This morning after my husband and I walked our little dog, and while my husband was on the phone, an unfamiliar vehicle pulled into our drive.
I could see the older woman with a cell phone at her ear, trying to get into our yard.
I asked my husband if he recognized her, and he told me to go out and ask her what she wanted.
Yeah, my life changed forever at that point, but I feel so badly now, that I did not thank that woman enough and have no way of doing so.
Yeah, the news was my middle brother died this morning, and besides feeling all the grief and loneliness from that shocking, tragic news, I did not stop to thank that woman enough.
So, I am thanking her now.
See, my brother had stopped talking to me roughly 6 years ago, and yeah, he was gay, and trust me, my husband and I have absolutely no problem at all with that.
You want to talk dysfunction when it comes to an older brother that’s very religious and Republican?
And another brother that is also gay and ashamed and still in the closet?
Or trying to be?
This woman had our old phone number and when my brother’s partner called her, she took down all the information and debated about trying to help Lee get in touch with me.
When she handed me the phone, over the gate, and what a fool I was, in not even thinking to open the gate and let her in, and then once I heard Lee’s voice, and his ravaged crying from the heart in telling me that my brother died this morning, my mind totally went blank.
I feel so bad on so many levels, but have an added regret, in that here was a woman that didn’t have to drive up and find me to deliver bad news.
We don’t even remember our old phone number to call her back and thank her appropriately.
I’ll figure it out by calling Lee back, but that woman, in my eyes, was an angel and renews my faith in mankind.
She didn’t have to do that at all.
That woman was an angel.
She drove over 50 miles to let me know.
Even though it was very sad and very bad news, she is an angel.
So, there is good that comes from bad.
Or a silver lining.
She is an angel and I thank her, and feel blessed in this dark hour.
Javaz, Just a quick note to let you know I’m thinking of you. I hope you are taking good care of yourself. Time for some pampering.
My husband and I did a 4 mile hike in the desert this morning and that was healing.
Even I don’t know what to say, now that the shock has worn off, and I’m trying not to think too much.
We’re waiting for the mail and once that comes, we’re going out walking again at an outdoor shopping center of all places.
It’s always been a running joke in my family, namely between my mom and me, that when things get you down, it’s time to go shopping.
Dear Javez, first let me repeat my heartfelt condolences about the loss of your brother. As I said, I know how hard the loss is. Your beautiful story reminded me of of the time when my father was dying, because there was also an angel involved.
My dad was in a nursing home following cancer surgery months earlier, and had taken a turn for the worse. My son (who was about nine at the time) and I had just spent some time with him, and we walked out of there very downhearted.
There was a coffee shop next door and I just wanted a few minutes to try to gather myself and have a cold drink. When we got inside, there was only one other customer there–an older man sitting alone in a corner.
My young son ordered and we sat there in silence. After a time, that old man came over to our table. Without much ado or conversation, he proceeded to do some pretty cleaver magic tricks. At first I was baffled. Then both my son and I started to get into the little performance. My son started to smile, then laugh. And the man went away.
After a couple of minutes, my son looked at me and said,”Mom, I think that man was an angel.”
Now, I must explain something. In the Jewish religion, we are taught that angels often take the form of humans– usually the least likely, like homeless or “street people.” So my son’s remark was not that out of the blue, but I was happy he had thought that. Of course, I agreed.
The world has more angels in it than we realize, no? That has been one of the things that has impressed me in working with people for years (often when they’re going through very tough times): how really, fundamentally decent so many people are. The only reason the difficult ones stand out is because they’re relatively rare.
I’m glad the magician-angel was there for you and your son that night.
It always amazes me that when bad things happen the innate kindness that people, especially strangers, display.
I suppose it has to do with us all being human and how we can relate to basic human emotions and grief is a universal emotion that has no language or cultural barriers.
Thank you, Cher, and thank you for sharing such a lovely story.
I enjoy learning about other religions or faith, and hope you write more about Jewish beliefs and traditions.
Wow. Cher, I got chills from your story.
I am so sorry to hear of your loss. We are never prepared for this bad news and there are no words that will make it hurt less right now.
Living in this world subjects us to many sorrows and pain. None of us is exempt from them. We Buddhists believe in reincarnation, but with the hopes that we can achieve that special state of grace so that we don’t have to be born into this world again.
We also believe that most people get it wrong. In our society, we mourn a death and celebrate a birth. It really should be the opposite way around.
Not wanting to get any further into Buddhist philosophy, I hope the next days will go easy for you. You will be in my thoughts!
I’ve read a few books about Buddhism and I do find comfort in the philosophy.
I don’t think, when it comes down to the very tenets, that Buddhism is so much different than Christianity.
There are a lot of similarities.
