When a mysterious grassy patch of my front lawn died this past
summer, it left behind the non-mistakable figure of an angel with
wings and a halo. Neighbors and family had a good chuckle and
speculated that God was telling me to attend mass a bit more
I argued that God just wanted me to use less fertilizer.
In an age where fewer Americans believe in any kind of greater
power, helping children grow up with a sense of faith has become
increasingly difficult. As someone who finds enormous strength and
comfort through faith, I have always wanted the same for my kids. I
do not care what religion they ultimately practice as adults, I
just want them to enjoy a sense of peace and love in their lives. I
instruct them that signs and miracles are indeed among us, but are
often difficult to spot without faith.
A little while back, my brother-in-law was on his way home when
he started feeling nauseous. Convinced it was the flu, he pulled
over to throw up. As he was preparing to get back in the car and
drive home, an old Polish woman exited a nearby CTA bus and walked
toward him. She gently patted his shoulder, and in stilted English
offered the briefest of advice:
"I think you sick. I think it your heart."
My brother-in-law John, who only moments before had planned to
crawl into bed for a good long rest, altered his destination
immediately. He pulled up in front of Christ Hospital, threw his
keys at the security guard, and hurried to the front desk. And at
that exact moment, one of the leading cardiologists in the entire
state just happened to be standing right there.
John was on an operating table in less than 10 minutes. Had he
waited even five minutes more, this story could have ended quite
Since that day, the family has discussed the timing of the
little Polish lady from the bus. Most women walking alone would not
approach a man retching in the street. I probably would have
written off the guy as a drunk. Maybe another mom wouldn't have
wanted to risk contamination.
But not that old Polish lady.
Whether she was an angel in disguise, or more likely, someone
who lived her life with great kindness and caring, I do not
consider her appearance a coincidence.
John and his new wife celebrated their first wedding anniversary
last month, and I can't help but think someone out there gave them
the best gift ever.
Miracles, it seems, still do happen.
Marianne is mother of three sons and the wife of a southside Irish fireman. She has learned that sometimes you're just too dumb to know what makes you happy. She blogs regularly at We Band of Mothers (webandofmothers.com) and curses with even greater frequency. Her material is written for the imperfect, the imprudent, and the impatient mothers who know that all this stuff is really very funny if you just give it a minute.
See more of Marianne's stories here.
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