Last weekend, my mom asked me if I believe everything happens for a reason. I didn’t really give her a straight answer. You see, I used to think everything happened for a reason. Then, after 24 years, four months and 23 days, I learned that my sister was born with a defective gene that affects her ability to produce an important enzyme, giving her Batten disease. In the three years, nine months and 13 days since that crushing diagnosis, I still haven’t landed on any good reason for Taylor to be sick.
I had a rough start to my week. Then, Tuesday night, I had a late soccer game. We were all stretching on the sidelines before the game started when the lights suddenly went out. That gave us about 20 minutes to kill in the dark while we waited for a few phone calls to be made and the lights to warm back up. So as we were standing there, we talked about random things. One of my teammates mentioned she had three tickets to Wicked that she needed to sell. She’d already seen the Broadway show about the witches of Oz, she said. I said my little sister, who is sick, would give anything to go. She told me she’d sell the $80 tickets to me for $65 apiece.
Taylor loves The Wizard of Oz. She collects Dorothy snow globes and has wanted to see Wicked very badly for a very long time – ever since our good friend, Callie, told her about it. So of course I told my teammate I’d buy the tickets.
We had another game tonight, so I headed to the field with a $195 check made out to my teammate with the tickets. When I got there, I told her we could just make the exchange after the game. She responded by saying we should make the switch before we played – that she wanted to talk to me anyway. When we got out of earshot of the rest of our team, she told me she didn’t need my check. She wasn’t allowed to say who, but someone on the team had bought the tickets for me.
On Monday, I was gearing up for a really bad week. I could feel myself heading downhill on the never-ending roller coaster. But as I drove home tonight, I counted three great acts of kindness directed at my little sister and our family in less than a week: the first two by T’s classmates, and the last by an anonymous angel who plays soccer with me once or twice a week.
I still don’t think everything happens for a reason. Until T is cured, any silver lining in her disease will elude me. But I do believe that T attends the school she does for a reason. And I do believe that those lights went out on the field Tuesday night for a reason. Thanks to a lot of compassionate kids, Taylor’s Tale is $1,250 closer to awarding another year of funding for an important research project this July. And thanks to my anonymous angel, on the evening of Sunday, May 23, I’ll get to see my sister smile big enough to carry me through the inevitable dips in the roller coaster.