Everyday Angels

Today I’d like to tell you a more serious story.   It’s kind of long, and a little sad in places, but don’t worry – everything turns out okay in the end.  And it includes some angels.

 

Once upon a time, there was a girl. We’ll call her “B”. B had a lot of problems, not the least of which was that she was being abused daily at school. The abuse was verbal, but the abusers were cruel, cutting, and constant in their “attentions”. It had started in elementary school, but really picked up in junior high school. See, B was very chubby, very shy, somewhat geeky, and scared. In other words, she was a prime target. Things got pretty intense.

 

By the time she’d made it to 9th grade, B was what you might call “at risk”.  Today she would have been put in counseling or on drugs. She didn’t tell her parents, but B had started to think some pretty unhealthy thoughts. Sometimes she thought about running away (maybe to go live in a tree like “My Side Of The Mountain”). Sometimes her thoughts were darker.

 

Then at the beginning of 9th grade, B walked into the Home Economics class.  Everyone was sitting around tables. The only available chair was at a table with boys. Boys had been her biggest and most constant tormentors, although girls certainly contributed. As she stood, not knowing what to do, one boy at the table looked up, smiled, and said. “Here’s an empty chair. Why don’t you sit here?”

 

B sat at the table and eventually she and the boy became friends. She made friends with the other kids at the table too.

 

Fast forward to 11th grade. B had taken on a project that was beyond her, bitten off far more than she could chew. It was a lot of responsibility, but she didn’t know what she was doing or how to handle it. She felt helpless and afraid. Because of who B is, she locked all of those feelings up inside. Everything kept spinning tighter and tighter inside her until she really thought she was going insane. She probably was on the verge of a nervous breakdown. She might even have been having one.

 

Then there was this girl. This girl and B had been friends for a long time, even though B could be a real jackass and had a lot of issues. The girl had remained B’s friend even when she probably shouldn’t have. When B was at her worst in this particular situation, the girl knew she was in trouble. She said, “You’re really upset. You need to get away from this. Why don’t you come out with me and my grandmother?”

 

B went with them. She couldn’t quite explain it, but it was like a huge weight lifted off her shoulders. There’d been an elephant stepping on her chest, and after that small trip, it eased off a little bit. She still sucked at what she was trying to do, but she had a friend who cared enough about her to try and help.

 

This boy and this girl were everyday angels in B’s life. There were other angels too, and they kept materializing as the years went by. They always seemed to show up when things were at their worst, offering encouragement or hope.  And, in part due to their timely interventions, B has lived and grown and even managed to thrive. After a while she learned sometimes she could be an angel too.

 

I guess all that I’m trying to say, in a very long-winded way, is that we just never know. We don’t know how something we say, some little action, will impact another person. We don’t know if we are going to be somebody’s angel. We don’t know if a little remark, a simple act of kindness, a throwaway gesture, will save someone. We don’t know if our cruelty will destroy them.

 

So please think before you speak, people. We can be angels, or we can be demons. The choice is completely up to us.

P.S. – this post is for all of my many, many angels. Love you guys.  Thanks.

Comments

  1. You are one of my angels – I am lucky enough to also call you friend! I love this post. And, as you know, I agree 100%. But I gotta tell ya – some of the people down here? Make me NOT want to be an angel. I got cursed out in anotehr language because I told some 20-something woman to quit shoving in line. Seriously.

    Keep the halo shiny!

    • Betsy Horvath says

      @Ann: Thanks and back atcha, babe! And there’s a difference between being ticked off and being deliberately cruel – quite a big one. You’re an angel almost all of the time anyway. LOL 😀

  2. Beautiful post!!! Those seemingly little things can be life changing! Thanks for sharing this with us!

    • Betsy Horvath says

      @Lynda K: Thanks, Lynda! It’s just something I’ve been thinking about, especially now that I’m back at work after vacation. 🙂

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