spiralflames: (mandala)

true story. believe my interp or not..up to you.

my sister karen at Old Navy, buying clothes.

takes her purchases to sales person to pay, put her keys on the counter.

suddenly realizes- keys not there.

freaks out. salesperson and she start to look- no success.

man approaches. "i'm a locksmith, i know how to find keys. i won't leave here until we find them."

they go to the area where she was looking. he digs through a pile of tank tops, comes up w/ her keys in hand.

"thank you!"

he shakes her hand. his eyes are oddly "white", she said as she told me the story. his hand is feathery and dry.


"any time you need help, i'll he there."

she gets into her car, calls me to tell me the story.

"cool! what does his business card say?"

"just a minute, i put it in my purse."

of course, no business card. she does not see him leaving the store.
spiralflames: (black_cat)
angel 2

i was due in the operating room at 7:00 that morning. it's safe to say that i had never been more terrified in my life. all week, i had been able to keep my fears at bay by depending on my support network: my friends, my family, and pills for pain and anxiety. this night, however, i was NPO- no food, no drink allowed. it also meant no drugs. i was hurting, scared, and way too aware.

48 hours earlier, a surgeon had appeared in my room, and, looming tall over my bed, told me "you have two tumors, one in an ovary and one in your gut, and i don't want to operate because it'll probably kill ya."

in that second, my life changed.

the next morning, another doctor (one not quite so painfully blunt) explained that they had considered giving me chemotherapy for a year to shrink the tumors and operate at that time, but this might make me so weak that i might not survive the surgery.

they had decided to operate now despite the risk. the doctor took my hand and patted it. "good luck.." he said. there was no guarantee.
at around 2 AM, five hours before surgery, a woman walked into my room. she was attractive and tall, with shoulder-length bond hair. i assumed she was a nurse from her appearance- sensible shoes, slacks, an over-jacket of muted colors. i noticed she didn't wear a name-tag like the others. i didn't recognize her, even though i had gotten to know the other nurses and aides on that floor.

she began talking to me about her christian faith. i was surprised- in this politically-correct era, was this even permitted? i told her my medical history, and that i was due in surgery for an operation which might cost me my life.

"i've been memorizing Psalms." she said. "there's one in particular i'd like to share with you. it's psalm 91."
"he who dwells in the shelter of the most high will rest in the shadow of the almighty.
i will say of the lord, he is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom i trust.
surely he will save you from the fowler's snare and from the deadly pestilence.
he will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge.
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart,
you will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence
that stalks in the darkness,nor the plague that stalks at midday.
a thousand may fall at your side, but it will not come near you.

if you make the most high your dwelling-- even the lord who is my refuge--
then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent.
for he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways;
they will lift you up in their hands, so you will not strike your foot against a stone.
you will tread upon the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
"because he loves me" says the lord, "i will rescue him, I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
he will call upon me and i will answer him, I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver and
honor him.
With long life i will satisfy him and show him my salvation."
i began to cry as her words comforted me. she prayed for my successful surgery, for the sureness of the doctor's hands, for my speedy recovery. i cried harder as she read the words about the comforting wings, and remembered the first angel i had half-hallucinated during my biopsy a week earlier. "one more thing, before i go." she said. "remember to hold your hands up high, because it's the only way you can let God know you're in trouble, and it's the only way his blessing can come down to you."

after that, i actually fell asleep, and awoke four hours later when it was time for me to be brought down to the operating room.

"by the way" i asked the morning nurse. "who was that tall blond nurse who would have been on duty last night about 2 AM? she must have talked to me for at least an hour when i was all worried about my surgery this morning."

"nobody by that description was on last night." she replied. "what was her name?"

"she wasn't wearing a name tag." i remembered.

the morning nurse shook her head, "can't help you."
a week later, recovering from surgery, i told one of the hospital chaplains about the woman who'd visited me, "ohhhhh..." she said, her eyes wide. "i've heard of that...that was an Angel in Plain Clothes."
that same day, my primary physician came for a visit. she told me i was being released the next day, eight days after surgery. they had expected me to be in the intensive care unit for as long as a week. i was there 24 hours. all of the systems which had been compromised- my blood, my heart, my lungs, my kidneys- had returned to normal in two days. "i don't know what your faith is." she said in her soft, indian-accented voice, "but we all think you are a walking miracle."
spiralflames: (black_cat)
angel 1

i needed a bone marrow biopsy. in this procedure, they take a flexible needle into the hip bone and extract bone marrow. i had dreaded this for weeks, since they had tried to do it in the hospital (stuck me in the hip three times) and failed to reach bone due to my extra weight and illness-induced edema. one sentence a person really does not want to hear is "too bad we only had a six-inch needle."

it was decided that this needed to be done in the operating room. an orthopedic surgeon would expose the bone and the sample could be taken thereafter. i would be drugged into bliss with verset, a "conscious anesthetic." safer than a full anesthetic, a patient stays so close to unconsciousness that nothing is felt- and nothing is remembered afterward.

even so, i was terrified.

by 9 AM that morning, i was taken to the surgery area. they had decided to take the sample out of my right hip, and i lay comfortably on my side in an "on deck" cubicle where a patient waits while the doctors get ready. the IV was already supplying my body and brain with drugs, and i became more and more relaxed. i was awake but calm.

aides moved me into the operating room- everything light blue, sterile, tiled. the anesthesiologist they told me we were ready to begin. an oxygen mask was fitted over my mouth and nose. i could hear
aides and nurses conversing; weather contemplations and weekend plans mixed pleasantly with reports of vital signs and instructions given by doctors. amidst this organized confusion, i became more and more relaxed as the words blurred together into a pleasant hum. in the just-barely haze between consciousness and dream-time, i became aware of an unexpected visitor making his way through the crowd.

he was tall, male, robed in white, and had shoulder-length brown hair. my intellectual self chided my imagination for the cliched vision- he was right out of a cecil b. deMille biblical potboiler. my analytical brain calmed as he looked down at me, his face solemn. i thought it interesting that nobody seemed to think it strange that he was there. then he sat next to me, radiating stillness. his manner stately, he unfolded gigantic, gleaming white wings. then he lay his head down, resting his head in the valley of my waist as i lay on my side. the giant wings spread wide, gently covering me from head to toe in a blanket of white. i lay comforted, cradled. safe. i drifted into unconsciousness.

medical things happened, i guess. i felt nothing. the wings covered me. no pain was possible.

soon, a minute or a century later, he raised his head from where it had rested on my side. with solemn dignity, he enfolded the giant wings back into himself. i watched him stand silently, turn and walk out of the room. at that moment i awoke. my procedure was finished. "she should wake up any time now." someone said. i lay there, quiet, brought back to consciousness. the voices were clear again. someone took my blood pressure and temperature. "what was the temp again?" someone asked. "ninety-seven point eight." i replied. someone laughed, not realizing i was awake and listening..
like the drugs which had kept me in the world between waking and sleeping, what i had envisioned was true- and not-true. i knew there had been dreaming-time, but somehow it seemed more real, and more strong, than any sleeping-dream i had experienced. the mental image was stronger and much more detailed than a dream, and did not diminish in intensity the way dreams do as the day progresses. the calm i had received from the stranger had rested, like an eiderdown blanket, over my body and Soul.

as i was taken back to my room, i knew that an Angel had visited me, and that the drugs had allowed my mind to quiet to the point where i could not only see this super-worldly being, but suspend cynicism long enough to accept his comfort, and then, simply, to rest,

this i now know: in the midst of fear and helplessness, the gentle strength of wings is possible.


spiralflames: (Default)

November 2016

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