Angels Among UsIt is a little more than two weeks before Valentine's Day, a day which many people may find a bit stressful, but by the time one is well into their 60's or 70s, it becomes less so. We elders do not have to worry who will send us flowers, take us to dinner, or provide some chocolates demonstrating we are indeed loved. The theme of the day is love, but it is a time I like to think of others who are filled with love and those who make this a better world in which to live.
I would like to honor and share the extraordinary lives of four women whom I have had the privilege of knowing the past few years. They are not well known, paid well, or even acknowledged publicly for their endeavors, but their loving ways have not gone unnoticed. They are indeed the angels among us.
I woke up this morning with all four on my mind. I don't know how that happened. I haven't seen all of them in the past week, but I have felt their positive impact.
Let's call up the first amazing woman. She is Native American and filled with grace not only for her own family, but for other individuals who do not have the security of their own family. She embraces her children's friends and anyone else needing a place to be loved. She "adopted" an extraordinary young man and absolutely changed his life. She went out of her way to provide a celebration for an elder's 70th birthday. She gives and gives and gives with no thought of what she should get. This most selfless woman is the epitome of an angel among us. The world is a better place because of her. She is a very spiritual woman and I am grateful to call her friend.
The second woman who has made a deep impact on my life is a young woman who has had no children, but in her 40's, found a family that direly needed a mom. She has tirelessly adopted the role of mom to several teens and their dad. At first glance, one would think this woman has had lengthy experiences parenting teens. She is kind, loving, and patient - qualities one would only expect at such a level in angels. She goes above and beyond leading this family of lost souls. Her life is a model of what a mother should be. The family is beginning to thrive because of her tireless efforts. I am honored to know this young woman who is devoted to her church. She is indeed an angel among us.
Another woman is a neighbor with whom I've had a long and loving relationship. We may not see each other for months and, yet, if I needed her or she needed me, we could connect at the same level as before. This woman is a mother of ten, yet calls many more young adults her children. She is relentless in praising the Lord and inviting others into his kingdom. Her energy rivals that of the energizer bunny. She is constantly learning and spreading her positive message. Now she is even spreading her message of love through the air waves. She provides for people's temporal needs as well as their spiritual needs. It is a distinct honor to call her friend, another angel among us.
Lastly, but not least by any means, is a young Hispanic woman who is blessed with faith. Faith in her family. Faith in her church. Faith in the world. This young woman also extends her motherly bond to children not born to her. She encourages, praises, and disciplines others in order to help them begin to want success - education, spirituality, and not necessarily in that order. Her vibrant personality embraces the world and tries to make sense of it. She is passionate, sensitive, and hard working. I am proud to call this angel among us, friend as well.
All four of these women work so hard, not only at day jobs, but as leaders in their families. I really don't know the husbands well, but if I did, I would tell them to shower their ladies with love and appreciation. Tell them how proud you are to be their husband. I am so humbled by these women and grateful that they are part of the world and that I am a small part of their lives.
Happy Valentine's month to all of you. May you go out and find the good in others. May you inspire others with your gentleness and leadership. May you find serenity in all you do every waking moment of your life. It would be appropriate for you to share thoughts of other angels among us in your comments....