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Packing for a church visit to St. Peter’s Anglican in Albuquerque, New Mexico I was stressing over several chapters and a nonfiction proposal due to an editor in a few days. My husband assured me he’d drive there and back so I could write.

Then the phone rings.

My sister Jane.

Bad news.

Our mom had a A-Fib heart event that landed her in the ER, then the ICU. Jane said she was lucky to have survived because her heart had been pounding like crazy for too long. Here she is in the hospital:


She looks happy and healthy, doesn’t she? Though the condition is chronic and she’ll have to take meds for life, the doctor said it’s a miracle she survived.

Miracle # 1

I spoke to my mom via Facetime. Jane sent the above picture, assured me she was fine and advised me to go ahead with my travels.

A few days after the event, the condition flipped and my mom’s heart went back to normal. No more meds. She’s fine.

Miracle #2

Then, that evening, my mother had a major stroke, was without speech and paralyzed. She was rushed to a larger hospital in Green Bay, given meds that they said could:

1. Kill her.

2. Heal her

2. Do nothing at all.

33% chance any one of those things could happen.

Thank God, the medicine worked.

Miracle #3

Here she is two days after her stroke, about to be released from the hospital:

mom1 Again, doesn’t she look happy?

The baby in her arms?

My youngest brother’s wife had a baby in the hospital the same day my mom was admitted (a hospital an hours drive from her home). Grandmother and grandson were released on the same day. A great-grandchild was born a day later.

Miracle # 4

Can you see God’s grace in all of this?

I phoned my mom yesterday, planning our visit home to Wisconsin. There was something different in her voice. A peacefulness I hadn’t heard in years.

When I asked her how she was feeling, she said, “In a lot of ways, better than before all of this happened. Not only physically, but something has changed in my heart…in ways I can’t even explain. All of this was meant to happen.”

The truth is, there have been family issues, wounds from the past plaguing her and our entire family.

My mother said that from her hospital bed she saw hugs between her children that she never thought she’d see.

My sister says she’s different. “Everything is different, ” Jane said. “You’ll see when you come home.”

Miracle #5

I haven’t been home for a very long time. We’re looking forward to going back.

Miracle #6