I am, as my late husband Jerry would tell you, no angel. I even have something widely known to my close friends and family as “the evil twin” — an antic, contrarian side that is hardly a fit with my normally calm, reasonable, disciplined demeanor.
Given that, it always takes me aback — in a good way, though — when people describe me as an angel sent by God into their lives at a particularly difficult time, to help get them through. Minga and Gloria have both said that, and given their deep religious faith, I simply nod and smile although I feel the appellation must be somewhat misplaced. In this year’s round of Christmas greetings, I heard it again — from a woman I first met professionally, lived in proximity to for only a year, and now see at rare intervals. We stay in touch at least at the holidays, share news of our families, and refer back to the difficult event that forged our friendship only in passing. She too is deeply religious, and in this year’s note placed my presence in her life at that particularly challenging time as a sign of God’s not having abandoned her.
There have been people in my life, lots of them, who seemed to appear improbably and with support that I desperately needed and may not have been getting from more predictable sources. I am deeply grateful for them, always hold them close to my heart, and continue to give back — as I do with Minga — in whatever way I can. I don’t think of them as angels because that’s not my mental framework, but who knows? Maybe they are.