A small disclaimer as I tell you this story. This wonderful, happy story. One that I know comes from a position of extreme privilege, something for which I thank God every day. I do know how blessed we are. I do. And the loss described in this small tale is surely not anything grand or even close to horrific. It was, nevertheless, loss. And now it is not. And in the midst of living this story, we felt heard, we felt seen, we felt loved. I share it today because I think it’s amazing. I hope you will, too.
It was an anniversary gift. An iPad Mini, handed to my husband over a plate of fine salmon as we celebrated #47. At first, he was dismayed: “What am I going to do with this?” he asked.
“You’ll figure something out,” I said, smiling shyly.
He is not a man of the technological age, you see. Not quite a Luddite — but close. He’s learned the basics of email and attachments, but refuses to own a cell phone or to explore his desktop computer any more than he has to.
But I knew something he did not. On a small iPad, he could read books. And he could play Scrabble. And once he had mastered those simple things, he was sold. I mean, that iPad accompanied him everywhere, to each room in the house, in the car when we drove down to the beach to sit and reflect, when we went on vacation.
He put a great photo on the desktop — Poppy with his two grandgirls — and he became a grandmaster of internet Scrabble, playing only against the computer and usually winning. Definitely, winning.
So, yesterday was a busy day for us. Compared to most of our days since my surgery two weeks and one day ago, it was jam-packed. We had a beach trip in the morning and a doctor’s visit in the afternoon. See what I mean? Jam-packed!
And now that I’m temporarily sidelined, he must load the car with our various and sundry traveling equipment all by himself. So yesterday morning, he trudged out with our two water bottles, his own sunglasses (two pair are required — don’t ask!), his iPad. Then, I slowly wheeled myself out to the garage, carefully positioned myself just past the door opening, squiggled backwards a tiny bit and then plopped down into the front seat. He picked up my scooter and stashed it in the back of our Honda Pilot and then carefully backed us out of the garage.
Instead of reading at the beach, which is our usual pattern, we chose to talk yesterday, so neither of us noticed anything amiss. Then, when it was time to go to the doctor’s, I asked him if he would bring his iPad along for the wait time and we realized it wasn’t in the car. A cursory inspection of the house yielded nothing.
The doctor’s visit was good — cast is off, stitches are out, baseline x-rays have been taken. We could easily see the two, long narrow screws now permanently embedded into my heel bone.
We were, however, told that this healing process could take longer than planned and we were also informed that there might be a problem with the big toe because of what he had to do during the surgery. I remain committed to holding positive thoughts, however, and am trusting that things will go as initially stated — eight weeks without walking, then another eight weeks of physical therapy. Then walking, as usual.
We returned home with some very mixed feelings and Dick began to scour the house, looking for that crazy iPad. We sat down and talked through the day together at least three different times, trying to back-step our way through where it might have landed.
It was not to be found.
He began searching again this morning after we had yet another conversation about everyplace he’d been the previous day.
I prayed quietly. Fervently. “Lord, this is such a good man. His list of ‘pleasure’ activities is pitifully short during this particular siege. So, maybe, could you help?”
I had a phone appointment at 9:00 a.m. and during that call, someone else called through. I made the decision to answer it because I thought I recognized the number.
It was “David.” No clue who David is.
But this is what he said: “I found an iPad with your name on it and I’m wondering if you’ve lost one.”
You found an iPad with my name on it?
YOU FOUND AN IPAD? Where?
It was at the Salinas Street exit of the freeway.
THE FREEWAY, did you say?
He figured out how to get into it, went to the contacts list and plucked out my cell phone number.
And just like that, we received an airmail, special delivery love note from God.
Just like that.
Dick hurriedly left to drive across town to retrieve it, I went back to my original phone call, and we were both wonderstruck that such a thing could happen.
Here’s a possible scenario for how it unfolded, given the scant information available to us: sometime during the morning get-in-the-car commotion, Dick put that iPad on the roof of the car near my door while he was helping me get situated.
It remained there all the way to the beach and back, all the way to the freeway on-ramp, only flying off as we began to accelerate. Salinas Street is the very first exit heading north, and that’s where it was found, a slight dent in the bottom, the stylus missing, but otherwise intact and operational
It didn’t go into traffic. It couldn’t have started out on the driver’s side of the car, or it would have been trashed. It didn’t fly off the back of the car, either.
It was good and gone. Gone, I tell you.
And then, it was found.
And so were we.
Not a grand miracle. But a very, very good one. Thank you, Lord.
Some photos from yesterday’s grand unveiling:
Cutting through miles of bandage,
a huge wad of cotton,
to a swollen ankle, in all its glory.
Two incisions, one at the way-back end for the bone breaking and stabilizing, one up a little higher for the tendon rearrangement.
The two pins in my foot. Can you see them?
Wrapped for protection from the inside of the boot.