Life as a Miracle: an evening dress and an ICU visit
This miracle started with a fundraiser, well, it actually started with a disease. Cancer, the big, f***ing, frightening disease.
I’d had breast cancer – and before that, my mom did. We survived, lived to tell our tale and show our support for others facing the enormous scope of this disease. The insidious monster that loves to attack breast tissue and undermine hope.
My mother and I actively engaged in hope-generation for others in the thrall of the disease and beyond. To be Breast Cancer Angels, a nonprofit to whom we gave active support. The group performs miracles, swooping in to pay rent, food for the woman’s kids, for car repairs and such. Will you support, too? https://www.breastcancerangels.org
So, I found myself at a Breast Cancer Angels fundraiser in a private home in Laguna Beach. I made the rounds among the vendors who’d shown up for our cash, with promised donations on behalf of the Angels. And then, I saw the dress… My friend, Nancy, pulled it from the rank and smiled, “You need to try this on.”
And, as I swirled around the room and took a bow on the balcony, a woman with startling blue eyes and 1001 Dalmations villian hair caught my eye. I stared and she stared and then she crooked her finger for me to join her…
I did. As soon as I was near enough, she whispered in my ear, “Bill McFadden’s in the hospital, in ICU, with an unknown illness. He’s critical.”
Oh. Oh, oh, no. My cheery attitude pivoted 180 degrees and yet, I smiled on. No more was said between Connie Silver and I. I wrote a check for the dress – yay for Breast Cancer Angels and future survivors of breast disease – and went home with a resolve.
The next day I went to Saddleback Hospital and made my way up to the isolation ward. I settled into one of the comfy couches amassed around a coffee table filled with magazines, inspiration tomes, and a few books. A nurse, masked like a bandit and gloved like a prom queen, came over, tapped me on the shoulder, and asked you I hoped to see.
“Wait here, and I’ll ask if you are able to visit,” she whispered huskily – and wisped into the locked ICU. Several moments passed. I attempted to remain calm as my eyes fluttered across some magazine page. I tried not to hear the wall clock’s tick-tick-tick. I settled. I prayed. I waited, as told.
Within minutes a wide-eyed Janna McFadden entered the waiting room. She clasped my hand and I hugged her hard and long. “No.” I wasn’t able to enter, she told me, but she’d gladly share a note of encouragement with Bill. She nearly wept at the unexpected pleasure of my unbidden visit. Hope filled her heart.