When you’ve seen enough of life, it’s easier to believe in miracles, because chances are, by then, you’ve seen a few yourself. Indeed, the more I see of life the more wondrous it gets. It’s not just a matter of living long; one has to live sensitively to be able to spot life’s wonders and be grateful for them.
At the risk of downgrading miracles, I now see them in situations that seemed before so ordinary, like waking up in the morning knowing exactly where I am and who that warm body is beside me, and feeling energized and enthused getting up to meet and celebrate another day of life. A gangmate, in fact, woke up one morning and couldn’t get up. She has been undergoing tests, and so far the worst possibilities have been eliminated.
Indeed, unexpected things can happen to us anywhere anytime. A classmate had gone abroad to have a good time with friends and family, only to end up in heart surgery, a triple bypass, which was declared a success. But just as she began her slow and challenging recovery, she was scheduled for another surgery, though a less serious one, I gather. The miraculous arrangement for her is being in the best place for her case—best hospitals, best doctors, the most reliable company.
Every morning I wake up to the miracle of being able to get up unaided and make it to the bathroom in time, yet fully upright, without a trace of the reverse evolution that they say one goes through in old age. Morning starts with a prayer of gratitude, for making it through the night, with most of my wits about me; there are a few loosened wires, but they mostly right themselves in the course of the day.
No maintenance medication
The other miracle is I can eat anything I like—not without its consequences, but none of them so dire that I no longer have the option to eat as I please. That I’m not on any maintenance medication is another wonder of wonders, although I actually choose what to take—one calcium tablet and one turmeric-cum-cumin capsule at breakfast or lunch are about it.
Every one of the three meals remains a delight; the only thing to avoid is overeating. Again, it’s a wonder I’m still enthusiastic and excited about food. As a natural but allowable consequence, I’ve had to adjust my ideal weight from 125 to just below 140 pounds. I manage it in the morning, but before bed I do cross the line sometimes.
I not seldom catch myself marveling at my own ability to summon inner and outer strengths in the midst of turmoil. For sure I have been humbled and put in my place by life’s blows, even in old age. But, in such circumstances, I can feel my heart full of resolve to live on, accepting God’s sometimes unpalatable will with unwavering trust in His love and mercy. And why shouldn’t I? I’ve seen things work out in His good time and in ways I could not have imagined, let alone planned myself.
Not a few times I have been witness to the divine arrangement of being in the right place at the right time, of something happening with the best possible outcome despite the improbability of it happening at all. Just recalling these times with deep gratitude brings tears to my eyes.
To be sure, there are times, despite the many miracles I’ve seen, that I lapse, and it usually happens when misfortune befalls loved ones, in particular children and grandchildren; I’m brought to the edge of anguish and despair more when it happens to them than to me. But it’s also in these times that, by some heavenly arrangement, I’m brought into the company of the very people I need, people who can help me, physically and spiritually, rediscover my strengths and supply of suitable wisdom.
But I do understand that at our age any health condition can escalate to dangerous levels or go into serious mutations. Tootsie, a member of our Viber group, put it well: “It’s sad when health problems come when we are weaker and defenseless, and only a miracle can save us.”
Soon everything we are able to do will be a miracle in itself. Who knows? There may be miracles yet coming to keep us going. Pope Francis says life itself is a miracle and tells us in his Easter message that to be happy is “to thank God every morning for the miracle of life.”