Angels Among Us

Angels Among Us


       It’s been a rough couple of months for my family. I haven’t been able to write about it in detail and share it yet, but I will. My husband’s only brother, Pete, was involved in a fatal motorcycle accident right after Thanksgiving. It shook our family’s foundation, as these tragic accidents always do. He wasn’t just a brother-in-law to me, but a brother, friend, and confidant.

       My family muscled through all of the necessary arrangements and activities that a death in the family requires. We put on smiling faces at Christmas and during our get-togethers. We held ourselves up stoically for the sake of others. We are a small family, and we wanted to assure each other that we were ok, so that we wouldn’t cause any more worry or sadness for anyone else. It was honorable, but futile. Sadness cannot be covered over for long. Eventually it seeps out of you, as it should. Healing requires you pay attention and listen to your grief. If grief is ignored, it will shout louder and louder until you have to pay attention. Like pain, grief doesn’t go away without being acknowledged. Once acknowledged, healing can begin.

       If you follow my blog, you know how important Nature is to me. I walk daily, mostly on my neighborhood greenways. It’s a pretty walk: trees, water, lots of critters, and not very many people. It’s peaceful and quiet.

       Yesterday as I walked among the trees, feeling particularly sad about Pete and missing his voice, I kept silently repeating I am OK, I am OK, I am OK, in that way of trying to convince myself I was, and hoping it might actually be true.

       In the distance, I saw a woman, small boy, and dog walking towards me. As they approached me, the boy veered directly in front of me and announced, “I think you need a hug!” It caught me off guard, but I immediately opened my arms as he had, and we shared a great hug. His mother raised her arms and said, “If that’s ok? Is that ok?” It was too late and it was totally ok.

       As we stepped back and smiled at each other, I noticed he had Down syndrome. We said so long and continued our walks in opposite directions. At that moment, grief began to seep out of me. Tears flowed down my face like the running streams I was passing, with their leftover snow and ice. I cried and walked and cried and walked and cried.

       On my way back home, I saw the boy and his mother again. I stopped and said to him, “I want to thank you for the wonderful hug you gave me. It really helped me to be happy today.” He smiled and said, “Another hug.” As we hugged again, I mentioned to his mother our recent loss of a close family member. I told her how at the exact time I was feeling so sad and despondent, her son’s hug was just what I needed. She looked at my red, watery eyes and I knew she understood. She said, “He seems to have a gift for that sort of thing. Somehow, he just knows.

       Was meeting him a coincidence? Sure. Maybe. I don’t know and actually I’m not going to concern myself with that question. I know what I know. I know that little boy’s hug broke my heart open and somehow began healing me. His hug made me feel better.

And by the way, I’m not OK: I’m sad. I’m confused. I’m grieving. But, I’m also healing.
I know that I will be OK.
I know there are angels among us; because I met mine yesterday.

img_1620Pete Traylor (July 17, 1967-November 27, 2016) 

The Featured Image is of a ceramic angel that my mom bought me many years ago. I keep her on my writing room windowsill. I love the reflections she is creating from the sunlight and glass. It looks like she is both inside and outside. And maybe she is.

Angels Among Us

By: Alabama

I was walkin’home from school
On a cold winter day,
Took a short cut through the woods
And I lost my way.
It was gettin’ late, and I was scared and alone.
Then a kind old man took my hand, and led me home.
Mama couldn’t see him,
But he was standing there,
And I knew in my heart
He was the answer to my prayer.
Oh, I believe there are Angels Among Us,
Sent down to us from somewhere up above.
They come to you and me in our darkest hours
To show us how to live
To teach us how to give
To guide us with a light of love.
When life held troubled times
And had me down on my knees
There’s always been someone
To come along and comfort me
A kind word from a stranger
To lend a helping hand
A phone call from a friend
Just to say I understand
Now ain’t it kind of funny
At the dark end of the road
Someone light the way with just a single ray of hope.
Oh, I believe there are Angels Among Us,
Sent down to us from somewhere up above.
They come to you and me in our darkest hours
To show us how to live
To teach us how to give
To guide us with a light of love.
They wear so many faces,
Show up in the strangest places
And grace us with their mercies in our time of need.
Oh, I believe there are Angels Among Us,
Sent down to us from somewhere up above.
They come to you and me in our darkest hours
To show us how to live
To teach us how to give
To guide us with a light of love.
To guide us with a light of love
© Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC


10 thoughts on “Angels Among Us

  1. This is a very touching story. It has also brought me to tears. I do believe there are Angels Among Us..We have a friend in common and he has been a true inspiration to me. Strangers , friends, and relatives can all be our Angels if we just open our hearts and eyes and allow them to enter..Beautiful words Cheryl ..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Rhonda for reading and responding to my words. This was a special experience for me. This boy warmed my heart and I have no doubt that he knew that I was hurting, even as I was trying not to let it show. Yes, lots of angels all around. We are at our best when we are angels to each other. Our mutual friend is an inspiration to me, too. Thanks, again.


  2. You have me tearing up, as well, Cheryl! I am so sorry to hear about your families loss… I do not think it was an accident or coincidence that you came face to face with that child. I believe HE is an Angel. I will send some prayers for healing your way.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You have me crying with your exquisitely put together words, emotions and thoughts. I so appreciate the depth with which you live and the attentiveness you have to the angels among us. Vivid pictures, you even found the perfect song poem. Such sweetness. Grieving does indeed break us open, leaving us ok at times, in pieces at times, ready for that kind of unexpected hug and a little boy that knows.

    Liked by 1 person

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