Earning One’s Wings


feather-whiteMANY OF US CAN RECALL the angel called Clarence in the holiday classic, It’s a Wonderful Life, featuring Jimmy Stewart as George Bailey. Clarence’s divine assignment was to save George from his own destructive self-doubt, and in reward Clarence would earn his angel wings.

But, I don’t want to give away the end of my story so soon.

One thing angels have in common is that they seem to appear out of nowhere, always at a crucial time or crossroads in one’s life. It also seems that one needs to “reach out” into the vast ethereal realm and “ask for help” — whether this “asking” is a deep yearning of the soul, a fervent prayer, a quick plea, or a very loud, “Help me! I can’t take it anymore,” as Jimmy Stewart seemed to be proclaiming as he prepared to jump from a bridge into sub-zero waters at Christmas time.

This signal is sent forth out into the divine mystery, and then, most often in the nick of time, the angel appears!

Now, some angels show up and save the day prior to, say, a large flying object almost falling on your car. The angel clearly whispers into your ear, “Turn a little to the left,” and by golly, that huge mass of something or another just misses slamming into you.

And then there are those angels who show up and save the day for close to 365 days a year (in my case) going on 2-1/2 years by calling at 9 a.m. every single morning with the exception of some brief (and well-earned) vacation time to Europe or their daughter’s farm. This is the case with my angel, Jack.

Jack is a retired English teacher in his mid-80s. He was 85 years young on Dec. 28, 2013, to be exact. I know this, because I took him out to lunch for a belated birthday. I wanted to know what Jack thought about life and death — and why in the world he saved me.

The emergency
But first, you should know how Jack saved me. On June 28, 2011, I collapsed. I stopped my car and quickly got out to lie flat on the green grass of a stranger’s front lawn in order to breathe. I was pretty sure these were the last few seconds of my consciousness, of life itself, so I reached for my cell phone, called my mother and told her I loved her. Then I called Jack.

After lying completely flat so that there was no pressure on the back of my neck for a good 10 minutes, the peripheral nerves began to release enough so that oxygen could flow into my head. Jack picked me up in his car and drove me the seven blocks to my home. My mother appeared shortly thereafter.

I remained homebound for almost two years. I was unable to sit in a car and handle the motion or even walk down the front steps of my home, let alone down to the basement. The peripheral nervous system does heal, but it does so very incrementally and very slowly. I could have given up and become totally self-absorbed, negative, bitter and depressed. Instead, I chose hope and patience and endurance — and I was rewarded with Jack.

That’s the way I see it anyway. Even when we don’t opt for the high road, we are very often sent the assistance of angels. They are just harder to recognize then, because our vision is so bleak.

Every day, Jack called me promptly at 9 a.m. and always asked the same question, “So, how are you doing today?” I could reduce all the responses that I gave to the same basic version of the following: “I can’t believe how much my neck and head released last night. I must have twisted and turned for two hours in the middle of the night, almost like a ballet dancer, it was so effortless — and again, for another hour or so after I woke up. It is amazing just what my body is doing to heal.”

Jack listened, just as amazed, yet ever calm and ever present. The whole experience was a traumatic one, yet the trauma was almost non-existent due to Jack’s morning calls.

I began to realize that among other things, healing is the process of trusting life. I knew I was healing, however slowly. As a life coach, I decided to begin marketing my business in a new way. I founded a cooperative marketing organization of entrepreneurs in the community. Of course, our early meetings were always in my living room until I could lie in the back of someone’s car and be driven to our public meeting venue. I now drive myself to meetings and all over town.

Questions for Jack
Now, back to those questions that I had for Jack. These are the questions I asked Jack over a turkey sandwich and ice tea, along with his responses:

  • What is the meaning of life? Find out somehow what other people need and act accordingly.
  • What do you think happens to us when we die? Well, we live on through our experiences with other people and whatever they learn from their connection with us — whatever destination our spirit needs to have, and I don’t know what that is.
  • Do you believe in angels? Yes, I do. Who they are and when they appear in our lives, I have no idea.
  • Why did you decide to help me? I came to know you and saw that you had a need to be filled and tried to fill that need.
  • How were you able to hang in there so long with me? I continued to see what you needed and tried to fill that in some small way. I saw that you needed someone to connect with.

After my questions, we began talking generally. Jack told me that after he retired from teaching at age 58, he wanted to become a healer. He took classes from the well-known spiritualist Dr. Paula Sunray and completed all of the advanced classes. Dr. Sunray told Jack that now he was ready for the Master’s class, and in order to complete that he needed to “effect a miracle.”

“Dr. Sunray is one of the few old masters who has the knowledge and connection to the higher realms necessary for the journey ahead — the journey of the mind into the final frontier. Her instruction is “akami,” channeled from the highest dimension.” — Pila of Hawaii, author, seer and teacher of the Ancient Wisdom

With the thought of effecting a miracle, Jack felt a bit overwhelmed. A month later, he was diagnosed with lung cancer and his upper left lobe was removed. He did not return for the Master class.

Suddenly, we both had the same thought, which we expressed aloud. Jack had completed his Master’s training, effecting a true miracle in me and definitely earning his wings.

My intent in writing this story was to convey the the generosity of spirit, selflessness, humility, kindness, compassion and extreme patience of my angel Jack. I hope in some small way you have gotten to know him.

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