D.B. – a miracle story
A couple of years ago, Handsome heard that a woman had died. She was the mother of one of his closest childhood friends, a man he hadn’t been in touch with for longer than he could remember. It made him think about all the great times he’d had with that man when they were boys – laughing so hard in school they couldn’t stop, pulling pranks on their brothers, sneaking out at night… and some things that actually didn’t get them in trouble too!
But as happens so often in life, at some point, their paths diverged. When they were teenagers, Handsome got more withdrawn, more focused on doing well in certain areas, while his friend D.B. got more adventurous. Okay, let’s just say it out loud – Handsome was a Nerd, a Dork! And D.B. started hanging out with a cooler crowd. Living a more interesting life.
And then, after they left high school, things changed even more. D.B. got into a number of bad things, and even fell into some criminal activity to support his addictions to them. He went from the very healthy lifestyle of his childhood into one where a number of his friends died, either from overdosing on drugs, or being murdered by others involved in that world.
And then one day, after years of living at what they call “rock bottom,” he found out from a doctor what anyone could have guessed – that he was also going to die, from the damage all these poisons had caused his liver.
And so, D.B. did the hardest thing he’d ever done. He pulled himself together as much as he could, and quit. He quit drinking, quit drugs, quit all of those things. He moved away from his home town, since all the people he knew were still doing those things. He lived in constant pain, and was unable to medicate himself for it at all. And, knowing he didn’t have long to live, he did something amazing – he started taking writing classes at a college. And he wrote and wrote, writing about the people he’d known, the horrible and amazing things he’d seen while in his hellish state. And his biggest hope was to get some of his writings published, so he’d have some legacy, something of his to survive when he died – which could be any day.
When he got Handsome’s letter, he was surprised, and phoned him. His voice was so trashed, Handsome didn’t even recognize it. But it was him. And for the next couple of years, they talked often. They’d talk about what they remembered from their childhoods, and about what either knew about publishing (not much, frankly!). And they talked about the different roads they’d taken to get to the places they were.
And each time the talks ended, they’d say ‘goodbye,’ knowing that that might well be the last goodbye they had.
But then something happened. Something no one could have predicted. Something the doctors absolutely don’t understand at all: D.B. got better. And a week ago, D.B. phoned Handsome, to say that he and a friend of his would be traveling through Handsome’s part of the world early next year, and he’d love to meet up and spend a day together. The doctors had given him a clean bill of health! Now of course, his liver is still very damaged, and he could have a turn for the worse any time. Probably will. But right now, he’s okay. He credits all his health to “Prayer and Karma,” though his much-improved diet must have helped too.
But do you know why he and his friend will be traveling? Not to visit Handsome, or to go sightseeing. They’re traveling because his friend thinks he has a gold mine! They’re going to search for gold!
For years, D.B. lived in a world of hopelessness, of self-destructive emptiness. And his miserable journey of recovery has led him to this place, where he is going to chase a wild, adventurous dream. Will they have any luck? Will he get rich? Will he live long enough to enjoy anything that he gets? Will he be able to repair any of the relationships he damaged in his years of self-centered addiction?
I don’t know. I’m only a dog. But I know what I think of this. I know that for two years, Handsome always looked sad after he spoke with D.B. on the phone, but that this time, he hung up, threw his head back, and laughed.
Most of the time, life goes the way it usually goes. But sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes people find it feels good to refuse their hunger’s request, and fast for weeks; sometimes one day’s worth of oil burns for eight; sometimes an extra-bright star burns and a baby is born to rise from humility to greatness no one could have imagined. Sometimes the power of Unity and Self-Determination and Collective Economics and Collective Responsibility and Purpose and Creativity and Faith can combine to raise the power of an entire people.
Sometimes, yes, there’s a miracle. You just have to see them when they happen. One should be stopping by our home in about a month. And how cool is that!
Happy Eid, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Christmas, and, yes, Holiday Season, to all of you. May your faith in the amazing that can happen anytime glow just a little brighter in this majestic new year.