The 8:00 miracle was discovering the winter schedule had gone into effect. Instead of ‘maybe gonna make it’, for the 8:40, I was checking emails waiting for an 8:55.
Sometimes the miracles were what we would call ‘small’; a toddler who typically springs for freedom once we hit the porch suddenly reaches up for my finger and stays in step with me. Others were large. The tow truck driver tells me there is no damage to the undercarriage after he lifts the car out of the lawn beside the driveway that had no edge. There is exactly eighty dollars in my wallet needed to pay him. Saying ‘oh well’ and letting it go after you’ve forked over your gas, cat food and dump run money and then two days later the 12 noon miracle is finding an twenty dollar bill in your wallet you hadn’t seen before. I can take the ferry to church. That night I find I will be reimbursed for the tow charges.
A miracle an hour everyday for twelve hours of daylight for a year. That was what I asked for, demanded.
It all started the Thursday before the Tuesday I made the vow to expect, recognize and receive a miracle an hour for all my waking hours.
The crease near my knuckle on my right ring finger where I’ve worn the 2.5-carat CZ diamond since May 26, 1998 belied the ability for anything to slip off. But apparently losing 42 pounds and two sizes was indeed enough for it to slide into oblivion. As I stared down on the much lighter finger, I couldn’t believe it was gone.
That ring meant a great deal to me, far beyond any financial value. As my girlfriends and male friends were diving headlong into new relationships they hoped would lead to matrimony after their divorces, I promised myself I wouldn’t go that direction until I had figured out what was wrong with me that I continually gave myself over to incredibly needy, yet charming children and adults who used me as their alter egos.
May 26, 1998 was to have been my 25th anniversary and I was to have been on a cruise somewhere. Instead, I was sitting at Zoopa’s at Northgate with my youngest daughter.
That’s when I bought the ring that meant I was going to focus on my faults, my part, introspection, reflection and repentance. That’s some pretty hard-core deep living. I never wanted to be in that kind of marriage again or go through divorce. Delving inward was the price I was going to have to pay. The ring would remind me.
Now, sixteen years later, I searched for it not knowing how I felt about losing it. How would I remember to search myself?
I looked again when I got home. Apparently my six-year-old friend had the best solution. ‘The Gnomes took it!” she stated matter of factly. I let it go.
The next day, a Friday, an interesting thing happened. I observed, when I looked at my finger, I no longer had any condemnation for myself. I didn’t have a,“You are so a person who doesn’t get it” thought breeze through my brain and heart. Instead, I felt freedom and confidence and fearless initiative. I was focused on the present.
Dear Readers, it may be if you are a person not accustomed to loss, any moment of ‘suddenly less’ will stop you in your tracks and send you into a vortex of confusion. I, a person who is more accustomed to loss than acquisition, will share a most momentous epiphany raised from my naked finger.
Without the sparkly reminder to go deep, and because of a two year final exam of a life experience where I taught myself to call crazy, crazy and stand up for myself, I realized I had healed from having a mentally ill Mom who, bless her heart, lived more to control than to love. She had told me it was my job to manage her anxiety. Wearing the ring, I had explored all those internal enmeshments and now that it was lost, I noticed the biggest epiphany yet. I had healed.
By Tuesday morning of the next week, comfortable with my ringless finger, feeling liberated, I was facing anew a set of life challenges that seemed impossible.” I need a miracle an hour”, I wrote to two separate friends.
Something mystical took over and I said, “Yeaaaaaa…. Let’s look for a miracle an hour. God! A real thing! I’m holding you to a miracle an hour. And I’m gonna keep track.” Hour one…a miracle… hour two.. another… hour three…the whole day long. They didn’t stop. Money, fresh conversations, new opportunities, affirmations where none were before, miracles, appearing without reason or rationality and way beyond coincidence.
By Tuesday night I felt like I was standing under a waterfall and the spigot would not turn off. I was exhausted from receiving. At the top of each hour, I began a new watch. Each hour there was another, and another and another. I was going to have to increase my ability to receive.
By the weekend, I realized the onus was on me to expect, notice, receive and thank. They were not going to stop coming my way. The past introspections gave way to a new focus; how to build on miracles.
A week later, I found the ring at the bottom of my knitting bag. I held it in my hand. I liked this new way of living. I didn’t want to go back to the old, dark, self recriminating examination. I thought about putting it in a drawer.
I gently put it back on my finger curious about what would happen. My eyes saw a new thing. It looked different. Now, it reminded me of all the miracles, all the sparkly promise in my life, a right heart, a new peace, a love and respect for myself I had not known before. It wasn’t about being married anymore. It was about being alive. Me loving Me.
Miracles are no less hard work to assimilate into one’s life than obstacles or ignorance or internal insights. They are, however, more fun. The ring now reminds me to receive joy and blessing. It says, “You go girl!” . It’s gonna be a heck of a year!!