Grammy-winner John Mellencamp once remarked what makes a medical emergency a minor one is when it happens to someone else.
I've spent the past week making people laugh sharing a story about the way someone's irrepressible, mischievous grin drew me into a farce. The owner of that smirk is a new presence in my life who today was confronted with what could've been either a manageable health scare or an absolute tragedy. To my profound relief it was the former rather than the latter, and in the midst of that comfort I was struck by how much he's already come to mean to me and the number of lives he's touched as evidenced by an overwhelming outpouring of love.
I've been trying to wrap my head around the profusion of thought fragments and emotions agitated by today's close call. I've had no great awakening nor have I been visited by some great revelation. All I've got is this and it's yours if you want it: we are miracles witnessing miracles and they happen every day.
I know what some of you are thinking and you're wrong. It's not a beautiful day (just) because tragedy was averted. I don't want to be trite or maudlin. Sorrow didn't visit me today but it has before in myriad ways so I won't minimize your pain or mine. The scars of hurt are as real as the miracle but aren't more powerful. We just forget.
I don't see the miracles as often as they happen because I don't feel like one myself most days. So many things didn't work out the way I wanted so the fog of hurts past and present obscure them or banal distractions and annoyances divert me from them. Pretty soon I forget even in those times someone or something amazing was with or waiting for me. That is how I came to know this man I'm blessed to call friend.
We get separated from the miracle because we lose site of the reminders we spend a lifetime collecting: The touch of a loved one- their hug, their kiss, their embrace. The sound of a laugh, a bark, a song. The scent of cookies or cologne. The heat of sun, the blue of the sky, the expanse of mountains, or ocean, or sand. A face. A smile. A picture.
Maybe your stockpile is next to you and maybe it lives in memories and dreams. These aren't the miracles, they are the artifacts of them. Life is the miracle and it is for living. We all forget that and I will again. I hope it doesn't take another scare or worse, a tragedy, to remember it's a beautiful day I won't let it get away. I know how thankful I am my friend is still part of this one.