As I paused to leave a few words, ‘out of the blue’, I found myself typing, ‘Wish now…that I would win…” I stopped short. They were the words of my late grandfather…
“Wish now, Debbie-girl”, he’d always say. I hadn’t thought of that expression for years.
A fragment of memory lit on my mind … a limp ball of patchwork fur cradled in large, calloused farmer’s hands...rough, like a cat’s tongue and cracked with dirt. It was just before Christmas and I was 5 or 6…the limp fur was a barn kitten, barely alive.
“Wish now, Debbie-girl, let’s see what we can do for this little ‘un.” My eyes were wide as marbles. He placed the kitten on a towel on the open oven door of the wood stove. I knelt on the floor in front of the stove, watching and wondering what would happen, my lips silently praying… “oh please, God.”
I watched until my legs cramped and I had to shift positions.
Slowly, small bugs began crawling from the kitten’s ears, nose, eyes…I looked up at my grandfather in wonder…
“Wish now, Debbie-girl, the heat’s drawin’ them out. You just wait now, we’ll see if we can bring’er back.” Big sausage fingers picked at the tiny black bugs and wiped them against his coveralls.
I watched silently. The kitten began to stir. Her eyes opened, just a bit. Then a wee bit more. A paw twitched.
Life returned...out of the blue. My first Christmas miracle.