Chapter 19 -------- Miracles Everywhere
The last several months were full of miracles, some beautiful and some necessary. While it wasn’t at all easy, life was always providing little reassurances. If it weren’t for those little boosts to our morale, we might have faced far more dire circumstances. I am forever grateful to all the little ways that life made the unbelievable happen. Sometimes those unbelievable things happened so that we could have another important experience.
I felt one of my biggest miracles was getting a new bed. It had taken until my dad arrived the second time to handle the situation completely. Even with everything that had prevented us from getting the bed, it had finally materialized. It was the perfect timing because that was my final solution. It was becoming far more challenging to stay strong without a proper place to sleep. Now I could get the sleep I desperately needed.
Danielle and I immediately slept far better than the tiny single bed we had used for months. Being the thoughtful husband, I gave Danielle most of the bed since her comfort had been my highest priority. Now, looking back, I should have taken a little more concern in my wellbeing, but life allowed me to learn. I had found that life was constantly challenging me emotionally to the core. For several years before meeting Danielle, I suppose I was working on mastering my emotions. Now I had the perfect opportunity to perfect my emotional weaknesses.
It felt like the universe drove fate to give me this unusual life experience. I had the chance to address the full spectrum of emotions that Danielle and I were going through. It wasn’t easy navigating some of the heavier emotions of guilt, shame, anger, or grief. However, I realized quickly that I needed to learn. I’ve always embraced the learning that comes with life experience. Life can feel full of miracles as we embrace the infinite possibilities of what can manifest.
Which also led to one of the biggest miracles that I could imagine. For months I had truly become upset with Danielle’s family. I even played nice when Danielle asked me to, even while the entire time they were undermining me. Her family actively tried to break Danielle and me up, without stepping up to fill my shoes. It didn’t matter to them what I had sacrificed for their loved one. I had redeemed my mistakes with Danielle, but they failed to see that truth.
Danielle’s family only dwelled on my past mistakes while actively continuing to make their own. I remained patient but still ever so aware of the continued problems. I was becoming increasingly upset, especially after the last visit. Every conversation just fed that anger in me. Even Danielle could see the problems with her family never changed and never improved. I could see the agitation coming to a head and her realization that things were not going to shift.
I view it as a miracle because of how it manifested and the benefits we received. I doubt Danielle’s family would agree since I believe it was the last time she ever spoke to them. Some miracles work out in our favor, while others may seem tragic from another perspective. I can’t deny the tragedy of the miracle, but it was still a miracle to me.
The miracle happened on a typical afternoon while the nurse was visiting Danielle. Danielle answered a call from her sister over speakerphone. We all could clearly hear her sister crying into the phone hysterically before Danielle turned the call to private. She was yelling into the phone about a dream that she had about Danielle. In the biggest case of irony, the dream was a nightmare about never being able to talk to Danielle again. Danielle lost it on her sister almost immediately. I was upset and reached out for the phone.
Danielle handed the phone to me after a few choice words. I immediately left the room and proceeded to reprimand her sister for the last time. I returned and apologized for the outburst, but instead, Danielle and the nurse commended me for the way I handled myself. Danielle wasn’t up for dealing with their behavior anymore. She decided to stop all further communications after that phone call. If Danielle was finally done talking with them, then I was finished too.
Danielle also decided that afternoon that she was done taking phone calls entirely. The phone calls were already causing her headaches, and we constantly had to keep electro-magnetic devices out of the room. I couldn’t have my phone in the room or the Wi-Fi on, except for brief intervals. She had already reduced her phone calls down to mostly necessary calls to hospice. Hospice would call several times a week to check on Danielle.
She would say just enough to convey what she needed as I held the phone next to her on speakerphone. Danielle would then say, “I’m finished speaking to them,” signaling to me to move the phone away to finish the conversation. Often this was because she would feel discomfort from using the electronic device. I never felt like she was rude. Her family couldn’t understand this, and she was done trying to make them.
