Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Angels





It was 6:15am.  I had recently divorced my first husband and thus was alone in a new apartment, hours from any family and rather isolated from friends.  My youngest had his tonsils and adenoids removed a week earlier at the tender sweet age of three, he'd done so well.  Opening that bedroom door to crimson blankets and his terrified face nearly stilled my heart.  "Mama," he said, blood pouring from his mouth, I think I stopped breathing...

I'd just begun to see the man that would become my husband years later; but at that time we hadn't even officially been on a date.  My fingers shook as I dialed his number....there was no one else to call.  He canceled his day and was there in minutes, reassuring my other son that everything would be fine, he held his hand as they watched us leave for the hospital.  For the next three days I lay in single railed bed, my body curled around my little boy's as he struggled to accept new blood and remake his own....and for three days a near stranger took care of everything else. 

There have been moments in my life when such compassion has left me speechless.  "Thank you" is the most inadequate phrase on the planet when your heart is awash with relief and gratitude.  In every sense of the word, an angel touched my life.

Fast forward nearly a decade and having just moved into a new neighborhood.  Last summer had me banging on my neighbor's door in my bathrobe at dawn, sobbing.  I begged them to come watch the boys as the ambulance was on its way and I shook with fear at the thought of losing the love of my life.  Twelve hours later I returned....and again, "thank you" wasn't nearly enough.  I don't know what I would have done if it weren't for their kindness and that of another who came and took the boys to her home so I could return to my husband's side.

Yesterday I was the one that was honored to sit in the curtained cubicle as they took the vital signs of a woman I'd only met twice.  Her husband has just finished his time with the marines and they moved here a few months ago to begin a new life.  New job, new city.  He arrived at the ER, having rushed from work and collected their eldest from school; we were told she would be taken by ambulance to another hospital.

As I set my purse on the table next to their front door, I assured him I'd find the peanut butter to make lunch.  He quickly showed me the baby's room and set up the game system for the 7 yr-old.  He thanked me with the same look I know had been on my face more than once, and left to to meet the ambulance holding his wife inside. 

I didn't get my errands done, or the shopping--and I have never been so grateful for that.  I made sandwiches and sliced bananas and played pattycake that left 'nana moosh on my fingers.  After I laid the little guy down for a nap, I learned all about Lightening McQueen's race track and new paint job in the x-box game....even got handed the controller when I brought up a bowl of goldfish crackers for snack and was told to "accelerate more!" 

In this world of unexpected agony, when a phone call can shift the axis of your earth....we need each other to be the hand of God.  We have been trusted with this beautiful planet full of hearts and lives, each woven together to make the glorious tapestry that is humanity--and yet it seems daily we hear the stories of how we tear at one another.  Murder and plunder and abuse.  Perhaps almost the greater evil, indifference.  It's not me.  It happens. 

When it is you...you will need your angel.  Please seek out to be what you will one day need. 

Together, we can change the world.

.

30 comments:

mermaid gallery said...

Community is really there when you really need it....trusting that others will help is basic humanity.....how awful it would be without fellowship, compassion, and understanding. Angels? maybe.... real people with real heart for sure.....hope everything turns out ok!

Mandy_Fish said...

Wow. Once again you leave me with chills and gratitude.

BamaTrav said...

It's hard to find that in life but is always cool when it is found.

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

This a breathtakingly beautiful and inspiring post. Thank you!

Anthony said...

Wow, great post...reminds us all that compassion is an important virtue.

Out on the prairie said...

I describe my day as having one of those moments of making a difference in someones life and feeling the rewards sometime in a part of your life.Only with me i can do it a number of times a week and it makes me realize the beauty we can really experience in life.A very heartwarming share.

Mel Heth said...

I think you just restored my faith in the human race.

Diane said...

Beautiful, beautiful post! I'm sitting here, bawling my eyes out! Thank you for this. I believe there are angels among us! thank you for being one of them!

le Chef said...

I have so missed your beautiful words. These are incredibly spot on. It's amazing how one call can change your life. Life in seconds, that's all we have. Better to put our best words and deed out there before time is gone from us.
I needed this today. Thank you.

Chantel said...

Mermaid--may we make the connections that bind us together in that community!

Mandy--thank you...that means alot to me.

BamaTrav--yes, it's not everywhere, and certainly not with everyone.

Bliss--thank you so much!

Anthony--it's what makes the world turn, makes the difference between existing and flourishing, don't you think?

Prairie--life, cherished, is lovely indeed.

Mel Heth--there is so much to have faith in...we just have to remind each other to look for it. Thank you.

Diane--thank you so much, we all have our part to play on this stage...

Chef--I have missed you back--I'm so pleased you stopped by! :)

BamaTrav said...

I have "tagged" you over at my blog, come by to get the rules and play. :D

Shrinky said...

