“It is a miracle if you can find true friends, and it is a miracle if you have enough food to eat, and it is a miracle if you get to spend your days and evenings doing whatever it is you like to do, and the holiday season - like all the other seasons - is a good time not only to tell stories of miracles, but to think about the miracles in your own life, and to be grateful for them.”
- Lemony Snicket, The Lump of Coal
We’re surrounded by miracles. My son is a miracle. Being able to walk is a miracle I no longer take for granted, not since days and weeks spent in a wheelchair and reliant on a walker.
The human body is indeed a miracle. The way it works or doesn’t work. The way it can repair itself. The way it grows and evolves. The way it can fail and break down.
Thanks to technological advances, medical miracles are a fact. And recently, I am full of gratitude for a medical miracle. One of my former students (I taught her two years ago) was diagnosed with a heart condition this past summer. She was tall and athletic. Boisterous and loud. Messy and disruptive. Difficult and defiant. Personable and friendly. She and I always hugged when we saw each other in the hall. And then one day, she and her family learned her heart was no longer doing its job and her life was in peril.
For approximately five months, M. has awaited a heart transplant at Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles. Life goes on for us. Monday through Friday, my students take attendance, learn new vocabulary words, learn the states and capitals. But we also made time to remember M. My students have written letters, drawn pictures, and sent notes to M. to let her know she isn’t forgotten. I have sent her a novel and Mad Libs and notes telling her I love her.
Miracles happen. Monday morning, I learned that M. received a new heart on Sunday. And as I write this, the surgery is being deemed successful. My class is busy preparing a new batch of cards and notes to send her during her recovery. And on my whiteboard at the front of the classroom, is a heart with M.’s name inside. She is one of the many miracles in my life that I am grateful for.