Angels Among Us

First blogged January, 2010

My mother passed away several months ago and it has taken me this long to write about it.  She was the most wonderful mother in the whole world, (and I am not just saying that because that is what one is expected to say about their deceased mother.)  In addition to being kind and loving, she was also very spiritual.

I remember when I was four years old and we lived in Opalaka, Florida, right behind the Hialeah Race Track.  We had a cement swimming pool in the backyard which my father built, and next to it was a palm tree my mother had planted crooked so it was growing sideways.  I had a green parakeet whose name I certainly don’t remember, and I loved watching Howdy Doody and Captain Kangaroo on our little black and white tv with the rabbit ears antenna.  My brother was born one day in March, and life suddenly changed for our family.  My brother was born with serious disabilities due to Rubella Syndrome, (supposedly my mother had been exposed to someone with German Measles.)  With a cleft palate, he could not nurse or drink from a bottle, so he was fed by a large eye dropper. He could not such on a pacifier and he cried constantly.  He was blind and deaf and was obviously going to be severely developmentally delayed. My joyful childhood was suddenly overshadowed by a sadness of which I had never seen from my mother.  I would witness her throw herself across her bed and sob. A deep sadness enveloped our family. I looked at my little brother, who looked so innocent and little to cause such a fuss.

One day, when the sun was shining brightly and Curtis was asleep, my mother called to me to come sit in the rocking chair with her.  She squeezed me and held onto me tightly, rocking  and crying.  It was a different kind of crying, though.  A happy cry, if I could describe it as such.  From that day on, the gloom lifted from our house and I went back to living my happy childhood with my new baby brother.

Many years later, when I was a young teenager, my mother shared her experience of what happened to her that very day.  The doctors had been encouraging her to put my brother “away”, institutionalize him as was the custom in those days. “Forget about him,” they said, “You can have another child.”  She could not bear to make the thought of doing this.  Then, on that sunny day while rocking in her chair, she told me she was visited by an Angel, a beautiful, bright white Angel.  She told me she could feel the weight of the Angel’s hand on her shoulder, reassuring her that everything was going to be okay.  Although the Angel did not speak, she knew what the message was.  She did not have to worry anymore, her son would be fine, and he was.  He wasn’t fine in that he suddenly became perfectly healthy, but he was fine in that he has led a happy, fulfilling life. Clearly, she had been touched by something spiritual on that day to turn her torrents of tears into smiles of joy over her new baby.

Several years later, while camping high in the mountains, my mother woke up from her sleep and sat up in her sleeping bag.  She was joyous!  She told me she had been to see God, whom she described as a bright and beautiful. She said it felt real, not like a dream at all.  She was confused as to the experience because it seemed as though she was there to help a friend pass over into heaven.  She did not understand because of course her friend was healthy.  It was not until we returned home from vacation that she learned that this friend had died from a brain aneurysm on that very night at that very time.

My mother lived a life of  great happiness and contentment, always seeing the good in people.  Near the end, right before she died, I stayed with her 24 hours a day.  When we knew death was near, the nurses let me lie in bed with her and she passed away in my arms.  I don’t know what I expected when she died.  No…that’s not true…I expected to see some of what she had experienced!  I expected to see her pass into heaven!  I expected there to be some reaction from her body, some knowledge that her lifetime of spirituality would somehow, through osmosis, pass through to me.  But there was nothing.  She just stopped breathing. And there was nothing.

It took me a while to accept her death, and I became angry that there was no sign from God that she was with him.  Realistically I knew this was silly, but I was hugely disappointed.

Christmas time came soon afterwards.  As the parent of 5 children, I had this habit when the children were younger of taking a picture of their sleeping faces on Christmas eve.  As they aged, they hated the existence of these pictures!  (They were usually sucking on a “binky” at the time and girlfriends and boyfriends who saw the pictures in old photo albums would always go “Awwwwwwwwwwww, how CUTE,” the most mortifying thing that could happen to a teenage macho boy!)  This Christmas eve, filled with nostalgia, emptiness and sadness,  I again went into each of their bedrooms and gazed at their sleeping faces.  I was suddenly filled with a great sense of purpose and contentment, much like the type of contentment my mother might have felt when she felt the Angel’s hand upon her shoulder.  These were MY Angels.  These were my children who had endured so much when younger, either with their disabilities or with indescribable child abuse. They have not only survived, but they have THRIVED.  They are happy and loving and successful and they have bright futures as adults.  This is miraculous to me!

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Comments on: "Angels Among Us" (31)

  1. What a moving post. Thank you.

  2. spiritteacher said:

    Lindsey, your story of your beautiful and amazing mother touched my heart as did your story of your family and your five wonderful thriving children. It’s people like you who give hope to the world and who, with the love that is you, are clearly here to heal the world. Healing happens one loving heart at a time. Thank you for you and for sharing your story about your “Angel” mother. Love to you and yours, Sharie

  3. spiritteacher said:

    May I add you to my blog roll? Peace, Sharie

  4. Children truly are angels. They’re miracles regardless of their abilities or disabilities. Each child has something to teach us. I’m amazed by what mine teaches me on a daily basis, and am thankful to God for giving me such an amazing gift.

  5. Lovely. Thanks for sharing about your Mom. I have no doubt about what she saw. I was guided in the past myself. I pray that God helps me feel the peace that the Holy Spirit gives us… they say it’s always there, we just have to let ourselves feel it. I’m trying… I’m so sorry about your Mother. She would be so proud of you!

  6. Losing someone so close to your heart is incredibly difficult. I have lost loved ones as well; I have felt the pain it brings.
    I know your mother is so proud that you are carrying on her legacy. Your life stands as a testimony of the goodness of your mother and the goodness of God. And, your children see that and will reap the benefits of your devotion to the Lord.
    Thank you for sharing your heart and for shining so brightly for Christ. I am praying for you and already thanking God for the overwhelming comfort and encouragement He will bring to your soul.

  7. melodyofamom said:

    Thank you for sharing this lovely post about your mother. It is such a blessing that God revealed himself to her and gave her the peace she needed to raise a special needs child. And just think, way back then He was already preparing you for the children you’d have someday.

  8. darylw1984 said:

    Thank you for sharing. I lost my dad four months ago. He also was a believer, and I was with him when he died. As with your mom, there was nothing obviously miraculous in his passing, but the peace that surpasses all understanding from the Holy Spirit has kept me through it all. The hope we have in Christ is in seeing our loved ones again. Blessings!

  9. I love your blog and you must be a very special person to do what you do and all you’ve gone through.

    My mother passed in 1993 of breast cancer at 54 yrs. old. My father died 6 years later, I think more from depression, than from cancer. It has been hard losing my parents at such a young age. They have missed so much, especially with their grandchildren. It’s true, losing a mother is really hard, especially for daughters. You never quite get over it. I cried for 6 months straight until I realized I needed to live again, she was not coming back, no matter how hard I cried.

    My heavenly experience in this situation was that I was on the highway( not long after she passed away) and stuck in rush hour traffic, and so, because I had time, I started thinking-of everything. Tears welled up in my eyes and I started questioning to myself out loud, “What if there is nothing left. No heaven, we just die. I will never see my mother again. Is this all there is?” Over and over, questioning and thinking and dodging traffic. I was getting thoroughly frustrated with this one car that I kept trying to go around, but it just kept getting in my way.

    Finally, after what seemed like forever, the traffic seemed to move and cars started easing away from each other. The car that had been aggravating me finally pulled away, but not before I noticed the license plate which read “Faith”. I took it as a sign and never questioned the existence of heaven again. :) Cheryl

  10. lesleehorner said:

    This is such a beautiful story. It sounds like your mother was an amazing woman and very connected to the spiritual realm. Thank you for sharing and I look forward to reading more of your blog.

