Touched by Angels
By: halexander@norcoind.com
I believe I had an experience with angels.  It was October of 1996.  I had went to work at 6 a.m. as usual and I wasn't feeling well.  I ended up leaving shortly after arriving.  As I was driving home, I went straight past the road that would have taken me to my house and instead continued to go straight into the town of Cassopolis.  A few short minutes later I was pulling in to the driveway of my Aunt Helen's house.  I remember thinking to myself, "How did I end up here?" I had no intention of going anywhere except home and back to bed.  But I was already there and had been missing my aunt for quite some time.  You see, she was very sick.  She had emphysema and wasn't expected to live much longer.  Before I go any further about this day, I would like to give you a brief history of my relationship with my aunt.  She wasn't actually realted to me by blood.  Only by love.  When I was born in 1975, my grandparents' neighbors were very happy.  They naturally became my Godparents.  From the day I was born, they lavished me with love and attention.  Their youngest child was around the age of ten so I was the baby. I was at their house I would say about 95% of the time during my childhood.  I remember being told that one winter when I was only a little baby I was living in Edwardsburg with my parents.  It was about a 20 minute drive from where my Godparents lived.  Well, there was a really bad snow storm and my aunt said to her husband, "Jack, there is an awful storm and Heidi is all the way in Edwardsburg."  So they got in to their truck and basically plowed their way to Edwardsburg to pick me up to be with them.  Then when I was around the age of seven, my mother got re-married and we moved to Nevada to where her new husband had gotten a job.  I didn't want to go.  I wanted to stay in my little safe haven in Michigan.  I couldn't bear to be away from my aunt Helen.  When I lived there, after I got let out of school, I would walk home.  Many times on the way home, I would stop at a pay phone and stand on my lunchbox to reach the phone and call my Aunt Helen collect and tell her how much I missed her and wanted to come home.  She used to cry and cry because she wanted me back home where I belonged.  With her.  Shortly thereafter, we did move back home.  That was one of the happiest times of my life...when I saw her again after having been away from her comforting arms for almost a whole year.  To a seven year old, almost a year seemed an eternity.  As the years went by and I grew older, the times I was there were a little less frequent.  I had moved back to Edwardsburg with my mother and started school there.  I began to make friends and the older I got, the more I began to go out.  Being a teenager and worrying about boys and school, that was my life.  I still visited her.  Just not as often as I once had.  I just knew that whenever I needed her she would be right there always.  Being older now and knowing what I didn't then, I should have continued to spend as much time as I could with her.  But hindsight is always 20/20, right?  After I graduated from high school, she got sick. It was only the beginning.  I think I knew deep down, but I wouldn't accept the fact that she wouldn't be around forever.  She was by far the most important person I had in my life, although I loved my real mom and my family to pieces.  We just had a special bond, my aunt and me.  I even used to call her "Mommy" when I was younger and sometimes still did.  I thinks he liked it when I did.  For a while, I stayed with her every weekend, at least one night.  I would sleep in the recliner next to her bed in the living room. Even being 20 years old, it still comforted me to have her near me as I slept.  As time went by, I got more and more busy and didn't stay as much.
This takes me back to that day in 1996.  Like I said before, I left work and ended up at her house.  I still haven't a clue how.  I went in and stayed with her all day long.  Her hospice nurse was there for a little while too, and then she left.  It was just me and my aunt alone and we talked and reminisced about when I was little.  She told me how much she loved me and enjoyed watching me grow up.  I remember thinking how much I enjoyed our visit that day. I didn't even feel sick anymore like I had earlier.  For some reason I felt fine as soon as I walked in her door.  After a while, I had to go home.  So I kissed her goodbye and was about to leave.  What she said to me, I will never forget.  She said, "I think the angels sent you to me."  I didn't really know what to think of it then so I just smiled and left to go home.  When I left, she seemed fine.  She was talkative and was like her old self again.  I felt so good to have spent the day with her and I remember telling myself that I had to definitely go over there again soon. I just didn't realize how soon it would actually be.  I was only home for a couple of hours when her son called.  He told me that she had passed away.  He was always a joker so I told him to stop lying to me and that I had just left her and she was fine.  I told him how mean it was of him to say that to me.  But I knew.  I knew he was telling me the truth.  I just didn't want to accept it.  My mother took the phone out of my hands and I dropped to floor and just started to scream.  This was all too much to bear.  I got dressed and my mother and her sister took me to the place I had left only a few short hours before and as soon as I walked in the door and she wasn't there, that is when it hit me the most.  The fact that she would never be there ever again.  I still haven't felt that much pain before in my entire life. Only later did I realize that she had seen the rest of her family just the day before.  I think she was waiting to see me one last time.  I think she knew it was ok to go to God.  Her family was going to get through it, although it would never be easy.  She was the thread that held everyone together.  When she went to God, everyone felt so lost.  I know in my heart that angels did send me to her on her last day here on earth.  And I feel forever blessed that I got to say goodbye to my aunt, my Godmother, my best friend.  I hope my story inspires someone to reach out to a loved one whom they have lost contact with.  Everything happens for a reason even though sometimes it takes years to figure out what that reason is.  The angels must have known all the love in my heart I had for that woman and knew I would never forgive myself had I never had a chance to say goodbye.

In loving memory of Helen Louise Binns - my guardian angel.

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