Lunch-Break Miracles
By Diana Aydin

Miracles in Disguise

I first worked with writer and blogger Antoinette Rainone on a piece for Guideposts about her mother’s first time flying (a miracle in itself!).

Talking to her on the phone about the story, we kept getting sidetracked–she just had so many good stories to share! After all, Antoinette wakes up every morning seeking out the miraculous.

Even so, she never expected to encounter miracles when her dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. And yet God kept the wonder coming her way. I'll let her tell the story...

I didn’t think my dad suffering from Alzheimer’s was a miracle. Just the opposite; I thought it was a cruel disease. My father was changing drastically. Eventually, he would no longer recognize me as his daughter, and I was devastated. I felt all alone. My mom had passed away a year earlier and my sister lived in Texas. A day did not go by that I did not cry.

It couldn’t have happened at a worse time. I was dating Angelo, a wonderful, warm man from Puglia, Italy, the same region my dad’s family came from. Angelo and I were ready to get married, but how could we now? I’d always pictured walking down the aisle with Dad. Not anymore.

Angelo had been working for a company involved in a major beautification project in Manhattan. It was a big deal–a great opportunity. But when Angelo saw how distressed I was, he gave up his job in Manhattan and took on a much more difficult job–caring for my dad. For nearly five years, Angelo fed him. Washed him. Cleaned up after him. My dad and Angelo had an unbelievably deep connection. They’d even converse with each other in Italian. Before then, I’d never heard my dad utter more than two words in Italian. He always said he didn’t speak the language. But with Angelo, he was someone else.

It was mentally and emotionally challenging for Angelo. A 24/7 job.  And yet, it wasn't a job. It was love in action. Love without pretense or show. Love that looked for nothing in return. Love in its purest, most sublime form. Nothing else could have showed me the miracle of love more than Angelo's decision and actions. No big fancy wedding, no diamonds, no candlelit dinners for two, just Angelo caring for my dad. Now this is a man who won’t leave me for a younger woman when I’m old and sick! I thought.

Looking back on it, Dad was "giving away his daughter" day by day. There would be no walking down a church aisle for everyone to see, of course. But this was a longer walk down a longer aisle. An aisle the three of us walked together. One that led dad to the real altar in God's house. And one that prepared us for marriage. The morning Dad died–peacefully, in his sleep–was Good Friday. That’s when he left me at God's altar with the man who would soon become my husband.

Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” The sacrifices we make for another human being? That’s love. And love is the greatest miracle.

Do you agree that love is the greatest of all miracles? Comment below with your thoughts. And don’t forget to check out Antoinette’s blog, Find Your Wings Now, for even more inspiration!

Diana Aydin is an associate editor for Mysterious Ways magazine. When she was just a little kid, she got her first dose of the miraculous. She’s been on the lookout for miracles ever since. Her favorite time of the day is lunch time, when she gets to step away from the workaday world and enjoy a bit of God’s wonder, if only for an hour!

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Your Comments (6)

I knew Antoinette Rainone when we were fellow students at William Paterson College in the early 1980's. In 1987, when I was having love-related problems,she counseled and consoled me like an older sister and a confidante. We were never more than just friends. But I always cared for her as a person.

Trust me. Antoinette's inner self is even more beautiful than her looks. She is a lady of intelligence, integrity and compassion.

Beautiful story!! That love is hard to find!! My Dad also died from Alzheimer's.

My husband and I are currently caring for his almost 90 year old mother. She lives with us and our three children, two of whom are special needs. In 2012 she suffered a stroke which partially paralyzed her. She had already been diagnosed with dementia, or early stage Alzheimer's when she and dad moved in with us in '08. He passed away in 2009. While she and I have had a fairly good relationship since our marriage, our taking care of her has been a stimulant for her to heal relationships with her other children. We have developed a very close bond. On her more lucid days we will sit and talk for ages. We are having a big 90th birthday party for her, and her other children, and some grandkids and great grandkids, will be here for it, some from as far away as North Carolina. I'm not bragging about helping her, just sharing what can happen when you share true love.

I have never heard of a Greater Love. . I think this is the kind of Love that we have dreamed we would find. Kindness and. trustworthy .

What a beautiful story! We are blessed if we have a husband who would care for us in our time of need, but to care for his not yet, inlaw 24/7 with the carting of a son is definitely a Miracle from God! Yes love, that kid of love IS a miracle!

Agreed, Marie - That kind of love is a miracle, indeed!