Some of you know that this is almost the anniversary of my mom’s death two years ago and those that do probably know that I am a complete and total Momma’s Boy! What can I say, she loved me! She took good care of me and I hope that I took good care of her when she needed me.
I took care of her in her later years as she struggled with cancer. She beat the cancer --- even though the doctors told her she wouldn’t. She was pretty amazing that way. But, even though she had beaten that cancer, she still ended up in the hospital a lot during the last few years of her life. She also had to live in a care center the last three months of her life. During that time, her body just deteriorated to a point where it would not work. She slowly lost the function of her kidneys, her blood pressure became uncontrollable and she had many high fevers. The list of things wrong with her just kept building until her tired body had no more fight to give.
She passed away August 3, 2008 at home where she wanted to die. When she first arrived home from the care center, she seemed to do better for a while. We even took her to Colorado for a school reunion just a few weeks before her death.
I could go on and on about the life of my mother and the tremendous impact she had on my life. There are so many stories, but instead, I want to write about the angels that I met along the way as we struggled with all of her health problems….there were many, but I want to focus on one occasion in particular. It happened in a waiting room….Those that read this column know about the last angel I came across in an ICU waiting room – in fact, it was a whole family of angels!…Maybe that’s where the angles congregate or just hang out… I don’t know, but they seem to help me there a lot!
On this occasion, I remember it was around the end of ’07 or beginning of ’08… My mother was very sick this time…she was throwing up repeatedly (sorry if any of you are eating while reading this…but that’s the facts…) Anyway, I took her to the hospital emergency room as soon as I realized it could not wait…it was not going to stop without some kind of medical help. It was terrible to watch and I can’t imagine what agony she must have been going through.
Well, you would think that when somebody like that came through the emergency room doors, they would put them somewhere other than with the other waiting room patients. I have to admit, it was embarrassing – even though there was no reason to be --- it was totally out of our control how sick she was and where they told us to wait.
As I looked around the waiting room, my eyes fell on a young couple…the young woman looked like she was just as sick as my mom…although she was not tossing up her breakfast, lunch and dinner like mom…she was clutching her stomach in pain…. I felt so bad for my mother and her. This young woman was feeling so poorly that she began to cry. Man, it was getting brutal!!! My mom, being the amazing person she was, leaned over to me in between “episodes” and told me to “go check with that young couple and see if you can help them in any way.” I’m sure I gave her a funny look, thinking “how can you be worrying about anyone else but yourself at a time like this?” That’s just how she was… whether sick or healthy. I told her that there was nothing I could do and I was sure they would be taking both them and us back soon.
Well, after over two hours of my mom tossing her cookies and this young woman clutching at her stomach and bawling, they called the young woman’s name. When she stood up, she did not go to the nurse that had called her. She came directly over to us. She told my mom that she should go in first because it was obvious to everyone other than the ER staff that she needed to go back immediately and before anyone else. It was obvious! We thanked her over and over as I took my mom back.
When we got to the back to be helped, they had to take my mom’s entire life history! After all, they only had it in their computers for the last thirty-seven visits we had made to that hospital. After I finished and they were finally helping my mom, I walked back out to the young couple and said, “Thank you again. You will be blessed for what you did.” I felt the tears starting to fall, so I just quickly turned and went to the back with my mom who ended up staying in the hospital for four days on that visit. This couple was just one more in a line of angels that helped me over the time I cared for my mother. Their unselfish gesture to help us meant so much to us in that moment…especially since they were also suffering like others that had helped us along the way. They were there for us when we needed help.
There are so many gestures (big and small) like this that happen every day that have a profound effect on others lives. I always hope that I can return the favor by helping someone when they’re in need…even if it is just a little bit of help that they need.
Well, during that same week, on the following Saturday, I received a call on my cell phone that said that a person that I was very close to needed my help. The phone call was from a police officer from a city about an hour away. I told the officer that I would be there as quickly as I could be. When I arrived there, the person that needed me was there as I had been told. I went into the lobby to get this person and take them home. When I saw the person that needed me, they looked terrible. Next to the person were two people waiting for me, but I did not know that at first. I just looked at them and smiled. But when I looked back at the friend in need, I just started crying uncontrollably. The person needing me looked terrible and like they needed a lot of help. As soon as the couple saw me crying, they told me that they were the ones who had brought this person there and were taking care of this person until someone could come and get the person.
The couple explained to me what had happened and I’ll just say that it was pretty upsetting and my friend was very lucky to be alive. This friend had not done anything that had gotten into trouble with the law. The person had only been brought to the police station because he was in need of help.
When I heard all of the details from the couple, it was clear that they were in the right place at the right time. Well, that made me start crying even harder as I considered the alternative endings to the story. I told them thank you at least ten times. Then, I asked them for their names so I could send them a thank you card. They smiled at me and told me that they needed no other thanks than seeing how much I cared for this person and that now the person was being handed off safely to me. They said that they felt they had been blessed by being able to help someone so clearly in need of assistance with no one else around to help. I was truly thankful for them and what they had done to keep this person that I cared about so safe. It could have turned out so much differently.
It truly felt like each one of these situations had some kind of divine intervention. As I look back on all of the help my mother and I needed, I see now how many people came to our rescue right when we needed them. I couldn’t help but think about my mother and how she had taught me to believe angels are around us. She also said that I should be there as an angel for others when I saw that they were in need of help. Then I wondered…..Could it be that my mom and other loved ones are working from the other side to assist people and to be “angels” for those in need?… Are they working to help us when we need help and keep us safe when we need safety…? -- After my experiences with my mom when we needed so much help, and my experiences during these times with others in need of help, that wouldn’t surprise me one bit!