Sometimes the universe drops tiny gifts in your lap.
Sometimes a small victory, a shared laugh and connections made build one upon another to renew your confidence that life will always sort itself out.
Sometimes, when you express yourself from the heart; when you ask for a sign that someone or something is rooting for you and your family, the universe answers.
And it says yes.
My late friend Grace's book, about her battle with chronic illness, arrived on my doorstep just a week before my mother-in-law went to the hospital suffering symptoms which we now know are a result of cancer of the lymph nodes.
The comment from Grace's mother - a pastor at a tiny church in northern Canada - arrived just hours after I posted my ruminations on her life, her faith and the meaning of her reemergence in my psyche and my life. The e-mail from Grace's sister - who runs a centre for victims of sexual assault not far from where I live - came shortly afterwards.
Both these women, who I met just once more than 17 years ago, thanked me - me! - for what I had written about Grace and expressed how much my words had meant to them. And while I am profoundly humbled that something I wrote has brought them some measure of comfort, I am also gratified and awed that these connections, fostered across cyberspace, by way of this space, have brought me a renewed faith that my life, however trying at times, is indeed unfolding in the manner in which it was intended.
Yes, the end of last week was much better than the beginning, the timbre of which was characterized by this post about how inadequate I felt for having neither the energy nor the inclination to potty-train.
Just hours after I heard from Grace's sister and returned home to Rob and Graham after a much-needed, post-meeting wine and gab session with two work colleagues - wonderful women who I now proudly call friends - there was a surprise in store.
"Go ahead, Graham," Rob said. "Show mommy what we've been working on while she was at work."
And over to the potty chair my boy went. And with the biggest, proudest smile you have ever seen, he sat right down.
Yes, he was wearing a diaper. And yes, he was fully clothed. But Graham sat right on the potty, cheerfully and without apparent fear of the monsters he has long insisted reside inside.
I never thought such a little thing could make me feel so hopeful.
Hopeful not just about potty training, but about everything else, because Graham overcoming his fear and stubborn resistance so suddenly demonstrates to me that we are never truly stuck and that people and situations always evolve.
And I never thought that such a little thing could make me feel so proud: proud because it demonstrates to me that me and my little boy and my little family are capable of working on anything together and getting results.