Thursday, January 2, 2014

My Dream Come True...I DO Believe in Miracles



It was a Sunday morning.  The sun was shining, and Jeff had given me the chance to sleep in.  We were in the final stretch of Evie’s chemotherapy for Wilms Tumor.  I had been working 10 hour days Monday through Wednesday to meet the minimum hours needed to keep our health insurance, and then would take Evie to her chemo appointments on Thursdays, with Fridays spent at home dealing with the side effects.  Evie was not even two years old, and we were a family that had been treading water, trying to stay afloat in the murky waters of desperation.

Maybe it was the extra sleep that Jeff had allowed me, or maybe it was the glorious sunshine beating through our living room windows; either way, there was a promise of joy dancing in the air that morning.  I fell lighter than I had in weeks.  

The CBS Sunday Morning show was on the TV.  I loved that show; it reminded me of being at home with my parents and sister; protected, cared for and without the responsibilities of life.  Jeff was making trips back and forth from the living room to the kitchen to deliver Evie’s medications to her.  There was Zofran for nausea, Lactulose for constipation, a prophylactic antibiotic to stave off pneumonia, and probably a high blood pressure med or two.  

In between his trips he asked me, “What does black tie optional mean?”

I replied, “It means you can wear a tux, but you don’t have to wear a tux.”

“Well, would you wear a tux?” 

“I don’t know.  What is it for; something with work?”  I said, trying to figure out where this was going.

“Well, I just saw something on TV about a fundraising dinner for the American Family Children’s Hospital,” he began, “They said it was black tie optional.”  

The AFCH had broken ground just around the time of Evie’s first eye surgery.  Jeff and I would watch the construction and digging while Evie was under sedation.  There was something comforting about watching the progress of the building; it was like a promise that everything would be okay.

“The theme for the dinner is ‘Go for the Gold’ because it’s the 25th anniversary of the Miracle on Ice.  The keynote speaker is Mike Eruzione and the hosts are Mark and Leslie Johnson.”

I’m glad I was already sitting down, because I’m pretty sure that I would have passed out.  I felt overwhelmed by the memory of a dream I had that night.

Evie and Bucky at the Grand Opening of AmFam Children's
“We have to go.”  I said.  “Last night I had a dream that you and I were in a car driving on Mineral Point Road in Madison.  We were at the stop light by Pizzeria Uno’s and you looked at me and said, ‘I have the chance to meet Mike Eruzione.’”

Now, I realize I married into a hockey-family; and I recognize that I had become a big fan of hockey with all the Badger hockey games we went to; but there’s really no reason I should have known that Mike Eruzione was the captain of the Miracle on Ice Olympic team back in 1980, nor should I have been dreaming about Jeff meeting him.  This was a sign; plain and simple.

We ordered our tickets and happily counted down the days to the dinner with great anticipation.  

The night was magical.  It was 5 days before Evie’s last chemotherapy appointment, so there was a certain air of anticipation around our home anyway.  Jeff and I got all dressed up, braved the snowstorm that was so typical of February in Wisconsin, and made our way to the Monona Terrace in Madison.

There was a silent auction, but most of those items were far outside our budget; but there was also a raffle for some jewelry from a local designer.  Jeff bought two of the raffle tickets, and we settled in for a delicious dinner.  After dinner they drew the names for the winners of the raffle.  The three sets of jewelry were identical, except each was made of different metal; bronze, silver and gold.  So, they cleverly called the winners by saying, “The bronze medal goes to…” and there would be applause as they announced the name of the bronze medalist.  

“The silver medal goes to…” more applause.

“The gold medal goes to Tammie Hefty.”

The American Family Children's Hospital
I looked at Jeff, “Did that just happen in my head, or did that happen out loud too?”  I had to ask because I had seen enough TV shows where a character wanted to hear something so badly that she imagined it and made a fool out of herself by standing up when her name hadn’t actually been called. 

“That really happened!”  Jeff replied with the biggest smile stretched across his face. 
 
That’s right; God gave us a gold medal.  1 Corinthians 9:24 says Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.  God was telling us, “Well done, good and faithful servants.”  

Evie is eight years cancer free.

The American Family Children’s Hospital has been open for almost 7 years now, and is already expanding.

We saw Mike Eruzione in a pub in Boston this fall and I got the chance to tell him about my dream, and about his part in our miracle.

I do believe in miracles.

Do you?

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