Before I left home early yesterday morning, I received an email message from a much-younger friend who is an oncology nurse. She said she is finally ready to read Breast Strokes. She hadn't felt ready until now, because of the challenges of her profession. Not every patient benefits from or survives chemotherapy. The nurses carry the losses in their hearts. I told her I thought the book would help her, that it is not a sad book, but a book about mindfulness, presence, and friendship. I remembered the nurse from radiation who always made sure our gowns were warm. He said he felt he came to a temple each day, a mosque, or church. He knew he did sacred work. We wonder if there are angels. Yes, there are. They are here, daily saving lives and administering care.
Then, on the plane coming here, there was an announcement that someone needed medical help and requesting a nurse or doctor. My daughter-in-law is a doctor so ended up at the front of the plane attending someone who appeared to be having a heart attack. After some time, there was an announcement that we would be landing in Portland, so the woman could receive the medical care she needed. The plane went into a swift descent, and everything was cleared for our approach. It brings tears to my eyes even now to think how everything mobilized to help one human being. All cleared for our plane to land. There wasn't a murmur of dissent on the plane. I'm sure everyone, as I did, appreciated that the same would be done for us.