Finding Angels in Real Life
When Angels are Necessary
My father was cynical, my mother blissfully oblivious. My sister became super positive and spiritual. I preferred to call myself a realist. Reality, at times, can suck. We've all heard that it's a matter of perspective, or how we view the world. Well, the world is a certain way, and if we view it correctly, then where is there room for interpretation?
I've been schooled, because sometimes what we see is only one aspect, or one part of the whole that doesn't show the complete picture or tell the true story.
When did this new understanding and knowledge come to me? It wasn't while I was on top of my game, handling life successfully, and knowing I had it all under control. It was when things went out of my control, and my family suffered some difficulties. That's when the angels appeared.
I'm not talking about visions of heavenly creatures floating in the sky above me. I'm using the term angels for the people in my life that have manifested such goodness, that there is no other way to describe them. It's not always the ones you think, the ones that are comfortable and have more to give, that end up being the saviors. It's the ones that have known hardship, and emotional pain, that will give when they have little themselves, and will do it with such love.
Live in Abundance
Blah, blah, blah. I have to tell you, my sister is a life coach and I heard this so many times I wanted to puke. Live in the moment. My moments were full of worry for what was to come next. My husband's job was up and down, and we were finding it hard to make ends meet. If I followed my sister's advice I could skip around all day and pretend things would be fine. That was my understanding of her words. (Sorry sis.)
I WANTED to live in abundance, but the world wasn't cooperating. The economy tanked, and our savings and what little retirement we could plan on was whittled down to pennies. Oh well. We're healthy and middle aged. We can still take care of ourselves and our growing kids. Right?
Positivity Takes Practice
It was dear friends of ours that gave us some unbelievable gifts right around Christmas time that made my heart and eyes begin to see the world differently. They didn't have much, but they wanted to share by buying us fuel and a few gifts for the kids. That was probably the kindest thing anyone had ever done for us. We'd had other times where we experienced generosity, but this really made me smile. And cry. I always cry when good things happen.
Ok. So maybe the world wasn't all bad. There are still good people out there, you just have to find them. Thank goodness we'd been lucky enough to find this couple with such huge hearts. They are our best friends, but they are also our angels.
I started to think and feel more positive about life. Good things can happen even when we don't expect them, so why worry so much that we make ourselves sick? Trust in God, or the universe, or whatever source you look to for help, and don't give up hope. I amazed my sister as I came out with more and more positivity.
"Checks in the mail," I'd say. Or, "Look how amazingly the universe provided for us just at the right time."
I wasn't easy having someone else pay for our fuel, or help in financial ways, but I was reminded that if I am trusting in the universe to provide, I can't complain where it comes from. I was kinda getting the hang of the positive life. A few bumps came and I struggled to stay positive, thinking maybe that now I was being tested. Car broke down? I can find a ride. No work this week? Sell that thing that I wasn't that attached to. I can do this!
Are We Being Tested?
Does God, or the Universe Test Us?
Testing, Testing, 1,2,3
I can't help feeling like I'm being tested. Not just me, but my whole family. Right when I thought I was getting the hang of looking at life more positively, we had a major medical event that has changed our whole lives.
My husband had a Carotid Artery Dissection, or CAD. You can read his whole story here: http://expressionsforlif.hubpages.com/hub/Carotid-Artery-Dissection
My husband did not suffer a stroke, yet, but his carotid artery dissected, which means he is at risk for stroke for quite a while. He is now limited because the blood clots are sitting there, waiting to move into the brain. The pain at times is almost unbearable. He has damage to facial nerves, and the nerve rich artery itself. Healing can take months, to years, and even after that he will be limited to lifting no more than 10 lbs for the rest of his life. My big, strong, proud man can no longer provide for his family and do the activities he loved. His tear is too long and too risky for surgery.
Now that he is out of the hospital, we have many doctor appointments to monitor his condition and many new medicines to keep him alive. He now has a family doctor, a neurologist, a cardiologist, and a vascular surgeon. We have been meeting with each of them them every two weeks. They all want co-pays right up front or we have to pay more and we can't make more appointments. But we have no money coming in right now. Disability hasn't started paying, and we hear that can take months. How can we afford medicines, and doctors, and healthy food that is required, and the house, and heat and more. We have to have car insurance, or how would we get to the doctors and the pharmacy?.
We have two children that are working hard to take care of their parents, when they should be concentrating on their own futures. Our daughter is in her last semester of college, which she has financed herself, and our son is still in high school. Since my husband made enough money, I worked on and off and tried to be available for the kids, but I never developed a career that would provide enough for our family at a time like this. We now cannot pay for our home, or our car, or much at all.
How can someone stay positive at a time like this?
One thing I can tell you that got me through the first few weeks is the fact that my husband is still alive, and is still his same old self. We are so lucky in that way. The nurses and doctors hovered and stressed for days waiting for him to stroke in the hospital, and they continued to do tests because they couldn't believe he had been that lucky.
I can't imagine what my life would be like now, mourning the loss of my soul mate while trying to provide for my family. Of course, I now know that social services only work if you are willing to stay at such a poverty level that you'd have to live in a cardboard box. I don't understand how a family of four can live on less than $700 to qualify for aid. We are still hoping for some aid while we wait for disability and figure out our new job situation, but I don't think it will be much help.
Guess what? Here come the angels. Not just the friends that we love and know love us back. My young nieces, with young growing families and their own economic problems have worked hard to be sure we are fed right now. How can I not cry about that?
People that we don't see that often, but have the largest hearts, have expressed such concern and support for us that I am shocked and amazed. I had no idea I was surrounded by so many good people. I knew they were out there, but I didn't realize they were so close to me. My children's friends and their families have been kind and generous to them, and us in return. My husband is learning that some of his friends care more than he knew.
Why did it take such a catastrophic event to open my eyes to the good in the world? I hope that my children will remember the lessons they are learning right now. We no longer have the technologies we thought we couldn't live without, like cable and smart phones, but no one really minds. We have Daddy, alive and talking. He is in pain, but he has hope to get better over time.
We can't afford both cars, so we will attempt to juggle all jobs and school schedules on one, but at least we have a vehicle. We will have to move from what has been our home for much of the kids lives, but it's just a wood and brick building. We have each other, and I am so thankful each night when we are all here, safe and warm and fed, that we have the angels around us to keep us going.
How Will This Affect the Kids?
It hasn't been an easy thing for my kids to process. My daughter is almost ready to start her own new life, and is now worried about how we will survive. My son is still in high school, and I think it's affected him the most. His world doesn't seem as safe and stable as it did a month ago. He almost lost his dad, and the fragility of life is ever present in his mind.
We have raised two beautiful, smart, kind-hearted children, and I hope this strengthens them instead of creating more fear and anxiety about the future. My son started a fund raiser for our family, because he is so worried about his dad. Did I mention his dad isn't supposed to stress while he heals. :)
I am taking each day, one day at a time, and when I feel myself giving in to fear and uncertainty, one of our angels comes through with a hug, or a phone call, or a loaf of bread. My children will be very giving people after all this. We've been on the giving side before, but I think having to receive the charity of others is a gift in itself. It teaches us so much empathy for the rest of the world.
I would love to hear from others that have experienced CAD, or stroke, or medical emergencies that have changed life for your family. Any information that will help us through this will be so appreciated. I know there are many more angels out there than I could have ever imagined, and just hearing from you makes my heart lighter.