Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Montreal Miracles

Barbara: Okay, so unlike Deb, my respite did not include Bobbies or castles or high tea or long discovery walks (or, for that matter, emergency flights home). But I had my own little adventure last weekend. I went to Montreal to visit my daughter for her 18th birthday. And she welcomed me (us)! That’s right. She was happy to see me (us). And what a visit we had.
You know how some days or weeks (or years) are just filled with upsets and disturbances and shocks and tragedies, and some days or weeks just seem infused with a sort of magic? Such have these last few weeks been for me. It’s been one awesome or tiny miracle after another. And I am full of the kind of gratitude that comes from such loveliness. You know, where you kinda tear up every now and then because it feels so frickin’ good.

So to start, here are my Montreal miracles. First of all, our schedule was such that we had to drive 6 hours from Toronto and then get Michele from school and then get her home to change and then drive through Friday night downtown traffic to get to the restaurant where we were celebrating her birthday with her Montreal-based family (her grandparents). By some miracle of timing we arrived at her university campus at exactly 5:30, the exact moment she finished a rough cut of a film project she is doing for class, and just in time to be allowed access into the lab, just in time to meet the rest of her (talented and adorable) work-group and, MOST importantly, just in time to get to watch their masterful real-film film spooling through the old-timey editing board. The film was pure genius. The whole experience, truly amazing.

After that we took her home to change and for Phil to do some handyman fix-ups in her apartment and then we get to the restaurant … with not one minute to spare on our 7:30 reservation. Not only are my and Phil’s parents there, but we also get to visit my aunt—who lives across the country and who we rarely see—who was, as luck would have it, in Montreal. Her trip––her first in 18years!––completely coincidentally happened to coincide with ours. So on Michele’s birthday dinner, M was able to celebrate with not only her grandparents but her great-aunt as well. Man, did we have a wonderful night. We ordered one of those prix-fixe dinners where they just bring you dish upon dish without you having to do annoying stuff like flip through menu pages and stare at dish descriptions and pick and choose. We went to a great Montreal restaurant called Alep, and were served by a diligent, cheeky guy named Eric who took care of every detail before and during. The food is Syrian, which is much like Lebanese food but with different spicing. It is so so so yummy!

The next set of mini miracles is kinda ironic because Phil and I are spiritual but not religious. It all started when we went to visit Phil’s grandmother who is recovering in hospital from a fall. We got to connect with her and also with Phil’s uncle and aunt who were there and who we always love to see. 
Turns out the hospital is right beside the Roman Catholic church where Phil got his first first communion. Yes, first first. Apparently the Greek Catholic church where he was baptized as a baby didn’t count this communion, implied it didn’t take or something, and lo, the kid had to have a second first communion. (btw, Phil decrees the host at the Greek Catholic church as way better, not a thin wafer but real actual bread.) So then, after reminiscing about this old family history, a very good friend of mine (an angel, as it were) happened to be in town and I got to see not only her but to meet her beloveds for the first time after years of friendship, including her wonderful husband and her very good friend—a Roman Catholic priest … who began his life in the priesthood at, you guessed it, the same little church as Phil’s first first communion. It’s a small coincidence maybe (although Montreal has literally hundreds of churches, so not really so small a coincidence), but to me it felt hugely wonderful.

Lately they—these small miracles—seem to be literally everywhere I look. OR, everywhere I look I’m seeing—not coincidences or serendipity or chance—but benevolent miracles. I just wanted to share that with you.

Is it just me right now or are you also experiencing your own surprise of miracles?

Deb: Barb, what an amazing time you have had, filled with gifts and miracles. I have my own miracle to share. Looks like my Mother is not going to lose her leg to amputation. They did say “never say never” and she and we must be diligent, but for now she is safe. Even two days ago it did not seem so. To quote a lovely song from Rogers and Hammerstein’s Flower Drum Song: “One hundred million miracles are happening every day."


