This day began for me as many of them do: a 4 AM alarm snooze-tapped into submission, followed by a headlong rush to get to work- -dogs walked, coffee slurped, no time for breakfast, groggy, grouchy and glum at my own failings. Then, everything changed!~

My friend Alan Helgeson, who was filling in for Ben, (which already makes him an angel) brought me breakfast, an Egg McMuffin with sausage and cheese, (one of my favorites). I could have hugged the stuffins' out of him! Then Karla Brown (our midday goddess and dear friend) brought me a latte from Panera. I know! You're thinking, "pretty good start to a day if you ask me!" Right?

Wait for it.

I have written before about my adopted "nephew" Dakota Case, (from Tea, SD) his amazing musical talent and his lifelong struggle with a heart defect. His journey has involved multiple open heart surgeries, beginning when he was an infant. Then things took a turn for the truly awful last May (2015), when he developed severe pneumonia, went into heart failure and came so close to losing his life that St. Peter was holding the pearly gates open and asking for his dinner order!

He survived that situation only to end up back in the hospital with more critical issues. The decision was made to move forward with the goal of a heart transplant, but, (and again, it's a big but) he had to be sick enough to warrant it, (he was) but well enough to tolerate the surgery and procedures associated with it (he wasn't). He has also had the emotional stress of his parents having their own health scares through this experience.

This small, strong, extremely faithful, loving family has been through what is tantamount to a health war, facing one battle after another and each time emerging bruised but not bowed. To date Dakota has spent approximately 7 out of the last 12 months in the hospital at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, waiting for prayers to be answered, stars to align and a heart to be found.

Today was the day!

The moment I found out, I had to talk to him! And, it's been so long since we actually chatted anywhere but on Facebook, that I thought it was his dad, Chuck, I was speaking to! As always, Dakota was positive, funny, hopeful and loving, with the full understanding that another person lost their life in order for him to have the gift of a fuller one.

As this is being written his surgery is being scheduled and I ask for positive thoughts and prayers for this extraordinary young man. There is a GoFundMe account set up for Dakota and his family. If you would have any interest in lending support to a remarkable young man, whom I know is meant for so much more in this life, please click here for more info.

That is how an ordinary day becomes miraculous!


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