Monday, November 30, 2009

Andrew, my Guardian Angel

Today is the Feast of St. Andrew, which is my middle name, my Dad's name and also the name of my Guardian Angel. How do I know that, you ask? Well, two years ago we were out at Franciscan University in Ohio, visiting our son. If you've never been there it's worth going to if your in the area. For myself, I can truly say that on that campus I felt the real presence of God every time we were there. He is in the buildings, on the grounds, with the Franciscan priests, the brothers and sisters but especially with the students. It's quite a place. The have a beautiful replica of the Portiunculla, the first church that Francis rebuild, and very near to that chapel is a Memorial to the Unborn. H and I always spend time there, sitting on one of the stone benches,
each with our own thoughts. On that occasion, in a great overcoming rush of memory, I remembered that in my previous life, now far back in a time I can't believe at times it actually was, my first wife became pregnant, and she had an abortion. Our baby, and she had the abortion. And I let it happen. Then, as even now, in times of stress, I'm not very good. I usually either freak out, yelling, saying things I shouldn't, emotions running rampant, sense out the window. Or I clam up and hide in myself for a while, hide until someone else takes care of the problem or it goes away. I remember doing just that, I can still remember the numb feeling that settled in. Her Mother even helped her. It was bizarre. I put the whole thing away, put it away in one of those dark chinks we all have just for those occasions. Until Our Lord brought it back for me on that warm October afternoon, sitting on the smooth stone bench, as I gazed at dried red roses that someone had left, the many sets of rosary beads draped across the headstone, the small candles flickering. He let it come back with the strength of a freight train, no holding back, Our Lord saying here, here is a gentle reminder of what man can do, what we do do every day, what I did back then. And it hurt. I had never felt that hurt, never had anyone snatched away like that and I let it happen and he/she was gone. I will always carry with me that tremendously sad howl that came from that dark chink where I'd stored that memory. I'll remember both days, the day I wanted to forget and the day I remembered forever.

And after I'd calmed down, after prayer, after H held me and didn't say a word, all of a sudden he was just there, and I knew with 100% certainty that he'd been there forever, my Guardian Angel, right next to me. I felt God's love coming from him, he felt so familiar and I knew his name was Andrew. In his own G.A way he was saying hey, I'm here, I'm yours, ask me and I'll help.

Andrew has been busy hanging with Helen, whose been battling a possible case of Dengue Fever. By the look of things, he helped.


the booklady said...

A beautiful, tender, haunting reflection ... on so many counts. I'm glad I read it today. I've had one of those days, not like you're describing, but a day even so. Sometimes it's frustrating (especially this time of year) when everyone wants you to be happy-happy and you're in a different place. It's nice to find someone and/or a story ... or something which validates both realities. Your discovery of your Guardian Angel was a journey for me as well. Thanks for letting me come along. Everything in our lives happens for a reason. God doesn't waste anything.

May this Advent season bring you closer than ever before to Saint Joseph, his young bride and our mother, Mary, and their Divine Child, Jesus.

Anne said...

Wow, thank you so much for sharing this touching story of such a sad memory. God knows all those little nooks and crannies where we hide our pain and our sin, doesn't He? What a relief it is when he finally draws it out and lets us heal.

God bless you!