  11. butterfly effect :@ said:

    This is such a lovely touching story. I hope it would be a consolation (& joy) to know that “wherever they are, they will trade places with us…” Its warm to know that your mother lived a life meaningfully (just as like Morrie). Yeah, live life to the fullest! :)

  12. Thank you so much for sharing this awe-inspiring story. You, too, are an angel…an angel in your children’s lives. Sending you much appreciation for being the amazing woman you are. Thank you.

    Cheers,
    Shanie

  13. What a beautiful post! Really, I think if we all just aimed to live our lives with an open and generous heart, the world would be a very different place. Your mother sounds like a wonderful lady and she has obviously inspired you to be the caring and giving person that you are. Five kids with disabilities, wow!

    My eldest niece is an angel to me. She was born almost three years ago in the depths of my struggle with depression and PTSD. And she can make anything better for me. Absolutely anything.

  14. Lindsey, I am so thankful for you. I was so depressed and tired and after reading your story I felt a big weight being lifted off my shoulders. Thank you for easing my pain.

    teri

  15. What a poignant post. I would have loved to have met your mother.

  16. butterflysblog said:

    This is so beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing.

  17. This made me tear up. I admire you so much for devoting your life to these children. I wish I could know that I’ll grow up to be so strong.
    Please keep writing.

  18. I am honored to have your comments on my blog, Ninja Nannies. As a career teacher of 39 years, I can honestly say that the students from whom I gain the greatest life’s lessons are those with disabilities. I have worked with that population since 1984 and am humbled by the trust relationship that is inherent in this work, both with the children and their extended families.
    We now have a private, Christian school that is approved to accept scholarships for children with disabilities. Each day is a challenge, and all at once, a gift. I admire the life that your mother and you have lived. It not only lifts up those who might not be accepted by this crazy world, but will continue into the future to be an example and strength for those who walk in your shoes. You go, girl!

  19. iwonderbee said:

    Hi Lindsey,

    It has been a long while since we last corresponded. I am sorry to hear of your mother’s passing but glad to read that you have found God’s comfort amid the bereavement.

    I thought of you and your family when I got this, and wanted to pass this award on to you. Blessed new year.

    http://iwonderbee.wordpress.com/2011/01/04/award-from-all-things-beautiful/

  20. Oh, those angels always among us…

  21. Oh you are the angel!! My mom is very ill with a neurological disease, she is so precious to me. My husband & I do mission work in Mexico, for the last 10 yrs we have gone every 3 months at least, for a week, and do medical work among the poor. I am an RN, and there is so much diabetes & high blood pressure among the people.I really enjoyed reading about your children’s work with others, how beautiful. May the Lord Jesus sustain you, provide all your needs, fill you up with His Spirit and overflow you even more, with joy! blessings, Janice

  22. Thanks for sharing your beautiful story with us.

  23. very touching story. My mother passed when I was a very young age, ever since life has not been the same, but it feels me with peace to believe that she is with me, although not in the flesh, but in spirit…that she’s my angel who guards and look over me.

  24. Thank you for sharing this touching story. What a wonderful woman your mother was!

  25. Stories that reveal God’s glory…and His intimate love and working in the lives of those who longingly move toward Him….just undo me!

    “She squeezed me and held onto me tightly, rocking and crying. It was a different kind of crying, though. A happy cry, if I could describe it as such.”

    I had to stop and weep here: a DEEPLY happy weeping…

    “Joy comes in the morning…” We just need to stay close to Him during the…night…[but nights are filled with stars!]

  26. Reblogged this on Writing to Heal and commented:
    I believe being the parent to a child with disabilities is a gift from God. My daughter, Sarah, has a daughter with Downs Syndrome, and I was honored by being present when that precious child was born 11 years ago. I believe God gives these special children, with any disability, to those He has an awful lot of faith. And for those who adopt any child with a disability, all I can say is, that I’m sure God is smiling down on them.

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