Christmas angels found in unlikely places

Published 8:14 pm Wednesday, December 19, 2018

It was December 2011, and I was in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, tending to my daughter and her family. Cancer decided to pay my daughter a visit in the fall of that year, and by Christmas, her long blonde hair was gone, her skin pale and her spirit was hanging on by a thread. 

She, along with her husband and child, were unable to travel to Atlanta for Christmas as they usually do. So, it was decided I would stay in Florida, and my two other children would join us for the holidays.  I think if it had not been for my daughter’s 6-year-old, Christmas might have stayed in boxes that year, and Christmas joy would be drowned in sorrow.

Santa and a 6-year-old know not to let cancer mess with their plans, and I am so thankful they pushed Christmas out of storage and into our hearts.

Two days before Christmas, I needed to go to Costco to pick up the tenderloin I was determined to cook.  Cancer was also not going to mess with tradition and my stubbornness.

“Heather, do you feel like going to Costco? It will be extremely crowded but might be fun.” 

“Yes, I would like to go!” she answered, leaving me a bit surprised.

Heather donned her scarf as only she could.  She has always been my fashionista child, and during her chemotherapy, she learned to tie beautiful scarves around her head in such a way everyone was amazed. 

Cancer was not going to mess with her model looks and sense of style.

When I saw all the throngs of germ-carrying folks in the store, I silently prayed over and over, “Lord, keep Heather safe.”

We finally made it past the cashier and stood in a long line for the gentleman employee near the exit to check our receipt. 

Once we finally reached him, he took our ticket and then looked up at my daughter wearing her exquisite scarf. 

People often stare and whisper when they see a young cancer patient. You notice them doing so, but you also know folks don’t know what to say and their look is usually out of concern and worry. 

A man so busy with trying to get folks out to the parking lot, suddenly gazed into my daughter’s eyes, paused and with sincere empathy said, “Merry Christmas and good luck, ma’am.” 

A Christmas angel in the most unlikely place stopped for a moment to extend the spirit of the season. Cancer doesn’t mess with kindness.

Delta flight 1175 from Ft. Lauderdale landed early in the morning at gate A15 in Atlanta on Monday, Dec. 10, 2018.  I had just flown out the Saturday before to watch my now 13-year-old granddaughter perform in her Nutcracker Ballet. 

The pink ladies sign above the restroom called my name as soon I walked away from A15 toward baggage claim.  Of course, there was a line of women waiting.  There always is, except today was different.

As soon as I entered, I noticed a tall woman standing toward the end of the line directing the restroom traffic, which I immediately thought funny. With her mop as her prop, she yelled in a booming voice, “Merry Christmas!” to each person as they walked into the restroom. 

Then as each woman left to go on about their lives, she boomed again, “Have a blessed day!”

A Christmas angel in the most unlikely place extended her joy to countless women who had the pleasure of visiting her workspace.

These last few days before Christmas, look for the Christmas angel in yourself and in others.  You never know when your spirit will touch someone’s soul and boost them into having a blessed day. 

I will never forget the two angels I encountered because their spirit rose above their circumstances, and in their way, made the world a better place by merely extending human kindness.

Love for others is the joy found in Christmas.   A sincere belief that goodness will rise like the stars in the sky and shine upon all of us.  Christmas is hope, forgiveness, and mercy wrapped in a baby born long ago in Bethlehem. We are all capable of being known as Christmas angels if we will use our spirit and convey the extreme joy of being a child of God.

May the light of love shine through you like a beacon so that others you meet will notice your own angel wings.  Have a heavenly, merry Christmas!

And the angels said, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”  Luke 2: 14