26: The Dream Team

26: The Dream Team

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Dreams and Premonitions

The Dream Team

We are continually shaped by the forces of coincidence.

~Paul Auster

“We’ll need to remove the questionable tissue and take a biopsy,” my doctor told me. “Someone on my staff will call you tomorrow to schedule the surgery.”

Ugh. Not another problem. I had just nursed my brother to health after emergency heart surgery and now I was helping him sort through his medical forms and doctor bills. Thanks to that situation, I already felt emotionally tapped-out and now I’d have to start renegotiating the frustrating world of health insurance bureaucracy.

I walked through the medical center’s parking lot toward my car. Wait. Did my doctor say “biopsy?”

That meant cancer.

Cancer. The word hit me like a boulder. Dazed, I sat down behind my car’s steering wheel and caught my breath. Surely I couldn’t have cancer, I rationalized. I felt well and strong, didn’t smoke or drink, ate a sensible diet, and exercised daily. Certainly anyone with such a healthy lifestyle was protected against this diagnosis.

Or were they? I remembered what happened to Marguerite. She lived a good lifestyle, was young and strong. She wasn’t protected, was she?

Marguerite, my mother’s dear friend, had been like a second mother to me. The memories of her appeared in my mind now like a slide show: Marguerite and Mom sitting at the kitchen table chatting over tea and cookies; the tartan plaid skirt she gave me for my sixth birthday; playing in her breezy yard in the summer, giggling and drinking homemade iced tea with her daughter; the cool autumn afternoon we spent in her kitchen, just Marguerite and me, when she taught me to make her famous pumpkin pie. Then her cancer diagnosis: her brave fight, her decline, the funeral service where afterward her daughter and I clung to each other, sobbing. I found my body racked with sobs again. Marguerite was forty-seven years old when she passed away. I was forty-seven now.

That night, I tried in vain to sleep. I tossed and turned, counted sheep, even recited favorite lines from poems in an attempt to lull myself to sleep. When that didn’t work I fluffed my pillows and kicked off my blanket. Dread and worry covered me in its place.

Just before my alarm clock was set to ring, though, I fell into a fitful sleep and began to dream: I was standing in my mother’s kitchen where Marguerite and Mom sat at the table drinking tea and eating cookies. For what seemed like a long while, they just looked at me. Finally, my mother spoke. “Don’t worry,” she said, “Marguerite will help you.” Then my alarm clock rang.

I’d like to say that I found peace as a result of my mother’s encouraging remark, but throughout the day my confusion and dread grew as I continued to mull over my possible diagnosis. Later that afternoon though, as promised, I received the call from my doctor’s office to schedule the surgery. The woman’s voice on the other end of the line was calm and soothing as we selected a date. “Any questions or concerns?” she asked before we were to end the call.

“Well,” I started, “I do have a few concerns.” While I knew this kindly woman couldn’t help me where my health issue was concerned, I could seek her expertise in navigating the business end of illness and all my worries about co-pays, prior approvals, and doctor’s notes spilled out.

The soft-spoken woman on the other end replied quickly. “Don’t worry,” she said. “I can help you with those types of problems. Call me any time during office hours. My name is Marguerite.”

Marguerite. Not Margo, or Margie, or even Margaret. I was silent for a moment as I took in the coincidence and finally, peace did come. To me, there was no denying that this moment was divinely directed and that the universe had sent me not one, but two women bearing the same name — one in heaven and one on earth — to help and encourage me. I felt as though all the bases were covered and went into my surgery with confidence in place of fear.

Does this story have a happy ending? You bet it does. The surgery was successful and the biopsy was negative. I was able to return to work in record time. In fact, my doctor commented that mine was one of the swiftest recoveries she had ever witnessed. But I knew it would be. Thanks to my heavenly dream team, the two Marguerites.

~Monica A. Andermann

You are currently enjoying a preview of this book.

Sign up here to get a Chicken Soup for the Soul story emailed to you every day for free!

Please note: Our premium story access has been discontinued (see more info).

view counter

More stories from our partners