My three and a half year-old granddaughter, Zoe, is learning to swim and her favorite move is to dive under the water and resurface arching upward, arms stretched forward, hair sleek, eyes flashing open and wide triumphant smile.

I wish I could say I am mimicking the young mermaid, but I am happy to be resurfacing, writing, post total-knee-replacement and well along with physical therapy, my range of motion within a couple of degrees of my recommended goal.

As I adopt some of Zoe's adventuresome and trusting spirit, I now look at the Providence of the last two months.  My surgeon, touted as technically the best in the Bay Area, prayed for me the morning of my surgery.  He had spent extra time with me in consultation, explaining the process and making sure I had adequate support post surgery including two weeks of home more

He wanted to know that family and friends would boost me up as I went through the arduous work of restoration.  "I will be taking away your independence," he cautioned.  He had no idea that Zoe would be my coach, "You can do it Gran," mimicking my grunts as she stretched her knees.  We would share icing time too, she with her own small bag of frozen peas.

Chicago friends sent encouraging words and more prayers.  Geographically distant family checked in.  My most experienced  double-knee replacement sister heralded each milestone I met. My spouse became aide, take-out cook, driver, and consoler when I became frustrated.

My, oh my, how Providence has held me.

My physical therapist, Maude, is a former Chicagoan.  We laugh and talk a lot as she massages and manipulates my joint. One day, she told me that she is a Eucharistic minister at my now favorite parish, St Nicholas.

I am so much more aware that our lives can shift from ordinary to challenged, from planned to out of our control. Yet our trust in God can shed light on how our needs are being met.

My plan to find a permanent home has been deferred, leading me to new strength ( I now walk cane free with ease) and more gratitude for the many blessings throughout my recovery.  Being chauffeured has helped me notice the synagogue, church and mosque neighbors in Mountain View and Palo Alto.   I am now turning my focus and energy to preparing a fall Reflection issue, one of the ways to celebrate the remarkable SoulSpace that we share.

Marilyn Gehant
October 2, 2014