Yesterday, I was trying to gather the energy to go visit a friend in the hospital who had just had a baby. I was tired, but I knew I wanted to see her. I hate barging in on folks in hospitals, especially sore, tired moms trying to figure out nursing, etc., so I was rationalizing myself right down to the the wire as far as visiting hours go. I was laying on my bed, about to doze off at 7:21, figuring that there was no point in going now because I'd get there only to be asked to leave. I sighed and settled into my doze. Then I experienced a sudden adrenaline rush and an insistent voice in my head telling me all the reasons I needed to go now. Right now. I decided to stop rationalizing and just go. I wrapped up the baby blanket I had just finished for this particular friend, and drove over just in time to arrive at 7:49. I visited with my friend, got to hold her precious baby, talked about learning to nurse and what it was like to have 5 c-sections (my friend had to have one unexpectedly). It was a lovely visit, and I enjoyed myself. I spent about 15 minutes with her and then the nurse came and kindly insisted I leave. She let me stay about 10 minutes late. End of story. Exit a happy Kellie for blissful early bedtime. Not quite.
While I was walking out of the hospital, I noticed that a guy waiting in a parked car near the entrance was listening to Harry Potter. We shared a laugh as I told him it sounded just like my house and asked him what book he was listening to. I turned around and walked to my car. I got in my car and got ready to drive home. As I was waiting to turn left, a minivan came out of the parking lot to my right. It was going slowly, so I considered turning quickly in front of it but decided to just let it go by. As the van went by, I noticed that it was a white man with two black children. No mom with them. He looked straight at me. He looked familiar, but it took a second to figure out why. As I was driving home, it occurred to me that it could be the husband of one of the women I visit teach (she is black and her two children favor her), but have no contact information for except her address. We have been stopping by and dropping things off, but have never been able to meet up with her. I had known her 5 years ago when she was investigating the Mormon Church and then subsequently baptized. Her husband had concerns about her membership in the church and so she dropped out of activity within weeks of her baptism. She has been a fixture in my prayers ever since, but I never found any contact information for her. When I saw her name as being back on our ward list, I volunteered to be her visiting teacher. I thought to myself, if he's been visiting the hospital with the kids, I wonder if she's the one in the hospital...
I thought about on the way home and seriously second-guessed that there could be anything to it. 5 years ago, I had seen her husband all of about 5 times and for mere seconds each time. I would not have recognized this guy in the grocery store, but my mind was telling me that it was indeed him, and I could not get my old friend off my mind. This morning, shaking my head at my own silliness, I called the hospital and asked if they had a patient admitted by her name. I just about dropped the phone when the attendant said they did, then connected me to her room and she answered the phone! She did remember me, told me that she had just had a baby herself on Friday and was going home today. I could hardly get words out of my mouth as I tried to get my head around what had just happened. I finally stammered congratulations and asked if I could come see her and if others could bring meals. She said they could. She gave me her cell phone number.
It was an electrifying experience for me as I thought about the timing. It was a split second sighting of this guy as he drove by in his car, and I was there. If the nurse hadn't let me stay, if the guy parked by the entrance hadn't been listening to Harry Potter, if everything hadn't converged, I might have missed it.
I suppose it's possible to chalk it all up to a series of random coincidences. I was thinking of my other friend, not this friend, and in fact, she had not really been on my mind much that day. Finding a lost friend was not listed in my mind as one of the reasons I needed to go to the hospital at that moment. But for some reason, I was there, he was there, and tomorrow, I am going to see her. I don't know what will happen tomorrow, but I choose to believe that yesterday, there were miracles of more than one kind at Howard County General Hospital.