I remember hearing my oldest brother tell my mother once, that he thought all people were inherently bad. This question of what people really are is a question I’d always asked myself. However, my answer came in a most unexpected way.
My mother woke me up one lazy summer morning, shortly before I was due to leave home to attend college at BYU-Hawaii. I was dreaming when I heard her voice tell me to get up. However, her voice sounded strange and, as I sat up, still only half conscious, I figured it was the sleep that was making me hear things. I walked out into the hall and to the laundry room door. As I leaned against the door frame, my mother turned towards me from where she was standing, ironing clothes. I could see that her eyes were watering and as I opened my arms towards her, she came to me, accepting my hug, and started to cry. She began to tell me about my older sister, Kari.
Last February, Kari was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and had to undergo four months of chemotherapy before being told that she was in remission. However, in July, our family was given the unfortunate news that she had relapsed. So my mother was frantically looking for the best hospitals and the newest, cutting edge treatments for my sister. With all the doctors, the negative survival ratios, and the stress on starting treatment as soon as possible, my mother was, understandably, overwhelmed and stressed out.
As my mother explained about Kari’s new treatment, she made it clear that this second round of chemotherapy would destroy my sister’s reproductive system, making it impossible to have children. However, she also told me that there was one surgical procedure that could be done to preserve one of Kari’s ovaries. With tears falling down her cheeks, my mother went on to tell me that the hospital that specialized in that particular procedure wanted twenty-five thousand dollars up front and with no guarantee that the surgery would be a success and that there was no way that our family could afford to pay that kind of money out of pocket. “We don’t know where we’re going to have to spend our money yet, because we don’t know what the insurance company will or will not pay for,” my mother said. Upon finding this out, Kari had apparently insisted that she be allowed to have the procedure done despite the costs. At this point, my mom was crying in my arms and I had no idea what to do or say that would help. I knew she was frustrated and that she felt utterly helpless to help her fatally ill child in her time of need.
My mother finally regained control and managed to stop crying before going back downstairs to make some more medical calls. I went back into my room, intending to get dressed and shower before starting my day. However, upon entering my bedroom, I felt this overwhelming urge to pray. So I knelt down by the side of my bed and I asked God to please help my sister and my mother. I asked him to please help my mom find a way to pay for the surgery. I knew I was asking for a miracle, and, never having been a real conversationalist with God, I doubted prayer would get me anywhere. Yet, I figured it couldn’t hurt to ask.
As I finished my prayer, the phone rang downstairs. From my room, I could hear my mom talking in excited tones and I went over to the hallway balcony to look down and see what was going on. After hanging up, my mom looked up at me with happy tears in her eyes and a smile on her face. “That was a doctor that I work with at Wake Med sometimes. He’s the head doctor of the North Carolina Center for Reproductive Medicine and he just offered to do your sister’s surgery for free.” I believe in charity and miracles. I believe that people are all inherently good at heart. I believe in the power of prayer and the kind hand of God. It’s not often in our daily lives that we get the chance to see a miracle of such a magnitude happen. However, there are little miracles that happen every day. The miracle of birth and the complex structure to our world’s biological make-up are often overlooked on a daily basis. I believe that there are no coincidences and that everything happens for a reason. I believe that we are all connected to each other and that as we go about our daily lives, we affect the lives of those around us as well. I believe that every act has its own purpose, even if we don’t know what that purpose is at the time. This I believe.