Surrounded by Angels

by | Apr 7, 2024 | Formation, Reflections | 0 comments

The door was answered before I even knocked, and I was greeted with a big smile and a huge hug. Her energy was matched by the vibrant colors of her mismatched outfit. I was impressed with her quick wit and charm. She was brash, artsy, unapologetic, and trying to get the most out of every minute of life.

I observed that her home was an eclectic organized mess of fun things. She told me the years behind her weren’t always easy, and she’d been content to live quietly. But, after both her children and husband passed away, she decided that she would no longer sit around and watch the world go by. She explained, “There’s nothing good on the TV anymore anyway, and there was no one left in my family to embarrass,” so she decided to get busy living. She ventured out into the dating world again, but realized after two attempts that it wasn’t worth the time. “I’ll keep a male friend around so I don’t have to eat alone but it’s just too much trouble training a new one,” she quipped.

She wanted to travel, but limited her adventures to day trips, many times reaching out to old friends, convincing them to get off their rockers and get out a little. Travel, sometimes even just an hour away, gave her a reason to get up, do some planning, and keep moving. She started by making short drives to visit different Catholic churches on each Sunday. It was easy and safe. She had an old phonebook and maps that she used to find the churches and embarrassingly admitted that one church was now Lutheran or Methodist or something. She stayed for the sermon anyway and enjoyed the message because she figured God had sent her there for a reason. She was laughing when she burst out, “Heck, maybe God just wanted me to learn how to use a GPS!” She’s figured it out now, but still doesn’t use all the gizmos and gadgets. She said the first time her cell phone rang, she just started laughing because she had no idea how to answer it.

She’s talked about being like most other people her age. She’s had a hip replaced, has arthritis, drinks tea with milk each morning, insists that a spoonful of honey cures most ailments, forgets why she’s entered a room, and takes naps in her recliner. She dreads visits to the doctor, but knows she has to die of something; it’s always better to see it coming. She fights loneliness, prays before bed, wishes she could write more, has a mile-long stubborn streak, and always takes the time to make a new friend.

Her goal each morning is to bulldoze any negative challenges in her day with so much happiness and joy that they’d have to get out of the way. She truly believes we are all surrounded by angels, and she knows she wouldn’t have made it this far without them. She doesn’t have a lot of money, but has fun with what she has. “I like a nice surprise, so I try to do the same for other people. It doesn’t take much to pay for someone’s coffee, leave a larger tip than normal, or write a letter to an old friend.” The best one was when she paid for a group of moms at a local bakery. “I could see myself in their eyes, so much life but so much to do. Moms do so much that goes unnoticed.”

Her story is so remarkable, much like those of many of our members. Their hearts are big, full of faith, and always full of hope. She is correct; we are surrounded by angels. She described them as “… just people like you and me who see something and decide to help.”

I hope her words inspire you to surprise someone with a special note or act of kindness. We need more angels in the world, and why not start with you. Honor your own mother and Our Lady by making another person’s life easier. A simple, unique, and unexpected gesture goes a long way in letting someone know they’re special. A mother’s love always reaches beyond her own children and leads by example in faith, love, and care in all she does.

By Don Fulford, CEO, Association of the Miraculous Medal, Perryville, Missouri, USA
Source: Amm Spring Bulletin 2024



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