30: Our Guardian Angels

30: Our Guardian Angels

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Joy of Christmas

Our Guardian Angels

The guardian angels of life fly so high as to be beyond our sight, but they are always looking down upon us.

~Jean Paul Richter

It had been a year of heartache. My father and my aunt died, and then I got laid off, followed soon thereafter by the hospitalization of my elderly mother. And then there was my divorce, too, and the sale of my house in a bad market.

And yet, the strange thing is, each day I felt like I was being helped.

Rentals were scarce in my neighborhood but one became available just when I needed it, and it was right around the corner from my sons’ school.

The day the three of us moved into that rather dilapidated house, I realized the stove was not working, and while I was wondering what to do, there was a knock on the front door. A truck was parked on the road and its driver now stood in front of me. He was at the wrong address, but he was in the refurbished appliance business. I recall with clarity what I said to him: “You’ve got to be kidding me.” I had a stove the next day.

My old car needed some work. My new neighbor turned out to be a mechanic who helped me very much, yet asked for very little.

With uncanny regularity, spaces in the crammed parking lots of the hospital, the lawyer’s office and the stores became available exactly when and where I needed them.

And so it went, day after day, occurrences that singularly could be dispelled as coincidence, but collectively made me awestruck with wonder.

Christmas was coming, and my sons and I had decorated a tree, but there was no money for gifts. And even though I had recently turned forty and was indisputably an adult, I longed for the guidance of my mother, my father and my aunt.

As I was thinking about them, I prepared lunch for my boys, who would be home at any moment. Suddenly, a simple envelope with a law firm’s name inscribed on the upper left corner flew through the mail slot and floated like a paper airplane over the scratched wooden floorboards of the tiny foyer. I didn’t open it right away; I wasn’t ready for negative news. I had had enough.

Later that day, the letter was still sitting on the counter. I stared it down for a moment as if I were accepting a challenge. I held it up to the light of the kitchen window to try to see inside it without actually opening it. Finally, I got up my nerve and sliced open the envelope with a knife from the kitchen drawer. A thick piece of paper came out — a letter. And a check!

The letter said it was a distribution from my aunt’s estate, and that there would be more after this. I sat down on a kitchen chair and I cried. I cried for all the losses and I cried for all the undeniable wins.

I was quite aware that this check had come just in time to save our Christmas. The letter was dated December 17th. I can see that date whenever I want because it is hanging on my wall. I had the letter framed to honor my aunt and always remind me to never take for granted the help I received.

After I got that check, I was off to the mall, where the carols blaring from loudspeakers and the noise of shoppers in long lines were all music to my ears. Everything felt magical.

My older son wanted nothing but a puppy. That was it. No other toys or gifts; I had worried over how I would explain that we could not afford a dog, but now that problem was behind us. My son’s one wish could come true.

He named her Merry, for Merry Christmas, and that Jack Russell Terrier was his companion for the next fifteen years.

Ever since that magical time, when everything and everyone seemed to conspire to help us through a difficult time, I have believed in guardian angels. I have felt them all around me.

~Nancy Thorne

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