About 5 years ago, I was walking to dinner in Atlanta and I came across a wallet in the gutter. I picked it up and it had two things in it: 8 $100 bills and a pink business card with a girl’s name in parentheses and a Florida phone number. When I got it home, I joked with Anne about the possible origins of the mysterious business card. It could belong to the owner of the wallet or to his girlfriend. Of course those were the good scenarios, but our minds quickly raced to much more vice-like professions. Anne encouraged me to call the number from work the next day, so as not to end up on the bad side of a “john” sting. The owner of the number was a beautician in Florida, and she knew the person who was visiting Atlanta and had lost his wallet. By that night two well-coiffed guys showed up at our door, properly identified the wallet, and left us with an orchid.
This week as Anne was going through her last round of chemo, that honest deed was repaid. I am still not exactly sure how it happened (my mind was pretty foggy and I don’t have Anne’s excuse for fog). After chemo was over, we had lunch about a block down the street and then went back to the medical building for Anne’s accupuncture appointment. As I dropped her off, I realized my iPad was missing. I assumed I had left it in the restaurant. Dax and I rushed back to where we had been sitting. We asked everyone there if they had seen anything. We called the cops, waited for two hours, and filled out a report. We didn’t expect to get it back, just wanted to check the box in case our insurance policy had a low deductible, which it didn’t. I returned home iPadless, a little sad, but given everything else that’s been going on, this wasn’t the tragedy it would have been a few months earlier. Then at 11:30 that night I got an email from someone who had found my iPad in the street, taken it home, charged it (how long was it in the street?), and then used the information in it to let me know he found it. Talk about lucky, talk about karma. The next day, Anne and her mom showed up at his office with a Blockbuster gift card (not great, but better than an orchid to a straight guy) and brought home my iPad.
This little moment of karma got me thinking about all the amazing gifts, care, meals, prayers, well wishes, and heart felt hugs our friends and family have coming to them after this last five months of giving to us. Anne is now done with her chemo. For the next week she will dive into her worst days one more time, but then we will start putting our lives back together. It is perhaps naïve of us to think there might not be issues down the road, but Anne’s disease has not followed the path predicted by the doctors who blindly subscribe to percentages and this summer gave us no hope. We have chosen to be optimistic and believe the positive doctors who treat the outliers and whose path is one of “curative intent” rather than “making [Anne] comfortable.” We also gain hope from all the prayers on our behalf. We like to think of ourselves as an intellectual family but we also are a spiritual family who believe in miracles. We recognize those miracles along the way, both the big life extension ones and the little day to day ones we receive from our loved ones. Looking forward Anne will be scanned every three months to make sure she is free of disease. As a family we, will do all we can to make sure her skans stay positive. We are going to continue to improve our diets, lifestyle, stress management, and show an increase in gratitude and giving to both those around us and to our Creator.