Mark Neidig posted on facebook today, Mark is a friend that was the director of what I consider to be a cure for cancer. (I hope that the company he worked for proves me right). He brought up a point about how he gave some money to a homeless man and said quote “There was just something in his eyes…perhaps, I entertained an angel unawares!”
And it reminded me of a turning point in my life. OUR lives. Have you ever had a moment in life where you are about to do something and it is if the world pauses for a moment, catching its breath right before you make that choice or do that thing? Yes, that thing that at the time was a pretty small endeavor, a little thing that later, cascaded into a life changing event? The one where you look back and you can see that event taking place as clear as a sunny day?
I have had a few of those in life. One was when I was a teenager, around 14 or so, give or take a year. But we were in a Sears department store, and my mom was having us shop for clothes. The girls were running around picking out what they liked, as was I. I had selected a few pants and shirts, and as I came around the corner, I could hear my mother say “I don’t know how I will pay for this, but oh well, will find a way”.
That hit me like a brick. I put back all my clothes except for one pair of pants and one shirt. My mom looked at me and asked me where the rest of my clothes were. I told her I would pay for my own “stuff” from now on. I meant it. From that day forward, I paid for everything that I ever owned. I learned lessons from that event, some good, some bad, but it was a life changing event that I can see as clearly as the lack of hair on my head.
Later, there was another event. One with “different” players. Lynda had been diagnosed with breast cancer, and on a CT scan she had a spot on her shoulder. We freaked. Scared was not a good descriptor, frightened, petrified, those didn’t come close to the feelings of those days. I had lost my Connie to this monster in 2001, and now? Lynda was in the same playing field. One with land mines every other inch, and one mis-step and she would be gone. My intent was to be her rock, to be her Gibraltar, never swerve never stray from the single fact that she would win this battle with cancer. I think, I hoped that I did a good job of that.
We went to Arizona to see a doctor who had a pretty good track record of treating stage IV cancers. Including his own. He was treating Lynda now, and I would drive back and forth from California to Arizona, stay for 3 days and drive back to California to work. We were in the process of realizing that we were spending all of our retirement, and I had come to realize that we were going to lose the house. All of this therapy was out of pocket with no guarantee that anything would work. I realized that I didn’t care, that I would spend my last penny if it meant one more day with Lynda… It was worth every last penny and any that I could find.
Stress was at an all time high, my mind was focused on keeping Lynda alive, no, not alive, healthy, to get her back to “no cancer” that was all I wanted. When Connie was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer I did something I had not done much at anytime in my life. I prayed.. I actually bent a knee and dropped my head. I offered a deal, you cure Connie, and I will take her place. Deal? The answer was “no”.
With Lynda? Even after I had sworn I would never ever again bend my knee, I did so, without hesitation. I made the same deal. You cure Lynda, and I will swap places. Nothing. Not even a chuckle or a curse. So I decided enough of that, waste of time. I traveled to Arizona, spent the 3 days with Lynda and was on my way back to California. I was tired, beat, bone fucking weary, and now that I was out of sight of Lynda I could show it. I pulled into a gas station, some 7-11 or some such spot, and jumped out of my truck to fill it up and head back. A voice came from the front of my truck and I looked up.
A black man with dreadlocks, arms the size of my legs, about my height, but twice as wide and it was all muscle was talking to me. I stepped back and at first I thought, “Shit, I am about to get mugged” and balled up my right fist with my keys protruding through my fingers.. Figured we could go a couple of rounds before whatever happened happened, then? I saw him. I mean I really saw the man. He was righteous. There was an aura about him that was undefinable, it was as if he was physically glowing… and at that point? I realized that I was looking at an angel. I mean the energy pouring out of this guy was nothing short of magic. Call it holy. I listened to his words, which were eloquent, but what I truly heard was something altogether different.
I heard my universe take in a breath, and pause. I knew here, right then and there, was a moment that would change my world forever, and how I treated this man, what I did to him, would be done to me a hundred fold. He was asking for money, but in a way that I had never heard before. I usually just brushed people like this off, go find your booze money someplace else or your drug money elsewhere. Seen it a million times. But this guy? This was different. I could feel the universe in a pause mode.
I told him to wait a second, that I would be right back. I could hear him sigh, and I walked inside the convenience store. We didn’t have a lot of cash on hand, most of it we had used for therapy, but I took what I could and went back out. I handed him about 40 bucks, more than I could afford, but there was something going on here that was different. When I came back and handed him the money, the universe let out its breath and it went through me like a spring breeze of peace and dare I say it, love. The aura this guy projected grew.. I mean really glowed. He took the money, and gave me a dazzling smile and hugged me. And somewhere in that hug, I knew everything would be ok.
For the first time in weeks, I had my first night of complete rest. The spot on Lynda’s shoulder never changed. It never got worse, it never got better. We had some very serious ups and downs since then, but know what? Lynda is still by my side, and I am convinced she will be long into our golden years. That man? Maybe just a bum, but in my mind? Proof that there are angels that walk among us, and how we treat them, who we are to them?
Maybe, just maybe, it is a turning point in how the universe decides to treat us.