[This is part of a larger story summarized in Minding the Light, Chapter 10 (“Waiting for Justice”


I was waiting anxiously in the hallway outside an OHSU hospital room while doctors met with my son Jesse to see if he was well enough to be released.  I didn’t think he was ready and was praying they would keep him a few more days.


There was another worry, too. The general counsel of the law firm where I worked had asked us to make a monetary offer to settle a months-long dispute over Jesse’s insurance benefits.  We wanted insurance for Jesse, not cash, but in hopes of ending the ordeal, we had emailed an offer and were waiting to hear back.  


My memory of what happened next is very clear but difficult to describe because effect and cause seem upside-down. 


As I sat there, too tense and distracted to read the book I was holding, I suddenly knew something in my body that I didn’t think or believe it in my head.  I knewthat everything I was anxious about would turn out well.  I didn’t think everything would turn out well; I knew it in the same way you know something turned out well after you experience the outcome.  It was as if my inward self had seen something that comforted me to the core. 


My conscious mind was a baffled passenger in my suddenly-calm body.  I knew I was being graced and guessed that something bad was about to happen—Jesse would be released right away, or I’d get an upsetting letter from the general counsel—but these head worries had no effect on the body-Knowing that was blessing me.


My guesses were right.  Jesse was going to be released the next morning, and when I used his laptop to check email, there was a letter from the general counsel rejecting our offer and making the same unfair offer he’d made a few months earlier.  The Knowing helped me deal with this discouraging setback and helped me reassure Jesse. 


There was more to the Gift than comfort.  Knowing was energizing, like fuel, and it was self-fulfilling in the sense that it propelled me forward to the “foretold” outcome.  Knowing things would turn out well renewed my confidence, courage and determination and motivated me to take actions that I wouldn’t have taken otherwise, particularly the hunger strike.    


After the hunger strike, the Knowing faded to a memory.  The memory was less comforting and energizing than knowing, and I lost heart and steam before things finally turned out okay. 

-Sally Gillette