Miracles here and there

Thank you for all the prayers and energy you sent my way. I did well these two weeks – even helping out with one son’s Thanksgiving snacks at school and having a warm and fun Thanksgiving Day and weekend with family and friends. Thank you for your part in generating all these good feelings. (Chemo on Tuesday (tomorrow) so happy to get more!)

Miracles abound, and here two that appeared in the form of serendipities.

Serendipity #1:

My chemo sessions are normally scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. and the rhythm of our weeks rely on that. It means that I can drive my younger son to school on Tuesday morning, and that I can be disconnected from chemo before he comes home on Thursday.

However, my most recent chemo was scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m. It meant that I would sit around all morning anticipating chemo. It meant that I wouldn’t get disconnected on Thursday until after the kids got home from school. It meant that the people who normally drive me to and fro, couldn’t. In short, it meant that I wasn’t happy with that time.

But then, at the last minute, I received an email from the leader of a mom’s group I was part of last year. One of us was going through a rough patch and could we all get together in support? Amazingly, everyone could make it – on Tuesday morning! So, that unusually late chemo time allowed me to be there for a friend. On top of that, another friend came through at the last hour with the offer to drive me, so it was fun to share that “special” time at Dana Farber with someone new.

Serendipity #2:

We had family visit over the weekend just before my most recent chemo session, including a four-year-old boy. The little boy joyfully played trains endlessly with my two sons. As you might imagine, we have quite the collection of Brio train tracks and trains and they made all kinds of loops, bridges and tunnels for the trains.

After everyone flew home on Monday, I ran an errand and parked in such a way that I had to cut through a toy store. The first thing I saw was a box of assorted Brio tracks! This family and I have an agreement to not buy gifts, so I passed it by. But I couldn’t deny the pull to buy it and eventually gave in.

On Wednesday, this little boy was at his home, miles away, playing with his train tracks and trains and asked his mom if my boys could come and visit and bring their tracks. She explained that we live too far and couldn’t just drop in, and her heart broke to see his disappointment.

Less than 20 minutes later, she noticed a package on their doorstep, containing the train tracks. Overjoyed, he is convinced they were sent by my boys in response to his request!

I hope that your requests are answered in immediate and happy ways, and that every little thing falls into place as it should.

Thank you for your prayers and positive energy for a good chemo session this week and good energy always. And may you notice your miracles!


Every little action helps (or, where is my rosary and how do I say one anyway?)

A former student traveled to Rome and bought a rosary for me at the Vatican. Not only was I incredibly touched that this eight-year-old girl would think of me during her vacation, she also selected a beautiful set of wooden rosary beads that feels lovely to hold.

For awhile, I carried them with me to every chemo session, keeping them in their little white paper bag from the Vatican shop. I didn’t actually use them, but I felt better just having them with me.

Then about 8 weeks ago, I couldn’t find them. I have several different rosaries that I love, but I hate losing objects that are meaningful to me and I went into a panic. I dug through everything I own and worried that I may have lost them at Dana Farber while I was in a chemo haze.

I vowed that if I found them, I would pray the rosary every day. They didn’t show up.

Then I did what worked for my ring – I prayed to St. Anthony, but this time laughingly. I had looked everywhere and this was a silly last resort.

But yes, less than 24 hours later, there they were, next to my bed. Crazy.

Wooden Rosary from the Vatican

I happily said one rosary, even though I don’t really know how to say the rosary. Yes, I looked online for instructions, but it seemed like you are supposed to meditate on different mysteries depending on the day of the week (with some exceptions, of course – why can’t this be straightforward!) and THEN, for each set of prayers within the rosary, meditate on a different mystery within the major category. It all felt so complicated.

I know that for each little bead, you say one Hail Mary. I seem to recall that on the larger beads between the sets of 10 little beads (decades), you say one Glory Be and an Our Father. But I don’t know what prayers to say at the Cross or at the funny little symbol that connects them.

So I did what I knew and called it a really good try.

They next day, I didn’t seem to find time to say the rosary until late at night. The day after that, I started to say one after I went to bed (counting on my fingers instead of the beads) and fell asleep shortly after starting.

The subsequent days, I only thought about doing it.

On Thursday night, walking down the hall to say goodnight to our sons, I passed by the rosary beads. As I continued walking, I said something like, “Mary, I’m going to need some help with this.”

On Friday morning, I went to a Mom’s Spirituality Group, where the group leader provides a topic and structure for our weekly discussion and we work within that structure. This week, the topic was stress, worries and anxieties. We were to write down our individual stress, worries and anxieties, then pick a buddy and discuss.

I don’t like to focus on these things, but I pretty much do what I am told so made my best effort. Janet and I finished first, so we paired up. After discussing our assigned topics, we started talking about life in general. At one point, seemingly out of the blue, Janet shared that a friend of hers told her to pray the rosary. Janet wasn’t sure where she would find the time, but realized that she spends so much time in the car that she could easily do it while she was driving.

She also told me that she doesn’t pray the “official” version of the rosary, just her own version. She believes that is okay because even doing that shifted something inside her, and events began to change for the better in her life. She assured me that Mary works to answer our prayers.

Though I appreciate all the details she shared, my favorite is simply that the topic came up at all.

I received direct help on how to get going on the rosary and the assurance that it can be meaningful without being a big event. Of course, that makes me stop in amazement and gratitude.

I want to thank my young friend for the beautiful rosary and the wave of miracles that unfolded because of her lovely act of kindness.

I thank YOU for every little action and thought from your heart. Regardless of how big or small it feels, each one is meaningful and has a beautiful ripple effect as well.