Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Do You Believe In Angels?...You Will!
I thought it would be nice to share a story with you that happened to me back in 2004. I was just about to have surgery on my right shoulder, but my left shoulder also needed surgery. Both shoulders were pretty bad! I had horrible range of motion and strength. Both were affected by avascular necrosis stage III, and had bone that had already separated from the ball and was just floating around in there! My Orthopaedic Surgeon was gonna go in and remove the necrotized bone that had broken off and arthroscopically clean the shoulders all out. I was gonna have the right shoulder done in '04 and the left in '06. Anyway, you get the idea that I was in excruciating pain! If you don't know anything about avascular necrosis pain, the bone pain of AVN is second to that of bone cancer. It is deep withing the marrow. The blood supply doesn't get to the joint so the joint dies, and then it collapses, and then the final result is to replace the collapsed joint.
So at the time, I was no longer working because I was already on disability after my left hip had collapsed from the AVN. I had it replaced in December of '03. I wanted to still do some of the things that I had done when I was working as a diabetes educator, so I did a lot of volunteer work. I was volunteering as a diabetes educator with the Fayette County Diabetes Coalition in Kentucky at the time. I did a lot of public health education, workshops, education in churches, schools and health fairs. This particular story pertains to a particular health fair that took place in Lexington, Kentucky at a Gold's Gym. They were holding the health fair at the time that I encountered something that I would consider miraculous!
I had to bring my own table and table cloth. I carried in all my own samples and my glucose meter. I had 4 boxes full of handouts. There were leaflets, brochures, books, pamphlets, you name it. The boxes were heavy, the health fair was being held on walking/running track, it was on the second floor, and there wasn't an elevator! There was one plus; I got to park in the closest parking spot because I had a disabled parking tag. I pulled in, and I popped the trunk. I grabbed the card table first, and I began my many trips in and out of the gym, up and down the steps. I would bet I made a trip in and out 5 times, which was up the steps 5 times, down the steps 5 times, and then back up a final 6th time before I could get everything set up and then have a seat.
I was there from 8am until 6pm. We were supposed to take shifts.I was supposed to be there until 11am, then another person was supposed to come in until 2pm, then another until 5pm. And actually, there was supposed to be 2 people there at all times together for each shift. Well, I ended up being the only one there for the entire time. Hardly anyone came to the fair. The only people even slightly interested were some of the members that were going to run on the track and couldn't because we were in the way. So I was bored out of my mind. It was a very long, tiresome, and fatigue-generating day. One of the event booths was Chick-Fil-A. They had little chicken salad sandwiches and carrot and raison salads to give away as samples. Everyone kept going to their table. I went over there because I knew I wasn't gonna get a break to go get something to eat. I had some sandwiches and a salad. They also had this lemonade that was "to die for." And you know it must have been good because I hate lemonade. It really wasn't sweet at all, it was totally sour and tasted more like water than that sweet-soury mixture they call lemonade. It was actually good. I can't even believe I'm saying this, because I always make such a big deal about how much I hate lemonade.
Finally, I began packing stuff up as it was nearing 5pm. I wanted to start bringing things to my car a little at a time because, I just didn't know how I was gonna make it. Not only was I in great pain, but now the fatigue had really gotten to me. I honestly didn't know how I was gonna carry all that stuff down those stairs and out to my car. I thought about asking one of the Gold's Gym workers to help me. I didn't know what to do. Jim was at work so I couldn't call him, and I had no one helping me. So I just packed everything up, folded up the table and the chairs. and I started by taking the 2 chairs down first. When I got down the steps, and made it out the front door, pressed the unlock \button on my keyring, and popped the trunk, a man stepped out from behind another car. He said "Ma'am, please let me get that for you. Let me please take that from you." Just as he took it from my weakened, shaking arms, I knew that he had come just as my shoulders and the rest of my body had given up. The old body had said, "that's it, I'm done, just leave me here, let someone else take care of it. I cannot do anymore!" I said thank you, as though God had heard me praying moments earlier when I said, "God where is everyone that works here? Please let someone show up to help me." He asked how much more I had to bring out to the car. I told him that there were 4 more loads, up on the second floor, but that I didn't expect him to get them for me. I told him that I didn't have any money to give him for a tip even. I knew he didn't work there. Who was he? I asked him who he was because I had never seen him before. Had he come out for the health fair. He told me that he took a job shining the men's shoes when they came to the gym to work out. He said it wasn't much of a job, but it was an honest living. He said he would be there every night to shine shoes, right by the front door.
There were a few things about this man that struck me as odd. First of all, I had never seen him there before. Secondly, I wondered who he worked for. Did he actually work for Gold's Gym? Then I thought that I never really see that many people even come to the gym in dress clothes/shoes. Did they drop their shoes off at the door while they worked out. None of it made much sense. He followed me in, and there was a peace that poured from his soul that you literally could almost see it with your eyes. I had never met anyone like him before. He went upstairs 4 more times and carried each box and the table out to the car. I told him that he came to me just in time. I said that I almost didn't make it. I was about to collapse. He said he was there just for me. He said, "whenever you need me, just call and I'll be right here." He gave me a business card with the letters V.I.P. written on the front and a phone number on the back. Again I told him that I was so sorry that I had nothing for him. He said he didn't want anything, he just wanted to make sure that I got everything into my car without any troubles, to make it easier on me. He said that things had been hard enough for me.
When I left there that night, I told Jim all about him. I asked Jim if he ever saw the man that shines shoes while you work out. Jim said to me, "who would get their shoes shined while you work out." That didn't seem like a very lucrative business to Jim either. He said that when he would work out at night, hardly anyone came to the gym dressed up, and if they did, he didn't think that anyone would just leave their shoes at the front door with a total stranger. He also said that he had never seen him before. I asked him for months after that, and there was still no man that shines shoes.
If you don't believe in angels, you should. You have no idea how I felt that day. I literally could not go any further. I don't know how I would have gotten that stuff down the steps and into my car without his help, and no one seems to know who he was. No one saw him. No one knew of a man shining shoes that day or any day for that matter.
So what does this so-called angel look like? Well, he was about 5 feet 7 inches tall, African American, long dreadlocks, wearing a black vest with a white t-shirt and a black fidora. Is that not what you thought an angel looked like. Well this is what my guardian angel looked like. And as a matter of fact, after we moved to Georgia, and I was having a tough time adjusting and adapting, I would see him everywhere in the corner of my eye. When I would turn to look, he would disappear.
So, if you still don't believe in angels, that is your choice, but I certainly do. Thanks to mine, I was able to make it to my surgery that year without collapsing.
Angel of God, My Guardian Dear, To Whom God's Love.......
Ever This Day Be At My Side...
To Guard...To Guide...Amen