I wiggled my way along the winding halls of the hospital, carrying a “get well” card for a person I’d never met. I only knew her name. I only knew I was going to see her. I knew the right thing to do after hearing her name dozens of times. Everyone needs a visitor sometimes.
I learned of this person from one of my girls in recovery who used to pray for her mom. She wept at missing her. She wept at the not knowing how her mom was doing. She wept at her broken steps that kept her at bay and in recovery without contact.
Yes, my girls often endure sadness at the reality of loss from the season they walk through, one that impacts children, spouses and friends. And even aging parents.
Not only do the girls face criminal charges and court fines and rehab, but they deal with sober days and emotions that aren’t clouded by drug use or alcohol abuse.
Thus, many of them ask for prayer and seek the Lord, often for the first time.
While in rehab, the girls can lose a parent to illness, or not see a birth of a new family member. They will most likely miss a birthday of a child or someone close to them.
Their allotted time for rehab takes nine months, but some have the honor of staying for a year.
So their consequences come with harsh realities. And from what I’ve witnessed from the girls over the past eight years, they suffer immensely during recovery, and long for victory with each breath.
And if they’re close to their family, it’s a particularly hard year to be without them.
So on that day when I made my way through the corridor of the hospital, I read the room number on the wall, and woman resting in a bed grinned at me.
I waved a little hello, “You must be Jacie.”
“I am. And who might you be?”
I told her who I was, the lady from the church service, and handed her the card. We talked of her recent ambulance ride and her breathing problems, and how she prays for her daughter in rehab.
A swoosh of a blur went behind me, and a young lady sat down in the plastic-like chair, smiling. We spoke to each other, and Jacie said, “That’s my granddaughter. She was with me when I needed to come to the hospital.”
The granddaughter nodded, and smiled at me, “So you must be our angel.”
Laughing, I responded, “I’m no angel. I think you have me confused.”
“No, my mom called from the recovery center since she has phone privileges. She said we might get a visit from an angel someday.”
“Well, I’m honored she thinks of me like that, but trust me. If you knew me, you’d have a more colorful selection of things to call me. But angel isn’t one of them.”
Grandma piped in, “To me, you’re an angel.”
“Well, then. I’ll be an angel. But I’m sure I’ll have to return my wings. I’m bound to give the rest of the angels a bad name.”
Our visit was full of laughter and ease, of hugs and of them showing me such kindness. I left there feeling like I’d had a visit with two angels. Like I’d gotten a card. Like I had new friends.
Now before I left the hospital, my wings did get caught on the third floor between the elevator doors, figuratively speaking, that is … since everyone knows I have no potential for becoming an angel.
Thus, my reign was over! But it was great while it lasted!