75: A Miraculous Eve

75: A Miraculous Eve

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Christmas in Canada

A Miraculous Eve

Pay attention to your dreams — God’s angels often speak directly to our hearts when we are asleep.

~Eileen Elias Freeman, The Angels’ Little Instruction Book

I had a vivid dream on Christmas Eve. It was one of those dreams that you think about all day, that sticks with you upon waking because of its clarity. In this frightening dream, police marched by me with batons and shields. They shouted at people to take cover from an oncoming disaster, and people scrambled to hide inside a nearby mountain. I noticed a door going into the mountain and ran for it. As I got inside, grabbing the door to close it, my foot got in the way. It closed hard on my ankle. The dream then changed. The door was now made of foam and I was not actually hurt. I pulled my leg back inside, and I was safe.

On Christmas Day, I considered the strange dream. Was my guardian angel trying to warn me about something? And if so, what was it and when? I wasn’t sure, and in the holiday excitement, I soon forgot about it — until one miraculous night a week later.

It was New Year’s Eve 1999. I’d made some exciting plans with my friend Katarina, her younger sister Kristina and their friend Michaela to hang out at Katarina’s condominium. We would enjoy some champagne and then head out before midnight to watch fireworks.

I got ready, putting on a sparkly top and some pretty lipstick. I made a kissy face in the mirror, and yelled “Bye! Happy Y2K!” to my mom as I left.

I took the TTC bus to Warden Subway, noticing the nervous excitement in other people’s conversations. “Do you think the computers will all crash?” someone asked.

“No one really knows what’s going to happen,” I replied. I heard similar conversations on the subway ride downtown.

Walking to Katarina’s from Bay Station, I kept wondering what would become of the millennium bug. I shrugged, thinking at least I’d be with friends if pandemonium erupted!

At Katarina’s, I giggled when I saw her big cactus plant decorated in blinking Christmas lights. Prince was singing “I’m gonna party like it’s 1999!” on the stereo as she poured the champagne. As the evening progressed, we turned on the TV and watched New Year’s revellers getting pumped up.

“I don’t think anything’s going to happen with this Y2K bug, do you?” Michaela asked.

“We won’t know until midnight when the computers roll over from ’99 to ’00!” replied Kristina. “The computers will think we’re in 1900 not 2000.”

At 11 p.m. we donned our “Year 2000” party hats and headed out for the celebrations at Nathan Phillips Square. It was cold as we walked down Bay Street, singing and laughing. Suddenly I heard a familiar sound. Glancing over my shoulder, I saw twelve riot police marching together down the middle of the street. A knot formed in the pit of my stomach as I instantly recognized this from my dream, and I stopped walking.

“Are you okay?” Katarina asked. I tried to look like it was nothing but I shuddered internally. Was something going to happen to me? But I quickly forgot about it as I got lost in the happiness of the throngs of people.

The crowd started chanting, “5, 4, 3, 2, 1…” Then all around us, it was “Happy New Year!” The fireworks began to explode, lighting up the night. Laughter was all around, and so were the lights! They continued to shine, so we knew the computers must have still been working. I was happy to think maybe this Y2K bug was just a myth after all!

After the celebration we began walking briskly back to the condo, still giddy from our earlier champagne. Linked arm in arm, we merrily sang along with the rest of the crowd to “Auld Lang Syne.” What happened next was very quick.

The roads had been re-opened. At a stoplight we waited for the light to change. Someone was arguing in the car right next to us, and then a woman got out and started yelling at the driver. He yelled back and then blindly turned the corner, making a sharp right turn just as the light turned green. The four of us, arms still linked, didn’t notice as we started across the street.

Michaela and I were the first to step off the curb. The car hit Michaela first and she rolled over the hood out into the road, quickly jumping back up onto her feet. I felt a huge pull from Katarina and Kristina as they yanked me back toward the curb, but I fell sideways and the front wheel ran over my left foot and ankle. The driver stopped the car. Kristina was still holding my arm, and she and Katarina quickly helped me up.

In the middle of the road, where she landed, Michaela was pounding on the driver’s side window yelling at the driver. We stared at each other; glad to see she was okay. Katarina and Kristina looked at me. “Your foot…!” they yelled.

I was visibly shaken. Other people nearby asked if we were okay. The driver of the car said nothing and took off. A man pushing a stroller told us we should have taken down the license plate number, but it was too late.

I noticed a pounding sensation in my foot. When I stood on it, it was a little tender, but it took my weight, so we started walking back to the condo. I kept saying, “I can’t believe this happened.”

Kristina said, “I can’t believe you can walk on it. Are you sure it’s okay?”

I was stunned by what had just occurred, and couldn’t really think straight. The warning had been there, it was so much like my dream. I tried not to think about it as we headed back to the condo.

Back at their place we examined my pounding foot and put some ice packs on it. We were all tired, and I was soon fast asleep in the living room. In the morning, I awoke to the smell of coffee brewing. When I remembered the evening, I peeled back the covers and wiggled my toes. I moved my ankle back and forth and felt all around my sore foot. When I realized it wasn’t sore at all, I just sat there in disbelief. There were no visible marks, nothing was broken, and the swelling was gone.

Katarina came in then with a steaming cup of coffee. “For you,” she smiled.

I looked at her and said, “My foot got run over by a car last night, right?”

She nodded, “Yes, how is it?”

When I showed her, we were both amazed. Then I told her about my dream from Christmas Eve — how I had dreamt about a door closing on my foot but then it turned into foam. In that moment I suddenly saw that my friends were the foam that saved my foot. That night could have easily ended at the hospital with one of us badly hurt. But it didn’t. If ever I questioned miracles before, I can’t any longer. I know I received a special message, and my friends had saved my life.

With a sudden burst of intense gratitude, I hugged my friend hard. Looking upwards, I then silently thanked our real hero with a prayer.

~Rachel Lajunen Harnett

Toronto, Ontario

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