Looking Up

September 24, 2011 at 4:54 am 2 comments

21 years ago tomorrow, a dear friend of mine gave birth to a beautiful, sweet, and very cool kid.

She went through some of the toughest times a kid can go through, fighting cancer before she’d even started school. That is not my story to tell. But today I am remembering the day her Mom hosted a Make-a-Wish block party to celebrate the very happy end to that fight.

It was a great day. A joyful celebration, with a petting zoo and a jumpy castle and a bunch of running, giggling happy children, with neighbors, family, friends, with sunshine and bright moments. (It was also, behind the scenes, a tribute to the bravest and most amazing Mom I have known in my generation.)  

It began to rain as I was driving home after the party, and, as I was getting out of my car, I looked up and saw (only one I’ve ever seen) a stunning DOUBLE rainbow. Yeah, I stood, I stared, and I laughed aloud in the street with tears rolling. Then, I ran into the house to call my friend and share the moment. And she told me something even more phenomenal.

Throughout her daughter’s illness, they had told her that rainbows were for her, a sign of hope and health. And, back at the party, while cleaning up, they saw the rainbows, too. And the child looked up and asked, “Is that my rainbow?”

Well–say what you will, believe what you want, unexplainable doesn’t matter–yes. Hell yes.

And now two decades have passed. I’ve learned the tough lessons that I had no clue about back then–that all endings aren’t happy. That sometimes hope, bravery, and believing aren’t enough. That life can, and often will, take a turn for the worst. I am, I admit, a bit forlornly but taking that fighter’s stance, yeah, a bit proudly too, much more cynical and much less hopeful than I was 21 years ago.

But. I won’t forget that day.

I can’t and won’t promise that miracles happen, that good always triumphs over evil, that “things happen for a reason.” But. I can avow without a hint of doubt or cynicism that wonderful things can and do happen, too. Tonight at midnight, I will raise a glass to wonderful moments and say Happy Birthday to a beautiful, sweet, very cool adult. A life preserver who will always hold a very special place in this old broad’s heart.

And tomorrow? Well, the Weather Channel says sunny, partly cloudy, with a chance of rain. I’ll be keeping an eye out.

Entry filed under: Life Preservers.

hpy bday 2 u Looking Up P.S.

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Looking Up P.S. « Life Preservers  |  September 26, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    […] just had to post a p.s. that today, on my way home from work I saw a rainbow. And it was enormous and vibrant and I’m pretty sure the people in the car next to me thought […]


  • 2. mel  |  October 3, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    love rainbows. love happy endings. so delighted that the rainbow was, indeed, “her” rainbow. thanks for sharing this hopeful story.



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