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Everyday Miracles
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My concept – based on recent experience and new understanding – of a miracle has changed over time.

When much younger, a miracle orbited around getting. “Will I get accepted into my first-choice college – despite my less-than-stellar SAT scores? Will I get the job at the Art Institute of Chicago even though my resume is short and interrupted by a yearlong hitchhiking adventure in Europe? Will I ever get married after so many boyfriends objected to my forthrightness? If/when I do get married, will we be able to have children considering my history of infertility?

Then, when I did have kids, my questions became theirs: the right schools, extracurriculars, correct choices, and so on. The right timing and the right place for gestating a miracle of lifelong consequences. Worrisome and weary conditions that can be overwhelmingly consuming as I look back.

We’ve just entered our third year of COVID living. On March 15, 2020, San Francisco residents were ordered to shelter-in-place. The mayor mandated that we stay at home and go outside only for food, medicine and other essentials. Today, we’re just one week short of 730 consecutive days of the abnormal becoming the new normal.

Every day, I am grateful that no one in our nuclear family has contacted the virus. Fortunately, my second grandson was born before the outbreak. Mother and father were together for the easy, no-complications birth in the hospital’s maternity ward. Grandmother and big brother were able to visit and meet the newborn the next day. We rode the California #1 bus to Van Ness, walked through the CMPC doors with full access to the maternity floor. No checkpoints, no masks, no proof of vaccinations required. Everyday miracles of birth and access to health care, in retrospect.

When my first grandson returned to preschool after a hiatus of many months, he followed new protocols. Not yet three years old, he learned the necessity of washing hands regularly, sitting alone to play and eat, wearing a mask except when eating lunch or snacks. And, miracle of miracles, he never got the “sickness” that befell some of his classmates.

Based on age and medical conditions, my friends and I are in the high-risk group. Only one member of my cohort has had COVID, and her symptoms were mild because she had already been vaxed and boosted. Another miracle in today’s reality. Not really an everyday one in this two-year stretch of hyper-vigilance.

My sister has diabetes, and flits between Michigan and Florida where cases were high, deaths above average, and cautions ignored. She has eluded the virus despite her grandchildren having it – one after another. Another miracle for which I am grateful.

I’ve been following strenuous precautions in my choice of activities and self-care. In consideration of others as well as in my own interest. Every day that I wake up feeling healthy, resilient and symptom-free, I rejoice in another miraculous day.

Nowadays, I seek out small miracles on a regular basis. (I don’t want to jeopardize my quota of “big” miracles or stretch my luck.) I celebrate:
Grabbing a parking space in front of the house before it’s commandeered by neighbors or the Korean restaurant’s customers.
Having all the necessary ingredients in the pantry and refrigerator beforer trying out a recipe without needing to go to the grocery store first.
Finding leftovers in the refrigerator that everyone else overlooked.
Having enough gas in the car for a sightseeing jaunt to the Presidio and back.
Getting everyone out of the house on time for preschool and work.
Discovering an extra diaper in the stroller when the baby poops twice on an outing.
Having no serious injuries when the grandsons, who are both reckless and accident prone, wrestle and tumble.
Spying new growth on the overly expensive podocarpus trees that were planted a year ago.
Staying within my budget for basics and treats when living on retirement savings.
Planning an international trip to Switzerland after more than two years of staying put (and saving.)
Being healthy, happy and safe.

Oops! How did that “big” miracle sneak into the “small” miracle list?


Thank you for all these big small miracles. And needless to say, fully living with all the sights and sounds (Presidio! Transportation!) in San Francisco is a miracle in itself. Thank you for bringing some of those miracles back to me.

** I said, “Bringing some of those miracles back to me,” meaning, bringing back some of those memories I have of the City back to me. 🙂

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