Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Nancy Kelly McCabe of Wellington, Florida, has had a tough run of it, according to this Palm Beach Post report. In late August, she went to the beach at sunrise: “Until that day, the universe seemed to have a grudge against the 51-year-old: she's agoraphobic, and her mind is bipolar; she was on the verge of divorce and taking too many prescription pills to function with ease. The law firm she worked at had fired her.”
On the beach, however, McCabe found a seashell that while holding it up against the new morning light looked like the “Virgin Mary in her robes, head tilted and hands in prayer.” This sighting alone didn’t change McCabe’s outlook on life, as the following week she was evicted, her only option that of residing in the cabana behind her estranged husband’s house.
There’s a great line from the song “Born Under a Bad Sign” written by Booker T Jones and William Bell for Albert King's first album of the same name: “If it wasn’t for bad luck, I wouldn’t have no luck at all.” This sentiment seems to be at the heart of this story, as a spate of bad luck resulted in a run of good luck, and a happier life for McCabe. Her and her husband reconciled and she found a holistic healer that was able to wean her off some of her pharmaceutical regiment, which improved how she felt physically and how she slept.
McCabe admits that she was depressed and looking for a sign; she also new about her fellow Floridians that had found recognizable religious icons in unexpected places, and she admits that she was skeptical about seeing Mary in this shell. But, in the final analysis, McCabe’s life has taken a turn for the better. In her words: "Be it the placebo effect, I don't know . . . It worked."
Who knows if anyone else in the world would have picked up that very shell and seen the Virgin Mary? Chances are slim; I would have walked down to the water and seen how many times I could get it to skip. Again, and as I posit in Madonna of the Toast, it comes down to what each and every one of us sees. Rarely will our vision be the same, though it is all valid, and that’s what makes it interesting.