Oh Chantel, you have such a beautiful gift of expressing your words straight from the heart, to touch us all. What vivid scenes you paint, and yes, there but for the grace of God, goes us all. I'm certain these moments reach us all, and I've surely known several "angels" of my own, during those times of sheer terror.

A gorgeous, pertinent post, dear Chantel, and wonderfully written.

The Loerzels said...

The moment and your telling of it are beautiful.

EmptyNester said...

Such an absolutely beautiful post! I was nodding in agreement and tearing up at the same time! Just beautiful!

Brian Miller said...

smiles....see this is awesome to me...this is how the world should work...being there for each other...even those we dont know all that much...just being neighbors...

terlee said...

Last year my husband died unexpectedly--between one heartbeat and the next. My angel was the neighbor, a man I barely knew. I don't know what I would have done without his help, support and genuine care.

I wish there were more ways to hear about the goodness, rather than the evil. I guess this is one way...

the worstest mommy said...

I had to call on an acquaintance that had a child the went to school with my boys...my daughter was being taken from doctor, trying to figure out what was wrong with her...they were suspecting appendicitis. But I had to call this person and ask her not only to pick my boys up, but to let them stay at her house until we were finished. She graciously agreed and they all the boys placed nicely together and now we carpool daily! It's amazing what circumstances can bring in your life!

Chantel said...

Bama--I love that you tagged me, but a 14 hour day has left me unable to play--however your answers & questions made me laugh, thank you for the cheer on a rainy day...

Shrinky--I adore you, thank you for your kindness, it warms me. xo

Ms. Loerzel--thank you, in the moment it overwhelms...later, there is beauty.

E-Nester--(somehow I think this should read "EnergizedNester") but thank you, compassion is the center of all, isn't it?

Brian--I hesitated to even comment after your palatable anguish...but thank you, the human soul is so immense.

Terlee--Ah love, my heart can hardly bear the thought of your loss...but there is good. Spring comes every year....as surely as the winter, take heart.

The Bestest Mommy--the accidental and unplanned often are the best author to Amazing. The hardest thing is the letting go and alowing it to happen. :)

drollgirl said...

well this post just about made me burst into tears. sometimes it is hard to have faith in humanity. and sometimes you read about, hear about, or experience something similar to this, and you just feel SO GRATEFUL that there are people to lend a helping hand when it is needed. YAY!!!!!

Shelly said...

I am a first time visitor and I am leaving deeply moved. Thank you for sharing. I am a new follower.

Nora Peevy said...

Nice post. Thank you. I am hopping for Weekend Warrior. I shared a short story for my linky.

-Nora
http://norabpeevy.blogspot.com/2012/03/serial-sunday-telling-place-part-ii.html

Brooke Becker said...

I just stuck the crock pot lemon chicken recipe up on my blog for you ;)

Nicole said...

Love this, and more importantly love you. Was thinking of you this morning in the North Hills and that we need to do a catch up lunch again soon please. Oh, and I need to see you love and squeeze on my long and lean little baby :) You are for sure one of the few real life walking angels I've come across in my life :)

Lizzie said...

Chantel, I loved this. It is so very honest, and so true. The best feeling in the world is being able to support someone freely and give your love when their world is in pieces. You do never know when you might want someone to be there in the same way for you.

Chantel said...

Drollgirl--amen! Together faith is reborn, trust is built, one choice after another to stand side by side...

Shelly--thank you for coming!

Nora--nice to meet you.

Brooke--y.u.m. :)

Nicole--I can hardly believe how life has unfolded since BAH, and I cannot wait to meet your sweet one! We must meet up soon, and you, my love, rescued me a time or two...

Lizzie--thank you so much, it has been traumatic every time no matter which side of the curtain you're on...but such a renewal of faith in humanity as well.

SoMo Mom said...

Wow! What a touching post.
... chills ...
LOVE this blog.

ND Mitchell said...

Very moving-you're so right. We should all be ready to "pay it forward" not least because we don't know when we'll need that help ourselves.
David

Mobius said...

Angels abound if we just open our eyes and trust. Thanks for this reminder.

Lou said...

I just found your blog (by way of Frank & Mary), and love your posts, but this one especially touched me.

I won't go into a long story, but angels in human form helped my son when he was lost in addiction and homeless for many years. I have so many stories of people from all race, creeds, and nationalities who took a few minutes out of their day to extend the hand of human kindness.

Of course, I feel very much obligated to pay it forward all the days of my life.

Thanks for this lovely post.

Chantel said...

SoMo--thank you so much, sometimes what is frightening, leads to beauty.

David--absolutely, I was so thrilled to have the chance to do so!

Mobius--the trust is the hardest part, but also the most rewarding.

Lou--lovely to meet you, and a mother's pain in hardship is immense...the gratitude is equal. There seems to almost be no way to pay it back, you know?