I once sat in a pew in a Methodist church, and listened while the pastors (who are now in AZ) talked about our “earth angels” – those people who are here to provide us with lessons we all may need to learn. While sitting there, I thought about so many people in my life, who have – through good times and bad – come to teach me those lessons. Anne, my angel of forgiveness, who forgave me when I truly was a bitch to her. Sarah, my angel of inspiration, who helped me find my work with the Afghan children. Jill, my angel of nurturing. Kit, my angel of truth. On and on, so many people. I came home from that sermon, and wrote each of them a note, describing exactly what role they had played in my life, and promising to always hold their lessons dear and near. Javaz, you are an angel yourself to be so grateful to this woman, and being able to think of her during this difficult time. An angel of gratitude. I keep your lesson with me as well. Peace.
That was beautiful, Alpha. It is my belief as well.
Thank you, AB,
for such beautiful sentiments you’ve shared.
Hello Alpha…what a beautiful post. Hope you and your “kids” are doing well.
I’m so sorry. I don’t know what else to say.
That’s tough javaz. Sorry for your loss dear.
Please accept my deepest sympathies. What an incredible gift, though, to have that woman who cared just enough. We need more people in this country who “care just enough”. In posting this and sharing it with all of us, I hope that you have some measure of peace. May you be comforted by that woman’s caring. Pay it forward, that is the best thanks you could show her.
Thank you to all and I really cannot express in words what your replies mean to me.
Oh, I wish that I was not vulnerable at this moment when it comes to the real world, and health care issues, and reading that HP trolls are now here.
I’ll take them on at a later date, if they survive.
I’m going to sign off for awhile.
Peace to all, and whether you believe in God or Jesus or not, Peace to all of you, and I send my wishes to you all for a very Happy Christmas.
Tell the people you love that you love them.
Good night and good luck.
Be well Javaz.
We will be thinking about you and sending you warm thoughts going forward.
Take good care of yourself, javaz.
Dear javaz, don’t forget to sleep and eat, we sometimes tend to neglect ourselves when we are grieving.
j’avaz, dear friend, you have me in tears. Take care. All is right.
When something like this happens, it puts life into perspective.
I’m in tears.
j’avaz, somehow, it taught me respect.
You did no wrong. This is a most difficult time of year for many of us, myself included. When I saw Raphael’s Cherubs it took my breath away. The Cherubs have a very special meaning for me;I love the painting and everything it represents.
Whatever the circumstances, you can feel the way you do, just because. None of us here will presume to be in your shoes, nor will we judge your feelings. They are what they are, they are yours, and please, if it makes you feel better, cry. Any one of us is here for you. Believe that from the bottom of our hearts.
Thank you for your words of wisdom.
Javaz, Who was the woman who came to tell you? If I were you, I wouldn’t worry a bit about what you said or didn’t say to her. She knew you were in turmoil.
Yeah, I like to think of her as an angel.
Again, sorry for your loss.
Dear j’avaz, you did nothing at all wrong–either in posting this wherever or in how you handled a very traumatic situation today. What a shock this must have been. No one could think clearly in such an emotional moment. I’m sure your angel is aware that you are very grateful for her kindness.
The important thing is that you feel supported in your grief, both in your biological family and your on-line family. Know that you are in our thoughts (and, among those of us who are praying folk, our prayers, too) as you try to make sense of this sad development right during the holiday period.
I know that the goal of the Planet is not necessarily to be a group hug. But right at this time, I think I speak for all of us in wishing to give you, who have given us so much warmth and good humor, a huge group hug.
No, it was partially my fault and I accept that and bear responsibility for it.
My family is such a complicated thing, as are most families, and I’m old enough to understand.
Thank you for your kind words.
My family dynamic is so complicated because there is the gay issue.
It’d take me forever to even begin to understand it, yet alone explain it.
j’avaz, I realize that the word “humility” is really out of fashion now. But there was once a time when humility was considered a great virtue that people hoped and strove to achieve. It was once defined as the ability to see the truth about oneself and others and to accept that truth in love.
You–j’avaz–have the virtue of humility to a great degree. And like all truly humble and great people, you often don’t even realize it. Your family was/is extremely fortunate that you are among them
we all have complicated families and stories. oh my goodness, i could keep you up all night with my dysfunctional family alone.
things happen. people go out of their way to do good things and to treat others the way they would want to be treated. one day you will be in a position to pay it forward. she did right by you, bless her,and when you have the opportunity? you will remember and do the same.
I think we all have dysfunctional people in our families to some extent. None of us are perfect. Believe me, I have mine, me included at times.
I’m very sorry to hear of your loss. I experienced the loss of a sibling, my sister, in ’08. Thank you for sharing this.
Thank you for your reply.
Javaz, I’m very sorry for your loss.
I hope my words and of everyone who loves you here, softens the blow in some imaginable way.
Javaz, again I send you my heartfelt condolences on your sudden loss. I left you a message on “Morning Blog.”
Thank you, Kalima.