I believe in angels.
Like the one who helped my dad save me from drowning in the pool that day. Or the one who made me stop while skiing in the woods, alert for something, when I felt and heard the bullet whiz by from a distant shot, inches from my head. Some days angels were right in front of me, like the pretty ninth-grade girl who ordered the bullies to stop laughing at me, a shy seventh-grader, when I sat in gum on the bleachers. She died in a car accident before her high school graduation. I put a picture of her in a scrapbook and never forgot that day. Or the day I fell through the river ice with my dog, and after long minutes somehow found the strength to push him out and claw my way to shore before freezing to death. Those angels and others took forms of friends, parents, neighbors, people I knew, others I had never met.
On the rarest of occasions, we are lifted up from the inside. It starts with that....thing we feel, for someone, for somewhere. Then one day, maybe the next, maybe after many, and just at the right time, an angel touches our hearts, and we soar. Have you ever felt like that? Time goes by, so so quickly, and we try to do right by the world, and work at being good kids and parents and friends and maybe find one really extraordinary thing that we know is out there that will make a difference, and be that memory we look back on and we are grateful we took that moment and held on because now we can’t imagine being without it. Grab that moment and hold on, hold on tight, don't let it get away. Soar.
The angel that makes this all happen, so much good, can it be the same who was with us in the past? Mine was, and again lifted me high. High enough to see everything clearer, hear everything louder, play harder, work smarter, live better, love more. Brought out a lot of what was inside, but just needed that key, that hand, to unlock and let it out, let it bloom. What an amazing gift. I hope you can unwrap one like this in your life, too. Maybe you have and already know the story.
Where do we turn, though, if that story skips a chapter? Mine did, and it's like tumbling drifting floating through those empty pages, looking for something to cling to, to stop and find an answer, or help, some way to get back up there, bring the angel back to keep on with the tale. Such a wonderful and unexpected high, but a sudden down feels all the more devastating, and so difficult to navigate. It can feel helpless, to be sure. How to soar without wings? Don't think there is a way to do that, not alone, as much as we try to keep our heads up.
But I will reach for you.