I can conjure three distinct memories from my childhood home in Queens, New York: the strong smell of my father’s cooking wafting beneath my bedroom door; the long-awaited coming of spring and with it, the laughter of the neighborhood kids playing outside; and last, a plaque on my wall that read: “Out of difficulties come miracles.”
I was a child who, fortunately, didn’t have many difficulties to endure. My mother and father took them on for me. Financial matters, family problems — they weren’t mine to worry about. So I was lucky enough to concern myself with my schoolwork, friends, and trends of the moment as typical children do. But every day, I looked at the plaque and read those words festooned with flowers: “Out of difficulties come miracles.” I read that plaque as I entered my room, and at night as I dozed off to sleep, and in the morning when it caught my eye briefly.
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