I’ve got an iron-clad faith in God, to be sure, but my friends know that I’ve also got a lot of new-agey ideas and curious quirks. I tend to see signs from God in almost everything. I also believe that I’m supposed to learn from hardship, so I analyze everything that happens like a CSI investigator.
My theory is that I was scheduled to develop MS at 63, but due to the stresses of an awful job, it came on early, at age 36. I had put the memory of that terrible workplace behind me, until a few months ago, when the cab brought me to the door of the Infusion Center where I’d be receiving treatment every month.
This can’t be right. Can it? I didn’t realize I had said this aloud.
The cab driver said, “Yes ma’am. This is the address you gave me.”
I didn’t speak for a moment.
“Ma’am? Are you all right?”
I nodded, but I wasn’t sure.
Even though I’m generally somewhat shy, I actually felt the need to pray out loud.
“Is this where you want me to go, Lord?”
The cab driver was unfazed. He felt comfortable answering for the Maker of All Things, apparently.
“Do you need what they give you here, Miss?” he asked quietly.
The answer was obvious to me.
“Yes. I really do.”
“Then that is your answer.”
New Jersey may be the world center for Wise Cab Drivers. He got a very nice tip, and I thanked him. I felt comfortable saying “God bless you,” which I’m very cagey about saying to anyone. It has, on occasion, offended a person or two, so I don’t offer it freely.
You see, this was the place where I had worked for fourteen years, and for the last few, it had been a nightmare. It was where I first started to notice that the headaches never went away, and that my fingers were starting to go numb. It was where a deep depression set in, and a constant state of anxiety took hold. It’s where everything in my life seemed to start to unravel.
But it was no longer the same place. I tossed a coin in my mind and decided to see it differently now. It was a place of healing. It had been totally revamped and reconfigured, and the place that had been my office was now a large room where patients sat with their IVs, being tended to by the caring nurses. There were pillows and reclining chairs, relaxing music and fresh coffee. If you didn’t know better, you might even mistake it for a day-spa.
“I used to work here, kind of…” I said to the receptionist after she signed me in. “Really?” she asked. I said, “It used to be a different company, and I sat right over there by that window.”
“Weird!” she said, and looked over at the window. “Does it look the same?”
It didn’t. And I decided it would no longer feel the same. I realized that God moved in mysterious ways, and maybe He was allowing me to achieve some kind of closure on that era of my life. That place doesn’t even exist anymore, my child. Those days are over, and all I have for you here is healing.
I sat back in my chair, feeling the cold liquid coursing through my veins, grateful for so many things: Cab Drivers with an Inordinate Amount of Life Experience; the medicine that would bring back the feeling in my feet and hands; open doors and second chances. I thanked God that hearts and minds can be revamped and reconfigured, and that even after a deep, dark night, joy still comes in the morning.