80: A Special Message

80: A Special Message

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Angels and Miracles

A Special Message

Angels can fly directly into the heart of the matter.

~Author Unknown

My father’s surgery would begin in two hours. His health situation — long marred by high blood pressure — had very quickly advanced from problematic to urgent when an ultrasound revealed ninety-nine percent blockage of his carotid and femoral arteries. His cardiologist was amazed that my dad had not already suffered a massive stroke, and surgery had been scheduled so quickly that I could not make it home to Texas in time from the East Coast.

I needed to put on a brave face for my daughter, Brinnley, who was four years old. Brinnley and my dad had a very special relationship. To say that Brinnley loved her “Pop” would be the greatest understatement of all time. Because of it, I had not spoken of his health issues. But as I proceeded to go about our normal morning routine, I noticed that Brinnley was being unusually quiet. I grabbed a cup of coffee and looked over at her.

“Brinnley, are you okay honey?” I asked gently.

Brinnley did not reply. She looked at me, then walked out of the kitchen and headed toward the living room.

My husband, who was frantically getting ready to leave for work, called over to her, “Good morning, Monkey!”

Again, Brinnley acted as though she hadn’t heard us. My husband and I looked at each other quizzically and asked, “What’s that about?”

Both of us followed her into the living room where we found her at the coffee table. She had gotten her notebook and crayons and begun drawing a picture. We sat down on the couch and attempted to speak to her, but she continued to draw the picture in silence. She seemed so different this morning, not her usual bubbly, chatty self. Instead, she was so focused on her work that it was as if she were in a trance, coloring feverishly to finish by a certain time.

When she finished, she dropped the crayon and stared at the picture. Then she picked up her notebook and walked over to me. “Mommy, this is for you.”

I couldn’t breathe when I looked at the picture. It was the human heart, perfectly sketched in bright Crayola colors to include chambers and arteries. It was unmistakable.

I took a deep breath and looked into Brinnley’s eyes. She was smiling, her beautiful blue eyes locked onto mine.

“Brinnley, what is this?”

Still locked on my gaze, she replied, “Pop is going to be fine, Mommy.” And just like that, she turned and walked away, as tears began to stream down my face.

My husband, who had not yet seen the picture asked, “What’s wrong?” I handed the picture to him and heard him whisper, “Oh my God,” as he placed his hand on mine.

To this day, I don’t know how to explain the picture, or how Brinnley knew that my dad would be okay, other than to recognize I observed something extraordinary. After all, she was only four years old . . . how could she possibly know how to draw something as complex as a human heart with such amazing detail?

I learned later there had been major complications during the surgery, and my father had almost lost his life. It wasn’t until a few days later, when I was able to speak to him briefly that he said one thing, “Give a hug and kiss to my angel Brinnley.” I felt only then that I truly understood what happened. I am certain it’s a miracle that my dad survived and, even more, that my daughter was able to get his message to me when I needed it most.

~Jolie Lisenby

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