Thursday, December 21, 2006

On the ninth day of Christmas

On the ninth day of Christmas, the good Lord gave to me... "nine-year-old" favorite story
...eight hours of sleep book group buddies
...six hours of (good) sleep
...five Messiah solos (and one duet)
...four Mighty Oakes
...three Hallelujah cheers
...two chemo drugs
...and an MRI with good news we could see!

Today my son's kindergarten class dismissed at noon for a two week break. His ability to go to school was doubtful last night, as he was really sick with fever, headache, and nausea. But this morning he was feeling much better and he eagerly dashed off to class pain-free, fever-free, and with a healthy appetite. I picked him up after school and took him to the doctor anyway, and it turns out that he has a nasty ear infection, so he gets antibiotics as an early stocking stuffer. And then I decided to reward his good day at school and his bravery at the doctor's office by taking him to see Charlotte's Web. It was one of my favorite stories when I was about nine years old, and I have plans to read it to my son after we finish reading A Christmas Carol.

It was a good movie portrayal of the beloved story, and my son liked it very much. I found myself relating to the happy circumstance of Wilbur seeing his first snowfall, when most spring pigs do not get that chance. It reminded me of the grim odds of my seeing this year's Christmas, and the happy circumstance of being one of the lucky ones who is still here. And I found myself hoping to someday become like Charlotte when I heard, "It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer. Charlotte was both."

My son was naturally saddened by Charlotte's death, pointing out that she had so many young babies. I was saddened, too, and hoped I wouldn't have that in common with Charlotte. But my son and I both expressed our appreciation for the story's reminders about miracles in the everyday things of life.

As the credits rolled at the end of the movie, we listened to Sarah Mc Lachlan sing "Ordinary Miracle", which summed up the message beautifully:

It's not unusual when everything is beautiful.
It's just another ordinary miracle today.
The sky knows when it's time to snow.
Don't need to teach a seed to grow.
It's just another ordinary miracle today.
Life is like a gift they say, wrapped up for you every day.
Open up and find a way to give some of your own.
Isn't it remarkable that every time a raindrop falls
It's just another ordinary miracle today.
Birds in winter have their fling, but always make it home by spring.
It's just another ordinary miracle today.
So when you wake up every day, please don't throw your dreams away.
Hold them close to your heart,
'Cause we are all a part of the ordinary miracle.
Do you wanna see a miracle?
The sun comes up and shines so bright,
But disappears again at night.
It's just another ordinary miracle today.

It reminded me of an Albert Einstein quote: "There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle." The cancer glasses sure magnify the latter way of living, and it is a very good thing.

It also reminded me of a song I sang nearly a dozen years ago in a local musical production at our church, part of which goes like this:

Some may see a rainbow as nothing more than light;
Others see a promise and a sign.
Everyday wonders, without number,
Are here all around, and wait to be found
By those who have eyes to see.
For the power of God is plain to see.
There are wonders on every hand
To those who will see through eyes of faith,
Beyond the mind of man.
For how could we hope to see His face
Who never could see His hand?
("The Power of God" by Steven Kapp Perry, from From Cumorah's Hill: The Book of Mormon Speaks to Our Day)

It was fun to talk with my son today during our drive home, about the daily miracles in our lives. How our being born was a miracle. How we all came to be a family, and how we love each other. How he went from being a tiny baby to a five-year-old who is capable of doing so many things. How we had some time together and how we both felt well enough to see this nice movie together.

Maybe the appeal that Charlotte's Web had for me as a nine-year-old was a foreshadowing of this very precious moment that my son and I would share today as my gift on the ninth day of Christmas.

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