The Universe has had a lot to say to me recently. In fact, it’s been practically shouting. I have decided to pay attention.
Three years ago, a dear friend of mine began an illness journey, a journey that was diagnosed with many things by many people. The journey involved multiple tests, lab results and various drugs and treatments, but none of them actually worked. As my friend dropped 85 pounds, becoming lethargic and depressed, she entered, once again the hospital, this time through the ER. The attending physician ordered an MRI which revealed a problem others had not seen. The problem required dangerous, possibly life-ending surgery but with no other path forward, my friend chose the surgery. Two terror-filled days later, the surgery was performed and my friend is seeing instant results.
A pediatric surgical nurse friend recently witnessed an unexpected, life-altering outcome during a routine surgery. Heart-broken, she is now strengthening her friendships and family ties.
Sunday, during a Friends Meeting, an 89-year-old member demonstrated a remarkable lesson. He explained that his knees now need a cane, a cane he frequently sets down and frequently loses. Through research, he discovered a search device which he attached to his cane and linked to his phone. To demonstrate, he stood up and said, “Where’s my cane?” To the amusement of the members, he started following the arrow directions on his phone, finally locating his cane in a far corner of the room. As he walked back to his seat, he described how a weekly worship meeting strengthens and renews his life, giving and reminding him of his direction.
When I was in high school, I read the play “Our Town” by Thornton Wilder. The play has stuck with me ever since, and after vicariously living through a heart-breaking misdiagnosed medical issue, seeing the effects of a tragic, unavoidable surgical outcome and learning from a spiritual elder, I’ve gone back to the play.
EMILY: “Does anyone ever realize life while they live it … every, every minute?”
STAGE MANAGER: “No. Saints and poets maybe … they do some.”
― Thornton Wilder, Our Town.
In other words, folks: Put down your phone. Look around you. Live.
Cindy Arp, teacher/librarian, retired from Knox County Schools. She and husband Dan live in Heiskell.