I was waiting for a miracle. If I didn’t get one, I was waiting for death. I spent every day for about two and a half years hoping today would be my day for the first one to help me push off the second one. I actually found that it helped to prolong my life. When you’re anticipating something, it gives you more reason to fight to keep holding on. And so I survived two and a half years after my ‘you have six months or less to live’ deadline. Pun intended. Because I’d been waiting so patiently and I needed it so desperately, I finally got my miracle.
Dr. Griffin Lucas James strode into my room with a smile and looked around as if sizing it up. Like any other single hospital room, it contained a cot bed, a few chairs, a table on wheels, an outdated television, a radio, a landline phone, a nightstand, some medical equipment and machines, and a counter with drawers and cabinets under it. A door led to my bathroom and another to the corridor. I have no idea what he was looking at with that big ole smile like he was a billionaire in a fancy hotel suite. But he examined the room with a grin on his face and then he looked at me.
You better not be picturing a haggard, bald, wrinkly, old geezer hooked up to heart monitors and breathing equipment laying in bed dressed in a hospital gown and groaning as if he’s about to die. Terminal illness aside, I was doing awesome in life. My glossy blonde hair hung in a long ponytail down my back. My sky blue eyes were focused and clear. I wasn’t wearing makeup, but I looked good without it. I was breathing fine and my heart had been doing alright, so I wasn’t hooked up to any machines. I just had one IV in my arm to show I was extremely sick. I was sitting in a chair wearing a sweatshirt and boyfriend jeans. My feet were bare because I had just gotten a pedicure. I was playing card games with my family and eating pancakes. I felt far from death that sunny morning. Hope works miracles.
My miracle looked at me and said only one thing. “For a girl that was supposed to die more than two years ago, you look good.” I smiled and told him one thing back.
“I wasn’t supposed to, they just thought I was going to.”
He smiled back and sat on the bed. “I’m Dr. Griffin Jones and I just transferred to this hospital. I was briefed on your particular disease and I think I can heal you.”
And that is how the famous Dead Girl Walking receded so Miranda Taylor could fight her way back to Volleyball Playing Supermodel. After much too long away from my life, I was finally coming back.
Of course it took prep, surgery, rest, therapy, and all that jazz to get there. But that didn’t matter. My exceedingly rare, probably incurable, possibly treatable, awfully terrible terminal illness was about to be gone. I moved out of my hospital room and back into my home bedroom a month later and got my life back on track.
The very week I returned to school came the next development. Auditions for the spring musicale- which we all knew was really just a musical- were to be held in a little under the month. Since I couldn’t play any sports until after my next check-up, everyone wanted me to do it. This included my parents and older brother as well the teachers, faculty, and staff at the school who knew my situation. Eventually, my friends were on board because they knew I couldn’t stand being bored and having nothing to do. I suspected someone in a higher place had spoken to them or even bribed them into convincing me to ‘branch out and try something new because my thing was off limits’. While I was at it, I made sure to inform them all, I’d go and make some new friends.
Anyway, I auditioned with much support. I wasn’t a bad singer and my years of sports made me a pretty good dancer. That was enough to hide that I got a supporting part mostly because they felt like they had no choice after the big campaign to make me audition because I’d been sick and couldn’t be on any team. We were doing Grease! And I was cast as Frenchie. I had to admit it was pretty fun despite the demanding hours. I was used to practice running hours long and other aspects of an athlete’s grueling schedule but the play business was some serious stuff. But, like I said, it was fun. We were joking around and laughing at each other, so the time went by.
By the time opening night rolled around, the director killed all that and worked us to exhaustion. We achieved near perfection almost every time leading into the dress rehearsal. To balance out being proud of ourselves and considered satisfactory performers beforehand, the dress rehearsal was horrendous. However, the director did have one nice thing to say.
“You know how it goes: a bad dress rehearsal makes a good opening night. At this rate, you guys are all going to be amazing! Head home and go over your lines one more time, eat something, keep the costumes safe, relax, and get your asses back here at 6:30.” We did so to the best of our ability.
At 7:00 PM sharp, the curtains went up and the show began. I remember almost nothing that happened onstage, but I’m told it went off without a hitch. The rest of the shows followed suit and I was at the cast after party before I knew it. I ate more pizza than anyone else and then I went home.
My next doctor’s visit to check on the disease consisted of about three trillion tests, all of which I passed with flying colors. I was good to play volleyball again and I did as long as I could. Griffin ended up becoming a family friend because he was there for me every step of the way during my recovery and didn’t miss a game. My cousin eventually married him so we wouldn’t have to say he wasn’t an official part of the family and things after that went the way they do for any normal family. That was my miracle. Even though I thought I was dying, I kept hope alive. I had friends and family to help me through it all when my mind got ugly. I managed to recover and made new friends and one family member in the process. I learned about myself and never had a chance to forget what matters more than perfect hair and trendy clothes. All of those, the many products of hope, were my miracles.