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A hope note

One of our sons introduced me to a Jane Kenyon poem, ‘Otherwise.’ In it she describes a rather ordinary day in her life, punctuating her recitation of the day’s events several times with the haunting refrain, ‘It might have been otherwise.’
The last line of the poem recognizes that one of these days it will be otherwise.
Some of us from time to time reminisce about Frost’s two roads that diverged in a wood, and the one we didn’t take, and wonder what might have been. Maybe it was two job offers, or two sweethearts, or the two colleges that made our short list.
How different would life be if we had taken the other job or married the other person or enrolled in the other school?
I think of all the times that, if things had been slightly different ‘ by a few seconds or a few inches ‘ I wouldn’t be here. There was that time I nodded off about 4 a.m. driving home from college, and the sound of my right tires hitting gravel on the road’s shoulder roused me just in time. I narrowly missed a bridge abutment. It might have been otherwise.
People who work in a children’s hospital sometimes marvel that any child grows up. From crib death to falling down stairs, from meningitis to a bicycle accident, from random acts of violence to sexual predators to drugs to cancer ‘ there are so many trapdoors out there, so many things that can go wrong.
I have a wild and crazy idea. If you’re able to read this, take a pregnant pause and count your blessings. Then let out ‘ out loud ‘ a ‘Yes!’ or a ‘Thank you!’
Because it could be otherwise. And someday it will.

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