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Thursday, July 18, 2024

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Angel In My Path

By Sheila-Anne Jargowski, South Dennis

There was a time in my life when I was helped by an angel.

I met an angel. I was surprised and grateful for this gift.

Here is that story.

I walked through the door of the lobby of Chicago O’Hare International Airport, carrying my small duffle bag and feeling worn out, even at 7:30 a.m.

There were Christmas decorations, large in size, that filled the lobby and stairs and archways of the giant airport.

I zeroed in on the kiosks to get my boarding pass and begin the process of making my way to the plane.

I had completely figured out the moves needed to get through the airport, with its security and baggage and gates and the vast size and the volume of people. I had been going several months for medical treatment every 14 days, to Zion, Illinois, and this had definitely trained me for the mission ahead, navigating yourself through an airport.

It was early December 2005. I was heading home to my dear husband, Peter, and lovely dog, Cleo. My medical treatment now completed, in a few hours I would be back in New Jersey and finishing the holiday plans, recovering and getting some rest, too.

For my airport checklist, the first thing I have learned is to pack light. Second, take an empty water bottle to fill after the security check. Third, wear shoes that are easy to remove and put back on. Forth, keep moving until you get to your gate … and know that they might change that gate after you get there.

The best airport practice was taught to me by the travel concierge, Marge, at the medical center, where I was treated. It was to wear your hospital bracelet at the airport and wear it proudly, and make sure the staff can see it and they will want to readily help you. And so, I had it on. I did need help to get to my gate on time.

After getting the boarding pass and confirming the gate of my flight, I sat at the benches designated for wheelchair passengers.

There were a few people ahead of me, so I got comfortable and listened to the Christmas songs playing, and people watched. Families loaded down with baggage and people running and some folks getting upset. You know, a holiday airport.

When my turn arrives, a young man came over and asked if I needed help getting to my gate. Yes, please, I said. I am just a bit wary and it is at gate 8, quite far into the airport.

His voice was so calm and his moves were purposeful and he was very much enjoying his work. He put my feet on the foot rest, placed my bag in my lap and we headed to TSA.

I told him that I was careful and did not have any liquids or gels or anything that would delay my flight.

He said, then we are a great team … and to my surprise he wheeled me past the line and right up to the full-body scanner to walk through. He put my bag on the conveyer and even took my shoes off and put them in a bin to be scanned. Then he said, you just walk through and I will bring the chair to the other side for you, and he did. His movements were very controlled, his face full of joy, he was very sure of himself, and yet in a kind and caring way.

Then he moved us out of the way and put my shoes on my feet and my bag back in my lap. He asks me if I was doing alright and if I needed to buy food or any needs. He took me to a fountain to fill my bottle with water. Then he said, can you hold on because we are going to go kind of fast. I was thinking, I have got to get a tip out for this man, he is going beyond a basic wheelchair ride, he is almost angelic in spirit. Also, I suddenly felt well and strong and carefree. I had no worries of making it to the plane and making it home and I felt profound love and peace in a giant airport.

When we got to my gate the plane was boarding, so he helped me up to get in line. Such a graceful and mannered person, such a people person. I turned to him to hand him the tip he had earned and I said to him, thank you, you were like an angel coming to help me today. He stopped, cocked his head, and then he said this, Angel, that’s what my mom named me … and he held out his ID card … Angel Pall was his name, and he was my angel, in every way, on that December morning watching out for me.

I was thinking. What do angels do?

Throughout the Bible we are told that angels have many roles, including praising and worshipping God, being God’s messengers, being God’s holy warriors, watching history unfold, being guardian angels, and protecting and directing people on behalf of God.

These activities can sometimes overlap.

As well as watching creation, they also watch people, as it seems that we are fascinating to them.

Perhaps the most famous role of angels is as “guardian angels.” This seems to be a normal duty of angels in the Bible, not a big and special role. Several times in the Bible, angels are seen as guardians, protectors and comforters.

Have you had an angel sighting?

Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels; unaware. Hebrews 13:2

A very merry Christmas to all and peace on Earth.

This writing is dedicated to all my caregivers (you know who you are). They have been my angels, and have led me to wellness.

Be an angel in everyone’s eyes when you make and gift these simple, yet delicious, crispy butter cookies. Here’s the recipe.

EZ Butter Cookies Recipe

1 large egg

1 ½ cups sugar

2 sticks (1 cup) soft butter

2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon almond extract (optional)

Beat butter and sugar until fluffy/add egg and extracts and mix well/add remaining ingredients and beat until soft batter forms.

Divide in half and press each portion into a 13×9 pan (I use two foil pans). Decorate if desired. Bake 325 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes until edges are light brown. Allow to cool for 15 minutes and cut into desired-sized cookies.

Great to dunk!

Jargowski writes from South Dennis.

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