50: Bad Patch

50: Bad Patch

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Touched by an Angel

Bad Patch

Angels have no philosophy but love.

~Terri Guillemets

The spaghetti had extra Parmesan just the way I liked it. My mother’s smiling face leaned in as she handed me the steaming plate. Her cooking had been an attempt to mend my broken heart.

“I have extra Parmesan if you need it.” Her voice trailed off as she headed back to the kitchen. She added the next words casually. “He wasn’t right for you, you know. Your man is out there somewhere.”

The hot tears welled in my eyes. The wounds were still fresh and the sting of my disappointment still burned.

The sound of running water almost drowned out yet another overused expression that I was tired of hearing. “You just gotta get right back in that saddle. You’re in a bit of a bad patch. That’s all.”

Bad patch? My entire twenties had been a bad patch in terms of love. It was overrun with the weeds of awkward blind dates and soured relationships. Either I was running from love, or more recently, it seemed it was running from me.

My life was complete in every other area. I had a fulfilling career. My strong friendships and family ties had bolstered me as I sailed the rough seas of my relationships. But now I was one week shy of my thirty-first birthday. My inability to find love and create my own family hurt. I felt like a failure: a lonely failure.

The physical pain that accompanies heartache is sharp. It cuts into your heart and constricts your throat. Tears bring temporary relief. But, the pain needs to be ridden out. Sleep helps, too. So, I decided to spend the night in my mother’s guest bedroom that evening. I turned in early, eager for sleep.

I was in a very deep sleep when I felt the blankets pulled up over me. A warm pair of hands lovingly soothed the bedding over me, untangling it and shifting it up over my shoulders. I could feel the deep concern as this person leaned over me, peering into my face.

My eyes were heavy but I managed to open them slightly. It was just enough to see a woman standing over me. I closed my eyes quickly due to the brilliant light that filled the room. My eyelids fluttered as I squinted in an attempt to get a better glimpse. The woman was wearing a white dress and the moonlight shimmered upon her in such a way that she seemed to cast her own light. Her light hair flowed around her face, but I couldn’t feel the breeze rippling against her. My eyes closed again just as she leaned in closer to my face. At this point my dream state must have taken over because her warm hands seemed to melt into my body as she smoothed the blankets over me.

“Oh, Michele… you are loved.” Her words were full of deep compassion as she whispered them into my ear.

I padded into my mother’s kitchen the next morning. My mother had her head in the refrigerator, obviously eager to cook up yet another remedy for my broken heart.

“I must have really worried you last night,” I said as I grabbed a coffee mug. “You haven’t tucked me in like that since I was a kid.”

“Tucked you in?” She emerged from behind the open door of the refrigerator, hands full of eggs and butter.

“Yeah, didn’t you come in the guest room last night? And, where did you get that pretty white nightie….” My eyes affixed to her red flannel nightgown. “And, your hair was…” I looked at her graying hair that was up in curlers, a bit confused.

“I didn’t come into your room. I turned in early and slept like a ton of bricks.” She patted my head as she headed for the stove. “I always sleep better when you’re home, hon.”

“Well, someone came in. Maybe you don’t remember. Maybe you just came in to check the light?”

She cracked an egg. “Weird dreams again?”

My heart was lighter that day. That woman’s hands had simply shooed away the darkness that had been eating away at my heart. I knew I had seen the lovely woman. I had felt the blankets move around me and I certainly felt the hands as they moved over me. More importantly, I had sensed her soothing comfort. Whoever she was, this woman had cared enough to show her love and compassion for me. She had also ignited hope.

After that day I approached dating differently. I was a woman who had an angel around her, an angel that loved me fiercely.

Within a year, I had met the love of my life. I had gotten back in that saddle, as my mother had suggested, and bravely went on yet another first date. I knew he was the one immediately, as did he. It was a whirlwind relationship and we were married a year later. Today, we have been married ten years and we have two wonderful young daughters. I realize now that all of those dead ends to love were just God’s way of putting me on ice. I was being saved for a rare love that only a few are lucky enough to find. And, I will never forget the woman who had paid me a midnight visit. I believe she serves as a reminder that everyone has that kind of love watching over them every single day.

~Michele Boom

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