  1. And, Deb, that is truly the most important miracle of all!! So very happy to hear it!

  2. What a beautiful picture of you and your daughter Barb. You are both glowing. Your Montreal miracle weekend sounds terrific, warm and very happy. Deb that is such good news about your mother, sounds like all the prayers came together for her.......wonderful miracle. :)

  3. Phil just realized he had a photo of Nana at the hospital so I just added that. xo

  4. I LOVE THIS! So much. :)

    Recently a very good friend of mine shared some big(ish) news with us that, unfortunately, didn't end in a very positive situation. It's been hard, and she's having good days and bad days (as I'm talking to her now it sounds like another bad day), but the fact that she's made it this far and is coming out of this situation way better than I would is a miracle in itself. But she's made some good friends at home (which helps Kelly and I sleep better because we physically can't be there and that hasn't been easy either) and her brother is home from Afghanistan for a little while, so I'm just trying to keep positive and pray for her and be as supportive as possible.

    Barb, your pictures are wonderful; your daughter is beautiful and looks exactly like you! :) Deb, SO GLAD to hear the wonderful news about your mom!!!!

  5. Holly, thank you. And I will keep good thoughts for your friend. Big news can be difficult to process, so it will take time, no doubt. I wish her a plethora of miracles! xo

  6. Miracles- my favorite! I'm so glad your have had such a blessed week, but what's more- you recognize and appreciate it.
    A true miracle is a shift in perspective.

    Love and hugs to you.

  7. Love this! Miracles are everywhere all the time - we need to be present and open to receive and the abundance flows. No matter how big or small the miracle, they're there.

    Sometimes the miracle doesn't feel like a miracle in that particular moment but removing judgment from what the miracle "looks like" or "appears" to be helps with clarity down the road. We can't get back far enough to see the whole glorious picture.

  8. Hollye and Tannis -- that's it! It feels like a) perspective has shifted and therefore opened me up to seeing this phenomenon and b) that "the whole glorious picture" is suddenly there (as opposed to the "forest for the trees" minutia). It is so liberating and amazing!

  9. Thank you Barb! She's such a good kid, and life's just been kicking her in the teeth for as long as I can remember!

  10. One hundred million miracles one hundred million miracles one hundred million miracles-are happening every day. Love the picture of Nana Barb. Thanks Holly, she will be in the hospital for a few more weeks but things are sure looking up! xo

  11. Talking about miracles ...

    My son has been in great spirits (after voicing his great annoyance about missing school and my reassuring him it was okay)- chuckling and laughing so much yesterday afternoon while he was getting a massage from our RMT-friend, and then my son and the friend went out for supper, and took in "Ghostbusters" at the local movie theatre ... It warmed my heart that he was laughing.

    Granted, I'm sure he still is having his "not-positive" thoughts, but it's nice to see him just laughing and enjoying life...

    And, our RMT friend wants to take my son out more for movies and concerts - she genuinely enjoys spending time with him.

    And, we got through to his psychiatrist, and we have a short-term plan. The school counsellor will be talking with him as well. And if necessary, we can take him into emergency and the psychiatrist will be "on call" this month...

    I'm not on hyper-alert right now. I'm just very attentive. Yay.

  12. Deb - I'm glad your mom is doing much better. Huzzah!

    Barb - it's great to hear of your Montreal miracles. I hope they will continue.

    I guess miracles can be found in the smallest of things - laughter. They deserve and must be celebrated.

  13. JO! These are miracles all! So happy for you right now. Wishing hard for it to stay. And "Ghostbusters" -- GREAT pick! PS an RMT friend is a friend indeed ;)

  14. Happy birthday to you daughter Barb. Glad you all had a great trip to see her.

    Also Deb I am glad that your mom Is doing better . That is great news.
    And I also agree that when we get good news it's turns or whole day around.

  15. Barb - my RMT-friend and I have a great relationship. I do her typing for the massage courses she teaches. She puts me in great pain to type some more. :) LOVE IT!

    We met volunteering at our local Shakespeare festival (where I've been volunteering for 17 season, and the RMT for about 10). My son decided to join me there 5 years ago. That's where Son and RMT-goddess-of-healing-pain met. RMT just *adores* him, and he adores her. YES!

    Now, I just need to figure out when/how to get new meds to the school - ideally before talking with counselor...

    And, I hope your daughter had a fantabulous birthday. It sounds like you did. :)

  16. All good news today and I love it. So glad your Mom is getting better Deb and I was so happy to get a little family history from your thoughts today Barbara.

  17. Sounds wonderful it's so relaxing when everything seems to just fall into place. The pictures seem to show some very happy people.

    Deb so glad to hear your mom will be ok now that your past the not knowing stage, things can at least be a little less stressful now.

    The only miracle for me this week is that I've yet to drop off my feet. I have slept a whopping 4 hrs since Saturday. Gotta say not feeling the little daily miracles right now. In fact I think I may actually be in the process of completly losing it at this point.

  18. Deb, that is WONDERFUL to hear about your mom. Ironically, I was in the ICU for my nursing rotation. It's a rough place to be...lots of stress and demands from these very very sick people.

    Barb, I hope your husband's grandmother is doing better. Sending lots of happy thoughts my way. As for me, I'm on my way to the dr. later today. Hopefully can put an end to this ankle pain I've had for almost two years (long story.)


  19. Barb, isn't it fantastic when everything seems to click? It's even better when you have no idea any of it will click. It makes it that much more special that these emphasize an already good time. Happy Birthday to your daughter. I agree, she bears a strong resemblance to you.

    Deb, I'm so happy there's good news regarding your Mom. Hopefully, the hardest part is behind you all and that only good things are in store for the future.

    PS KELLY!! My shows are this Friday, in Chicopee, MA, and Saturday IN BOSTON!! Who's excited? ME!!!!!

  20. Good news all around, then!
    Also, not to hijack this lovely and welcome entry — you and yours look so happy, Barb — but Deb, your clip for the CBC has just come across my path and all your readers would love to see it! I've put a link on my blog, to do till you do it yourselves.

  21. OHMYGOSH ME TOO ME TOO!!! Take lots of pics!!!!!

  22. I tend not to take pics at shows, and the theaters usually don't allow them, anyway. I'm really hoping they'll let me take individual shots with them, because those pics are a lot easier to see when you use them for profile pictures.

  23. Thanks all so much! Lyndsie and Madge, such nice wishes. Erin, there really is nothing worse than little or no sleep. It's sooo debilitating. I wish you zzzzzzz.

    KAte, thanks for the heads-up. Will look into it! Dawn and Kelly, enjoy the shows!!! So much fun.

    And Jo -- it was a great night/weekend. PS I am so enamoured of your son and friend's connection. Now that's magic.

  24. Barb, You should have bought a lotto ticket with all the wonderful luck you had. :)
    Deb, Sooooo glad your mom gets to keep her leg. You already know that you'll have to keep an eye on her to make sure she takes care of herself.

  25. Karen, the lotto ticket came to me/us. Wait til we tell you guys!!!!!

    And Deb's mom is holding the most important lotto ticket of all. HUGE hugs to you too, baby :)

  26. Hi everyone. I am sorry that I am just now responding. It has been a busy day ending at the hospital. Things are looking up medically for my Mom but in so many other ways things are in crisis and flux. I have read each and every comment but I hope you understand that instead of commenting on each, I have swallowed them whole, grateful. xo

  27. Lovely (carry over from London post) to read all the good news, even if tentative. Will continue to send healing thoughts to you, Deb, and your mom. Love you gorgeous ladies. xo

  28. funny, that I should read & comment just after Gae, twice now. and so I piggyback on Gae's good wishes and healing thoughts, with a special understanding hug to Barb for the birthday dinner with your 18 year old.....I truly KNOW how that was for you, having just experienced going to celebrate my own 18 year old's b'day--Deb--this is a very good sign--keep the faith.....xoxo Lori

  29. Thanks so much, Gae and Lori! Love you amazing ladies. And Lori, you and I were definitely on a wavelength there, huh? xoxo


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