I wrote this post in 2012 for my first Thirty Days of Gratitude Project. It is one of my favorite posts ever. I’m sharing it again today, grateful for Guardian Angels everywhere.
OK, so I’ve been thinking about this post for quite some time.
I realize that some of you might think, “She believes in guardian angels? Really?” But since we’re friends now, I thought I’d explain.
I am thankful for guardian angels. I am not sure how the whole “angel system” works, but I am fairly certain I have them. I know for sure others have them, too. They aren’t magical or come with a halo or anything (although, I suspect, some may have one hidden in a night table drawer somewhere), but they take care of me and other people just when we need it.
Take, for example, my friends Rob and SusanAnne. Now, I have known both of them for some time – I went to college with SusanAnne and Rob was one of my students. Now, we are neighbors with them and our children love playing together and we are lucky enough to see them regularly.
This past February, I broke my leg. You can read all about it and the miracles that happened that day in this post, aptly titled, “Yep, you broke it.” I still marvel that, right after I fell, Rob drove by. Everyone else had gone to work or school (I tried calling anyone and everyone on my cell), and it just so happened that Rob drove by at that exact moment. He couldn’t get me and my muddy dogs in the car with his daughter and car seats in the car, but he came back and got me.
Once I was home, in a cast, and stuck in bed, immobile, for five days, SusanAnne popped over with what she called a “little meal”: smoked pork shoulder, beans, slaw, dessert. You know, a little somethin’ (ha!). Not only that, but she set up a website for people to sign up to bring me meals. We had dinner every night and leftovers for lunch and sweet treats and then some. Our cup runneth over.
And she wasn’t the only one – my friends took over during this time (I was on crutches for seven weeks). We were never without food, child care, playdates, movie nights, and one of my former students even volunteered to come walk our dogs.
Sure, these are friends, but they watch over and watch out for me. And while it could be a complete coincidence that Rob happened upon that corner where I fell at exactly the moment after I fell, I just have to believe that something or someone else was at work there.
I read Eat, Pray, Love, and, leaving aside the argument whether it was a good book (it was a terrible movie – I want that two hours of my life back, honestly), there is a part in the book where she explains to a guru her dream where four men are standing over her and she thinks they are attacking her. The guru, being the guru that he is, explains that, really, they are her brothers, watching over her.
I have such brothers, I am almost certain. I haven’t had any cooky dreams about folks standing over me, but I know that I have spirits around me that check in periodically. Not in a Casper the Friendly Ghost kind of way. More in a I just know they’re there kind of way.
My father died when I was 20. Freak thing. He died of a heart attack while running, at age 50. Sad. Shocked. Anyway, I am almost certain that he is around somewhere. Like how sometimes my daughter looks like him just enough. Like how sometimes I catch a smell of his cologne and I know that no one else is wearing it. It’s just enough to make me wonder.
And sometimes, it’s just odd things that happen. Like how I tore a tendon in my foot, then tried to keep teaching, then had emergency gallbladder surgery a week later, and a friend looked me in the eye and said, “I think someone is telling you it’s time for you to take a break.” Maybe so.
Do I know for sure that these angels exist? Nope. Well, I know Rob and SusanAnne exist because I talked to them Saturday. But the other ones? I can only guess. Or hope.
The good news is that everyone I know at some point has been an angel for someone else.
My friend Laura started Socks for Sandy after Hurricane Sandy and collected mounds of donations to help storm victims on the New Jersey coast who desperately need it.
My friend Jane went to visit her 7-year-old neighbor in hospice care to help celebrate Christmas a little early.
My friend Nicole is collecting donations for someone serving our country in Afganistan whose unit was hit by fire and lost everything.
My friend Cris has a running friend who advised her to rest after her marathon so that she could heal.
My friend Lesley has raised money for Agape, to end generational poverty and empower through education, and has seen the success stories.
There are angels everywhere.
May we all be so blessed to both be an angel and to have one look out for us.