By Teresa Swartz Roberts
Blog post 47. Copyright 2021
This blog post is about miracles. I use that word on a regular basis. I need to. I need to see the miracles in my life.
I remember seeing an interview with Brandon Lee, who talked about the limited number of good memory-making days any one person can experience in a lifetime. Even the number of times we will be able to call up a memory is not limitless, even though we think of life as an “inexhaustible well.” Lee would die on a movie set only days after the interview, shot by a prop gun that was accidentally loaded with live ammunition.
What I find when I look for miracles is that the definition of what constitutes a miracle shifts. Zoom calls are a miracle when I think back to my teenage years, when a 50-mile distance forced me to break up with my boyfriend (the first Frank) because he kept getting grounded for making expensive long-distance calls. With technology, I don’t have to go two years without seeing my son’s face. I can even see the love when he and his wife smile at each other. We haven’t been together since right before the pandemic started. But we can Skype or Zoom or Google Duo anytime that our schedules and high-speed Internet allow.
The sky is my go-to when I’m looking for assurance that something more powerful than I am is in charge. I stop to look at the clouds when I pick up the mail, stare at the stars when I take out the trash. I hope to see a rainbow each time it rains.
I look for rainbows while it’s raining because that’s the only time I can see them. Seriously. Rainbows cannot exist in nature without significant moisture in the air. The rain doesn’t have to be falling directly on me. In fact, I’d like it to stop metaphorically raining on me for a while.
The second requirement for a rainbow is light, preferably sunlight. But you have to be in the right place between the sun and the rain. You don’t necessarily have to be outside, but you must look up from your life. When everything lines up, it’s beautiful.
I know that my family is a miracle. That’s because love is a miracle. Love is what keeps me going, keeps me looking for miracles. I find them hiding behind my Parkinson’s Disease.
I have daily miracles, little brilliant bursts of ableness that allow me to feel like the old me. At those times, anything seems possible. Last week I danced with my friend Rosie while I was introducing her to funk music. My body danced with rhythm, not just dyskinesia or tremors. I realized that friendship and music and movement— are all miracles.
There’s no miracle cure for Parkinson’s Disease, nothing to stop it from consuming my brain cells, leaving its mark on every facet of my life. Sometimes the journey I’m on makes me so weary, I want to close my eyes and rest. But I have miles to go before I sleep.
I haven’t seen enough rainbows yet. I need to keep looking for them.