The First Angel I Ever Met

 

Our Passport Picture - Me, 4 years old with Eddie, 2 and Mark, 2 months

 

After I was born, my father served in the Vietnam War for one year.  During that period of time, my mom and I moved to my parents’ hometown of Middletown, New York to be close to family during this difficult time.  Upon my father’s safe return, he relocated the three of us back to New Jersey to the army base where we lived for the next 4 years.  This is also the birthplace of my two brothers.

During my fourth year, I had the tremendous honor of meeting my very first angel.  It was on a beautiful late summer day and my incredibly pregnant mother had sent my 2 year old brother and me out to play.  We were supposed to stay in the yard, but just couldn’t resist the big fence down the street with the hole in the bottom.  The fence was there to keep people, especially young children, out of the sewer drainage ditch.  Luckily for us, the hole was just the right size for a 4 year old and her baby brother.

Down on our bellies we went, scooting to see what goodies lay on the other side.  It was an awesome sight — flowing water, rocks in all shapes and sizes, tall grass and frogs — just to name a few.  We started out by throwing sticks and rocks into the stream.  I know it doesn’t sound very exciting, but we were in heaven, away from adult supervision.  We felt like fugitives, and it was dangerously fun.  Eddie, my brother, stood at the edge and threw a large pebble into the muck with his pudgy little hand.  Next thing I know he is floating face down and headed toward the pipe…fast.  He was too small to right himself and I was too small to save him.

 

This is similar to the drainage ditch we were playing in, but the bottom of our pipe was well below water level and the water was much deeper, not so clear and moving rapidly

 

Let me take a second and explain that to say I was a shy child is an understatement.  The only people who I would even contemplate interacting with were my immediate family members and very close friends, which makes the next occurrence so remarkable to me.  There was always a lot of activity going on in our neighborhood.  For some reason on this particular afternoon, the street was unusually quiet.  Suddenly I saw a lone teenage girl walking down the street.  My brother’s life was at stake, so I either worked up the courage or simply went into survival mode, and flagged her down by screaming and flailing my arms like mad.  I remember hoping beyond all hope that she would notice me.  Luckily, I caught her attention and she came to our rescue.  She was too big to fit under the pint-size hole so she had to climb the fence.  When I think back to that moment, it strikes me at how calm she was.

The only thing I remember from this point on is us standing on the front stoop of our apartment.  Whenever I recall this part of the story, it’s as if I am suddenly inside the foyer looking at the scene through my mother’s eyes.  She opened the door to her 4 year old daughter and a complete stranger who was holding her son (who happened to be completely covered in green muck).  I remember her becoming panicked over what could have happened to her precious boy who was supposed to be playing in the front yard and ripped him out of my hero’s arms.  Seconds later when my mom looked up to thank her, our angel was gone.  Just like that, she seemed to have vanished into thin air.  We never saw her again.

I think about that angel every once in a while and whisper a quiet “thank you.”  I can’t even begin to imagine how different my life and my family’s life would be had she not come along at that exact moment.  I strongly believe that God has a master plan and my brother was meant to be here, on this Earth, to fulfill his purpose.

 

My baby brother and me 39 years later

 

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About scrapbookeasy

Thank you for visiting my blog! Here's a little about me: I am now a stay-at-home mom courtesy of a little epidemic called "A Bad Economy." It was quite a blessing in disguise because all this new-found free time gave me the opportunity to start an online scrapbooking supply business (you can find us at www.TheScrapbookPeople.com. We are geared toward the busy scrapper and offer easy to use products and kits -- sorry, shameless plug). Scrapbooking is a craft I found, jumped into and became an addict of almost 20 years ago. I love history, so what better way to preserve my own history through this wonderful craft, right? I love to share new things that I learned, discovered or think about with everyone so enjoy!

Posted on October 13, 2010, in Memorabilia Pockets. Bookmark the permalink. 22 Comments.

  1. I am crying ! What a beautiful story… I will say it over and over again. You are an amazing writer ! I believe in angels too. I believe there are those heavenly angels that watch us from above and intervene during our darkest moments .I also believe in angels that live beside us here on earth , regular folks who are pure in heart. For me, you my friend have been an angel in my life. Thank you !!!! I look forward to your next story. Teri~

  2. Oh my goodness! What a story! I had knots in my stomach. I can only imagine how your mom must have felt when she realized what had happened.

  3. WOW!! You made me sob!!! You turned this near-tragedy into a such a poignant and emotional recounting. You are an AMAZING writer and I look forward to your next installment.

    What a day that was for me. I was vacuuming the living room carpet and looked out the big picture window to see you and “our angel” heading to our front door with your brother covered in muck and had no idea what had happened. I have truly believed all these years that the girl who saved him was definitely an angel sent by God as we knew every child in that neighborhood and never saw her before and never saw her again. She just disappeared after handing him to me. It brings me chills to this day!!!

    As you know, Eddie has escaped death many times since. While serving in a war, his near-fatal experience in Haiti, and surviving the Navy jet crash at Ft. Bragg that killed or critically burned many of his fellow soldiers. He was a witness to it all, but gratefully remained unhurt. He has survived for a reason.

    Thanks for these beautifully written and often comical accountings of your youth. I treasure them and look fondly to the next installments.

  4. Beautiful. Thank you for sharing this poignant reminder of the preciousness of our children’s lives.

  5. What an amazing story! Thank God that girl came along when she did. She must’ve been an angel because how weird for someone to just walk off without a word after saving someone’s life!

  6. Great memories that you have. As a mother , I can imagine your mother’s reaction. I too believe in angels and agree, she was at the right place at the right time. Wonderfully written and look forward to your next chapter.

  7. I have goose bumps after reading your story. It is wonderful to see how God provided for you at this moment. I especially appreciated your mother’s perspective on this moment in your life. I can’t wait to see how God continues to work in your life and your brothers as you reveal your story in your Piggy Tales.

  8. Maureen: I am so happy that you believe in Angels. I do also and I’m so happy to be apart of your scrapbook stories. I look forward to them lOVE yA mRS. P

  9. I loved reading your story, and I’m so glad your brother is ok! Can’t wait for the next one.

  10. Chills, Tears, Fear, Relief, Awe… So many feelings brought out in this post.

    Thank you so much for sharing this story! I love how you added a picture from now as well.

    I’m so happy to see your mom is reading these stories too and she’s right- you are a wonderful writer.

  11. Beautiful. What an amazing incredible story. Thanks for sharing

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