Miracles, Miracles, Miracles

Nov. 1994

Gleason Gazette Editorial Page

"I look back on my life like a good day's work,
it was done and I am satisfied with it.
I was happy and contented,
I knew nothing better
and made the best of what life offered.
And life is what we make it,
always has been,
always will be."

- Grandma Moses

This has been a very special season for our family as evidenced by the prayers of Thanksgiving at the various holiday dinners - whether they were held in the quiet of one home, as part of a larger family gathering (i.e., Agin's home), or even in the room of a hospital with family and friends gathered around Jake and a turkey (shared with nursing staff who were working that holiday). I must admit, as one who has experienced the miracle of a heart transplant, I felt hum-bled with the subse-quent experience that followed my daily pleas for yet another miracle - i.e., for Jake to live. Every day I prayed the same prayer - for Jake, for Ceil, for Wanda's mother, Jinny, for Jay's brother, Chuck, - and yet others who are being challenged by Him in such special ways that we humans don't understand. One evening He seemed to finally run out of patience with me and granted a mind opening that allowed me to realize that today was a miracle - each of the people I was praying for had indeed been granted the miracle of life for that day! "Gee, Jim, open your eyes! Can't you see I am answering your prayers!! Today is their miracle you were pleading for." In each case medical science contradicted what we were seeing - our loved one was alive and still fighting for life. I had missed this daily gift of yet another miracle.

Calling uncle Bill with this "new"insight, he responded by telling me that everyone "up there" had indeed realized this and celebrated that miracle each and every day - for months now. Guess I'm just a slow learner, huh? "Thank you, God, for this gift of understanding, but we still need this bigger miracle of total remission, OK?"

As for the rest of us, there's a lesson many live their whole lives without learning - namely to accept the gift of today, and live this day as if were our last. What would you do today if you knew it might be your very last? No, don't just read on past this sentence - STOP! and come up with your own answer. Do it!! Then... read Erma Bombeck's thoughts on this in her quote following "Kyle's Kuotes" in this issue.

As I walked my daily exercise program today, just happened to listen to a tape taken off an Albany radio station 15 years ago in which an African prince (really!) - Prince Nikebagwa sings the following words: "Life is wonderful! Don't be proud because you have it - it is a gift from God." - followed by "Who knows tomorrow?" This was just a coincidence - or a confirmation of this message from above? Think about it - if you gave someone you loved a special gift - and they didn't even notice it - or, having picked up the gift, didn't open it - how would you feel? Well, its a good thing our Father in heaven isn't human, because how often has He presented us, His loved ones, with the gift of life's miracle for yet another day and we didn't notice it - or didn't take advantage of it (unopened gift...) - no less stop to say "Thank you!".

We recommend to your viewing pleasure - and meditation - a recent gift from Amy Pass - sent via tape and letter as I lay in the hospital awaiting God's gift of a heart. Amy related (supported by the "Feather Song" on tape) the opening scene from Forest Gump (mom's favorite flic of recent) in which a feather floats in the breeze - right into Forest's life. Amy asked the question: "Do we have control over our destiny?" The feather in this opening scene represents one's destiny. Mom, Mary and I enjoyed the movie very much and highly recommend it to your viewing pleasure (it is due out in video by springtime...). It is a thought provoking story - very motivational as Forest achieves time and time again despite his obvious handicaps. My response to Amy was along the lines of the theme of this editorial - we do have control of our destiny in the sense that while God provides us opportunity (the feather floating into our lives...), we have the freedom to ignore it, or, having noticed the opportunity (i.e., having read this editorial), we can choose to not take action (i.e., to not pick up the feather), or we can pick up the feather, even passing it on to another (as was often the case with Forest). So it is with God's love and His daily miracles. Enough said - now its up to you.

Ed. note: - ...wait, can the editor have an Ed. Note in the editorial column of the paper - why not? We make up our own rules as we go along, right?... - Ask uncle Bill how he responded to Amy's question - something along the lines of life is like a pinball machine - but let me not try to explain, he does it do much better. Maybe we could get him to make that the subject of a future "Not So Old Philosopher" column if enough people asked him?

In closing, some explanations relative to this issue of the Gleason Gazette. First, as to why the Asst. Editor is putting together the finishing touches to this edition - and why we are so far behind in our publishing schedule: Our readers can't fully appreciate just how much of this production comes from the heart and soul of the editor's inner person. With all that has (and is still) going on in Bill's world for the past too many months, coupled with my sabbatical from work due to this heart miracle, it is with humility and pleasure that I accepted the opportunity to step in and complete what Bill had begun during the summer months. Be assured that he remains GG Editor-in-Chief and will continue that role upon returning from their South Carolina adventures with Jake and Maria.

The second point of explanation is of the very existence of the stories in this issue - they seem so out of date - and by the time you read them, things will have changed so much yet again: After 8 years of publishing the Gazette, recording the family's activities for the archives to be read by our future generations has become a real mission - a sense of history pervades each issue and is very much on the mind of each editor as they put that issue to bed. The articles as they relate to Jake, for example, were discussed with him, and he too agreed that we should publish the story as it stood at the date of issue - today - and we all ask for your prayers and support that the next issue continues with similar positive stories of a very special family: our family.

Love, Asst. Ed.

(uncle) Jim

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