Some Where Over the Rainbow
When my third husband passed away my sister gave me a beautiful book of Maxfield Parrish prints, breathtaking landscapes coupled with the words to Some Where Over the Rainbow. The book and the song became beacons of hope, heralds of miracles I believed, prayed, were yet to come. I kept the book close, referring back to it frequently when I felt overwhelmed with grief and uncertainty.
A few years later while on vacation in Hells Canyon in Eastern Oregon, I became very ill. Somehow I had contracted an infection which quickly turned into a staph infection and then to blood poisoning. The nurse-practitioner in the little community of Half Way announced I should be hospitalized, but did not believe I would survive the sixty mile trip to Baker City. My only option, other than a Mercy Flight, was treatment in the clinic.
After an injection of the most powerful antibiotic available, plus a prescription for an equally strong oral antibiotic, I was restricted to complete bed rest - flat on my back. If the reddened area progressed beyond the line the nurse drew (with a ball point pen, no less) I was to call her immediately. I had the clinic number, her cell phone number and her home number.
I don't know which was worse, the agony of the infection or or being forced to lay in the back bedroom of a small camp trailer, while outside the Canyon was ablaze in sunlight and Autumn colors. I was on vacation and wanted to be out walking along the river or sitting beside the creek. Instead, I had a small view of a few trees and a section of sky.
Every morning I went into town for my injection and inspection. Then back to the trailer and bed. Gradually the redness receded and I was pronounced well enough for light activity. I could sit or stand for short periods - as long as the redness did not reappear. I felt I had been paroled from prison - short parole,discomfort sent me back to lie down after only a few moments of sitting or standing - walking was still too painful to go but very small distances.
By the end of the next week I was well enough to travel home, with explicit instructions to make an appointment with my doctor for further tests. The general consensus was the infection might be a symptom of a chronic disease. I arrived home on a Saturday. My doctor appointment wouldn't be until Monday morning. I tried not to worry.
As a distraction, I watched the movie Meet Joe Black. The story line is inspirational, and the reason I chose it, but my miracle happened at the end while the credits were rolling. The first verse of What a Wonderful World, another song with special meaning for me, played, followed by the first verse to Some Where Over the Rainbow. Verses to both songs were alternated until the credits finished. As if I heard a voice, I understood my doctor would tell me I was healthy, the infection was a one time incident.
That is exactly what happened. A small blemish had become infected and due to a weakened immune system (thanks to excessive stress) staph had taken hold. This in turn led to the blood poisoning. As long as I carefully monitored other infections, I should never have another issue.
From that moment on, the song became a herald of miracles during other black moments - reminding me that there will again be blue skies after the storm - a symbol of God's promise that as long as I held onto Him, my faith, the flames would never burn me.
(To be continued)