Angels Among Us

Angels Among Us

My friend Evelyn calls me her angel and I truthfully can’t figure out why but I am so honored that she might feel this way. When I first met Evelyn we had recently moved with our small children to a little paper mill town in the New England. We were a couple thousand miles from home and family and we were really trying to hold it together on our own.

I did not realize it at the time, but I was in real need of a mother figure. Someone close by that I could confide in, worry with, ask questions of and feel a connection to. I was in need of a mother mentor and I did not even know it. When we moved into the big old house on Amherst Ave. I felt pretty alone. My kids were small, 6 and 4 and I was burned out from 2 intense years of providing day care to 6 other kids full time just to pay the bills.

Evelyn and I were an unlikely pair to say the least. At the young age of 31 you would not have guessed that a friendship of a lifetime would be bonded together with a 68 year old widow who was grieving for a recently lost son almost my age. At the time I had no idea Evelyn had recently lost her husband of many years to a stroke and then her son to a freek work related accident. I only knew I had a house to set up and kids to supervise.

One summer day shortly after moving in I fed the kids a healthy snack of fruit and crackers and cheese and sent them out to play in the back yard. Attempting to get some of the boxes unpacked I went to work only to be distracted later by the sound of our dog barking incessantly in the back yard.  Going out back to check on the kids I saw both my youngsters playing on the neighbors’ backyard swing set.  I hollered at the kids to get back into their own yard. Suddenly, a little round lady with blondish grey hair stepped out on her back porch and yelled over “that’s OK, leave them be, they are just little ones wanting to play”.

“Are you sure?” I asked not wanting the kids to be a bother.

“Oh heavens, yes” She replied, “they are harmless!”

Going back into the house to unpack some more I let it pass. After awhile I left my chores to go back and check on the kids and much to my horror opened the back door to see both my kids sitting on Evelyn’s back porch making themselves very at home enjoying homemade lemonade and fresh baked chocolate chip cookies.

Embarrassed beyond belief that my kids would make themselves this at home, I headed over. Evelyn defended the kids completely and invited me in for a cup of coffee. Not sure what to do I agreed.

We sat for over 2 hours that day getting acquainted and the beginning seeds of a friendship were planted.

Soon after, the kids were regular guests at her back door, shamelessly asking for a treat no matter what I fed them or when. Evelyn always made me feel just as welcome and I came to realize the gift of a true neighbor, something I had never experienced before.

I never really thought I did anything special for Evelyn, but according to her I was the angel she needed. She was a mother in mourning, grieving over a lost son. She did not have any outlet for that grief, and I guess our friendship and morning conversations over coffee gave her the outlet she needed.

We eventually had to move away from this small town, but it has been 12 years now and Evelyn and I still call each other once a month and provide support over the miles. Every now and then I even get to go visit her and I always make a point to let her know what her friendship has meant to me over the years.

So my friend, I ask you “what’s next on your list?’

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter