Sometimes in a weekend full of stories, one stands out above the rest and shares a truth greater than itself.
When families congregate, history is often relived, revived and rehashed. Memories are brought to the surface, and their significance questioned. Childhood experiences are viewed from different angles, re-interpreted and made new again. Parents long gone are humanized. Faith is questioned. And for me, the ties that bind us are strengthened as I gain a better understanding of my siblings and of myself.
Growing up, religion was central to our family, to our identity, to our education, to our existence, just as it was and is for many. Yet, as adults, religion for many of us has been replaced by faith, often undefined. And for at least one of us, religion has been replaced by agnosticism, science and only possibly allowing for the acceptance of a higher being. And yet his is the story that reinforces for me the efforts of and the workings of…something.
My older brother runs a sleep lab but was a respiratory therapist in a prior life. He’s been in hospitals for as long as I can remember. He’s smart, analytical, creative, and he is at all times doing something, either in his mind or physically. Down time for him simply isn’t a thing. And he questions everything, takes nothing on faith. Yet, he’d been out of respiratory therapy for years when he was offered the opportunity to take a certification course in neonatal RT. And he figured, “why not?” He took the class, took the test, got certified and assumed that was the end of that. He continued on with his hospital life, continued doing his thing.
Two weeks later, my brother was called upon to use the training he only by chance happened to receive. Fresh in his mind. Working by rote memory. Paul saved a baby girl, a preemie twin, who had stopped breathing. And in part because of him, baby Madison will grow up.
And my brother shared this story – in much greater detail – to explain how he had gotten out of a traffic ticket. But what I got was confirmation of something greater than myself out there, renewed faith in the higher power, and the belief that things don’t happen by chance.