When I was 17 I went to my high school gym for a free physical. In that noisy gym surrounded by my peers, a young medical student heard an extremely soft murmur. Up to that point in my life I had had a physical at least once a year (usually twice) and no doctor, young or old, had ever heard anything when listening to my heart. The next day I was being examined by a cardiologist and it was discovered that I had a hole in my atrium the size of a silver dollar. My heart was swollen three times the normal size. Had I gone to my soccer conditioning camp the next day in the summer heat… I could have collapse dead on the field. I was instead saved by an angel and against all odds I was able to recover from open heart surgery in only 3 weeks. I was cleared to resume all of my normal activities, stronger than ever.
When my X was arrested I was 8 months pregnant with a daughter. A daughter that would have been trusted to him had I remained in the dark to his secret life. A daughter that may have been abused and violated at worst or shamed and humiliated at best. He may have been able to establish a relationship with her that the courts would have felt compelled to continue. His arrest made sure that she was protected. Any meeting she ever had with this man was closely monitored and eventually cut off all together. She was/is protected. I found the strength to leave even though I was lost for a while. I was able to fix what had been broken. My strength is not just my own, it is that of my family and friends watching over me.
This past weekend my family went to a cemetery near town to find the grave of my great-great-grandmother. In a cemetery about 1 square mile in size, filled with two hundred years of souls we were having a lot of trouble finding the final resting place of our family members. We did not have a map we were winging it. My dad drove around for almost 30 minutes at a crawl looking and looking. When Nugget started to throw a tantrum. She wanted to go outside and run. He stopped the car and we set Caroline free to run for a few minutes while we sat under a tree….
“Look Pop Pop! Looky! I jump, jump, jump!”
Nugget was jumping off of a small tombstone that was flat on top. There were 10 other similar headstones surrounding it including 3-4 that were closer to our bench, but she chose that one. Out of respect my father got up to make her stop jumping on the grave… when he got to her Nugget was now sitting on the stone… the stone of my great-great-grandmother. She had found it. She had told us to stop the car and ran right to the spot we had been looking for.
It is stories like these and others that remind me that there are people looking out for us.