On a Wing and a Storm

“When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm is all about.” Haruki Murakami

On Monday of last week, our 8-year-old son Ajay became ill. He got sicker as the week went on and when Thursday morning dawned he was unable to stand or walk. Things happened very quickly after that and he was admitted to our local hospital where blood tests indicated that an autoimmune response was causing the muscles in his legs to rapidly breakdown. Friday night found he and I boarding a small fixed wing plane for transport to a Children’s Hospital 150 miles from our home. As his gurney was secured into the back end of the plane, the flight nurse ushered me to the cockpit and motioned for me to sit next to the pilot. I slid into the seat and the pilot handed me a headset to wear and gave me a gentle warning that it was going to be bumpy because we were flying into a storm. When I heard him say those words, my mind flashed back to a blog I wrote many, many months ago… I had written about a storm Ajay and I had walked into together in 2012, describing an autoimmune firestorm in his brain that had plunged us into a hell that took three years to crawl out of. It had been a scary and lonely journey… and although it had taken nearly three years, we seemed to have finally outrun that storm.

Fast-forward to April 24, 2015 and here we were again…. me and my boy heading off into a storm together. This one, we could not outrun. As that little plane bumped down the runway and lifted off into the cloud filled sky I surrendered to the thought that maybe this time we didn’t need to outrun the storm, because the universe was giving us wings to get above it. With my visual firmly in place I sank deeply into the knowing that despite it all, we were just where we needed to be.
As I was writing this blog, our night nurse came in to introduce herself. She said her name and I felt the room spin a little bit. ‘Can you say your name again?’ I queried.‘Sure!’ She laughed. ‘My name is Wing – you know like chicken wing…’Wow…. What are the odds? I had to smile at the humorous spin the Universe always offers. ‘It’s nice to meet you Wing’ I smiled. My words trailed off as I felt the warm rush of peace envelop me.A nurse named Wing. Tonight…. just as I was writing this blog. Really? What are the odds? In my interactive universe, the odds are always good and I am forever grateful for the generous way that I am shown that a higher hand is ALWAYS in charge. (Take a close look at today’s Rx graphic, I snapped a pic of her name tag… and it’s Wing… like Angel wing, not chicken wing.)

For the moment, Ajay still cannot walk… but I have every faith in the world that it’s all going to turn out just fine. For some reason we don’t yet understand, the universe has temporarily suspended the use of his legs. Maybe it has been to remind us that sometimes when you can’t outrun the storm, you need to use wings to fly above it.