No more family meant much less stress invading our space. However, Danielle’s family was not going to be fine with being cut off completely. My anger towards her family made me unable and unwilling to provide a healthy line of communication. Danielle and I decided to ask the ladies who were helping us to communicate on our behalf. They all agreed to help, even accepting the conditions Danielle had with sharing certain information.
At this point, Danielle told hospice to stop sharing any information with her family. Danielle was rightfully angry, but I felt she went a little far to make them suffer. It was clear that their behavior had resulted in almost a complete shutdown from Danielle. She was tired of them, and after seeing my transformation, it was eye-opening to her situation. Her family just continued their poor behavior while I had shown a great capacity to change.
Danielle desperately wanted to change her relationship with her family. She was dealing with problems over and over to have a breakthrough potentially. It was always an uphill battle for Danielle. I found some people are just naturally toxic and removing them from your life is the healthiest thing that can happen. After almost five months, Danielle finally stopped trying to win favor with her mother. Including exerting energy to deal with her sister’s emotional baggage. This complete turnaround was still troubling to Danielle.
It wasn’t a miracle like most miracles, but it also removed a constant stressor from Danielle’s life. She finally had an opportunity to come to peace with the reality of her situation. Danielle realized that the peace she was looking for was not going to be found in the people she expected. Danielle acknowledged that her mother was never going to be the mother she wanted and found acceptance in issues that would never be resolved. Danielle had to come to peace that there would never be peace between her and her mother.
It was crushing for Danielle but also at the same time freeing. By no longer needing the validation or having the need to connect with this person, she was liberated. I could see that decision empowered Danielle which made me feel good too. I didn’t feel good that her family had failed her, but I did feel good to have such toxic people out of our circle of influence. Having four incredible women handle Danielle’s family issues was one of the most miraculous events that I could have imagined — topped with the irony of the dream which caused it all in the first place.
The next miracle was far more uplifting for both of us. Since the decision had been made to leave the house to Rose, she had also planned a trip back to visit Danielle before she passed. It wasn’t something she had to do, but it was something she did anyway. She planned on coming out for several weeks before heading back to Europe. Danielle and I were both surprised and impressed by the gesture. Nothing could prepare me for how impressive Rose would act.
Danielle was truly a mentor and a parental figure to so many children in the community, and Rose was no different. Rose was one of the most dedicated students and on top of that, the only girl to ever co-teach with Danielle. It was almost like meeting Danielle’s adult daughter. Rose held a special place in Danielle’s heart which was why she was so excited to see her.
As much as I felt no one could compare to our connection that Danielle and I shared, I quickly also realized that nothing compared to the relationship that Rose and Danielle had. When Rose arrived, it was a small miracle, because there had been some recent attacks at airports in Europe and Rose thankfully avoided most of the problems. We were happy she made it back safely.
The first meeting between Rose and Danielle was a bit more emotional than I think either of them expected. It was very hard to realize that they were going to be saying goodbye. Neither of them was truly prepared for the interaction. It was a bit taxing on Danielle, but nothing compared to some of the more draining visitors she had in the past. I feel the joy of seeing Rose offset any stress that occurred.
To my surprise, Rose would show herself to be even stronger emotionally than anyone I witnessed. It was amazing to see how keen this young woman was. It was also nice to have a bunch of extra help around the house. Almost immediately, Rose got to work on cleaning up Danielle’s dance studio. She was doing some serious organizing from me using it as a storage place. Anything we didn’t need we put in the Studio, which after five months created a huge mess.
I would often take Rose away from cleaning to sit with Danielle. I never wanted to leave Danielle alone, so even if I were cooking, I would get Rose. The only time I left Danielle alone was early in the morning. I still went most days to pick up her gluten-free waffle from the Vegetarian Restaurant around the corner. It was the small joys that Danielle appreciated, and having Rose visit was one of her biggest joys.
Even Danielle was super impressed at how much Rose sh