself and my family, just as they should be.
In all instances, I know this for sure: coincidences did not exist in my world over the last couple of weeks. Tender mercies? Gifts from a loving Heavenly Father? Blessings? Even miracles? Yes to all of them... but no coincidences.
The afternoon as I waited to leave the hospital I was holding my baby boy. His eyes were curious and seemed to be searching mine with that innocence that comes with being new. I reveled in this moment, basking in his newness and the overwhelming happiness of being able to do this again, to mother another sweet newborn babe. As I sat there gazing at him, I noticed my own face reflected in the eyes of my beautiful baby boy - and then he smiled.
Coincidence? I think not.