My first angel

angelIt seems fitting to be talking about angels in this festive time of year.

I believe that no matter what is happening in our lives, there are sweet moments and lovely people. The trick is, and this is a hard trick, to be able to sift through all the craziness and be able to see it and focus on it.

One of the first angels who crossed my path was 25 years ago already. I am not sure I recognised her at the time, but with a look back it is amazingly obvious to me how important she was and what she was able to give me. Though she was very busy with her own reality as we walked into our adventure at the Montreal Neurological Institute, she saw us.

You see, she was there with her son Michael. He was a young man, in the hospital for his second brain surgery. She was staying somewhere in Montreal so he would not have to face it alone. Her husband had to go back to work.

Michael’s mother was lovely and strong. She took what was happening in stride, even the disappointments; at least outwardly. She expected the same from her young adult son. I saw.

I would love to share what I know about her…but I don’t know much. I don’t even recall her name. She was the mother of a young man who was having his second brain surgery in hopes of stopping very bad seizures. He was her youngest. I don’t know how many other children she had but do remember her mentioning  others.  Though we had also seen his father, he had to go back to the state of New York to his medical practice since he had his own patients to care for.

I saw Michael’s mother during my beloved’s seven week hospital stay. I was there daily for him and Michael’s mother was there for her son. We did speak on a few occasions. Since I was in a fear induced fog, I believe Michael’s mother approached me. Maybe she took pity of the deer in the headlights look in my eyes. Maybe she had noticed me watching.


Of all the conversations we must have had, the one that sticks out in my mind is when she explained the trick to speak to the doctors. She explained the structure of this particular hospital. It seems that there were scheduled meetings where the doctors would discuss patient cases. Michael’s mother told me that if I found out about where and when they met, I could wait outside the conference room, stop the doctor and ask my question.

It was news to me that we were allowed to ask questions. In our terror, we just waited for whatever snippets of information were granted to us on the doctors’ schedule. We were passive and in fear. Michael’s mother gave us a permission to have questions and to voice our concerns. For that I am eternally grateful.

She was my angel, probably unknowingly. At the very least, she does not understand how she changed the way we would face our ride. I not only learned from her sharing but also learned by watching her actions and reactions. Her presence was gently supporting to this newbie.

I have tried to pass it on as she had done. I hope that both my husband and I have succeeded at making someone else feel less alone along their way. Since we haven’t been present at the hospital very much in the last few years, I can share this way.

Please join us next with ‘Tis the season to share.

I would love to hear from you if you wish to leave a comment or start a conversation.

Feel free to share this entry or the blog in hopes it lands on someone’s desk who may be feeling alone on their own crazy ride through a medical situation.