They say that angels come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. I found this out first hand today.

I was visiting the grave of my ole pal Richard today.  As usual, I get teared up when I’m there alone and have time to ponder how I miss him. How the things we planned didn’t happen. How he had a smirky grin. How he couldn’t taste or smell and we’d have to order half mushroom pizza because he didn’t like the texture of the mushrooms in his mouth. I’d remember putting S&H greenstamps in his grandfather’s empty stamp books for him. I’d recall the wrecks we’d work with me in EMS and him in the rescue squad.

I’d laugh and think about him driving to Murfreesboro to come see me, in this funky MG midgit that he loved,  when we moved there for nursing school. Can you still say MG ‘midget’ today? I never know now.

I’d laugh about how my wife got upset becaue I asked Richard to go with us to the movies on our first anniversary trip. I mean..he was lonely and we were going to see ‘Ghost Busters’ premiere. Seemed logical to me.

I’d recall how he called me to ask for my help moving in to his and Amanda’s new house the next Saturday and maybe I could help him with this new tractor he’d bought.

Then I remember the feeling when I got the phone call that he, his sweet wife and their unborn baby had been killed by a drunken driver.

To this day, I’ve never hurt like that. It’s a tangible hurt. I had just talked to him. He couldn’t be dead.

I mean…

We.

Had.

Plans.

So, today as I rewound these things alone in the graveyard visiting, I broke down. Again. I wasn’t done being his friend when he was taken.

Really, this situation is about the only thing that turns my water on. Having been in medicine for 40 years, you grow numb to survive. You have to in order to keep your sanity.

But this situation, 24 years later, still breaks me down.

As I was regrouping myself there leaning on his enormous tombstone, something special happened.

A car pulled up behind me and I didn’t hear it. I was startled by a voice summoning me;

‘Sir, excuse me’.

I whirred around to see a late model golden/tan Impala sitting there.

‘yes ma’am’ I replied to the elderly woman with bunned up white hair sitting behind the wheel.

She then delivered me a message:

‘I hope that you’re doing ok and I hope you have a good day’.

I was about to say thank you but her task was done and she promplty whirred her window up, put her car into drive and eased down the quiet cemetary street, took a left and just like that ..

she was gone.

Now, normally I’d just say it was an old woman trying to offer consolation to a tall bald stranger blubbering by a grave. But this was different.

It was as if she were an assigned courrier to tell me these things, without any conversation before or after.

And then she left as quietly as she came.

Richard was a very giving person. I have no doubt that today’s visit from the old woman in the Impala was a direction from him.  Because he probably felt sorry for me for ugly crying in public.

Some people don’t believe in angels. And up until today, I’ve had my doubts.

But considering the way this went down today and how it made me feel suddenly relieved,

why can it not be an angel?

Walking away from all of that I was wiping my face and putting my glasses back on and laughed when I thought

‘really..out of all the Victoria’s secrets possiblities,

you send me a message from an old lady in an Impala’.

That’s the best that I can tell about it,

~Mark