March 10, 2008

I Met An Angel This Weekend

It's true. I met a real, honest-to-goodness, angel this weekend.

I'm not going to mention her name, because that sort of attention would embarrass her.

I'll just call her "Angel."

She has been blessed with beauty, inside and out, but she's had her own share of heartache. Her first husband was an alcoholic, and was killed in an accident (not drunk driving), leaving her a young widow with two children to raise.

She's the type of person who has what some called ESP, or premonitions, or the term I like to use, "heightened awareness," about certain events. I know from personal experience that this gift, good or bad, usually intensifies when you're locked in a bad situation. When things are good, it goes away.

When she told me the story about her husband, she also told me that she "knew" something was going to happen long before it did. The feeling intensified, and then finally she "knew" when it happened. The very instant. She was watching television with one of her children, and had an urgency to go in her room and pray.

When the knock came on the door and she was told about the accident, and to hurry to the hospital, she simply replied that there was no need to hurry. He was dead.

And he was.

Once that happened, the feeling of doom was gone.

Fast forward.

She put herself through school to become a nurse. In the doctor's office she met a lot of people who really had troublesome health and personal issues. She was always a smiling face and helped them however she could. Especially the elderly, who are the most vulnerable.

When an elderly friend of hers recently had surgery, she took her to the hospital, waited all day, and then helped her during the week by staying overnight, cooking, cleaning, bathing her, shopping for her, taking her for follow-up doctor visits. No charge, no complaints, and never needing to be asked. She was there before going to work, and then stopped by again after work. She walked the lady's dog, she took her laundry home, and brought it back clean the next day.

A few days ago, once the elderly lady was feeling better, she took her to run errands, finishing up at about 1:30. She said goodbye, got home, and received a phone call from a different elderly lady who was feeling bad. Angel spent from 2:30 to 11:00 p.m. in the emergency room with her. When I commented that she was probably tired, she said it didn't matter. She told me that she knows her purpose in life, and that is to serve others. This is her calling and that is why she's here. She told me that the elderly lady had four children. All four have passed away. I said that was sad, and she agreed, and said, "See? She has no one else."

But she has an Angel.

Angel told me that she also knew she would get a disease. She knew from very young.

She was right.

First it was breast cancer. She survived. Now she has Parkinson's. She lives. She lives every day to the fullest, because she knows she is on borrowed time. She already walks with a noticeable shuffle and has to maneuver her hands slowly and purposely to retain some dexterity. She said it's okay. She has a strong faith in God, and says if that's her lot in life, then that's fine. She doesn't question it, she doesn't curse it, she simply works around it. Never complaining.

And she continues helping others wherever she is needed, and never asks for anything in return.

I was so blessed to meet her, and shamed to know that I am nowhere near as good a person as she.

God bless Angel.

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