Saturday, May 14, 2011


I have thought long and hard about this installment in my survivor’s handbook, not because I haven’t been touched by angels--the ethereal as well as the ones walking the earth—but because I understand that intangibles and beliefs are personal and sometimes difficult for people to grasp. But if I don’t talk about angels, and be honest in my recounting of their life saving efforts, on my behalf, I would not be honest to my endeavor here; which is to provide you with the tools you need to be a survivor.

 After a night of grueling pain in my left shoulder, and newly appearing symptoms of nausea and a wicked headache, I thought it was time to make a trip to my local ER.  I was diagnosed with a virus which, I was told, settled in a muscle in my shoulder. I left the ER with a prescription for pain killers, and an assurance that I would get better with some rest. I began taking pain killers about every three hours throughout the day, and night, but the relief from my pain was non-existent.

I was sitting in my recliner in my family room downstairs.  I had been there since the ER visit earlier that morning. As evening approached, I was feeling no better and considered going back to the ER. The thought of trying to get up my stairs to go back seemed impossible, however, given the fact that merely taking a deep breath sent me into spasms of pain. Plus, I truly believed the ER doctor. I thought that if I could get some rest, maybe sleep a little, I would feel better. As evening turned into night, I honestly thought I was beginning to feel a bit better—in actuality, my body was going into shock. The dreaded stairs were still not a consideration, so I asked my husband, Michael, to stay downstairs with me--to sleep in our guest room.  It turned out to be a life saving request
Sometime between Conan O’Brien and the early morning infomercials, I closed my eyes, and was drifting off to sleep when I began to feel pressure on my chest. It felt as if someone was pressing down on me, submerging me under water.  I couldn’t breathe-- I couldn’t open my eyes. I can’t say that I was panicked at that point, because even though it was a strange experience, the raw, raging persistent pain that had been plaguing me for well over 24 hours seemed to be dissipating.  But as my breathing became more labored and shallower, the panic began.  I tried yelling for help, but I honestly believe no sound escaped my lips. So, exhausted by this effort, I once again closed my eyes.  But “someone” heard my desperate plea.
  A male voice, out of nowhere was hollering in my ear, demanding me to take action.  “Cindy! Get out of this chair, or you will die here.”  My eyes flew open; I gasped, and was galvanized by this frantic directive. I did not see the owner of the voice, but I knew I had to move and move fast. I somehow got out of the chair and got Michael.  Less than 12 hours later, my husband was told, “If she survives, it will be nothing less than miraculous.” I am left to believe that something saved my life that night.  I believe the “something” was an angel.
  Angels are not always of the supernatural ilk, such as the one that saved me many years ago. They can be the person ahead of you in line at the grocery store, who lets you go ahead of them because your ice cream is beginning to melt. They can be the person who picks you up on the side of a highway delivering you safely into town after your vehicle has stranded you in the middle of nowhere. They can be your best friend, a relative, a professor. Regardless of their actions or how they present themselves in your life, they are always needed, life saving, and life supporting.
 So, when you find yourself in unbearable pain, or your ice cream begins to melt, or even if  you feel stranded on a highway in the middle of nowhere; look around for a moment and recognize those around you who are ready willing and able to ease your pain, wipe up the drips, or give you a ride into town.  Your angel is always there, and willing to help. All you have to do is be willing to ask.

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