An Unexpected Angel


There I was on Christmas morning at the grocery store shopping for the fruit I had forgotten the day before.  Surprisingly, I was not the only one doing some last minute gathering.

The smell of freshly brewed Starbucks coffee wafted through the store, and on the way out I treated myself to an eggnog latte thinking it an appropriate way to start Christmas.  When the gal with a big smile and a hearty voice said, “Good morning, how are you?”, I burst into tears before I could answer.

“Why, girl, what is the matter with you?  It’s Christmas!”

“I just learned my mother died.”  Though the news had come several hours earlier, I had not cried, but now the tears were flowing, in front of a stranger no less.

“Oh, girl, what a perfect Christmas present!  You mean your mother passed to the other side on Jesus’ birthday?  You couldn’t ask for a better gift than that, and I just know He welcomed her with open arms.”

While her words didn’t stop the tears, they gave me a new way of looking at Mother’s death.  In many ways it was a gift.  Recent months were difficult, and just the day before my prayer was for her not to suffer, to be at peace.  Perhaps her going to sleep was God’s way of answering.

I am grateful for the eleven years she was close by.  They provided an opportunity for healing, for forgiveness and for us to say I love you.  When relationships have been difficult, you can’t ask for more than that.

And, I am grateful for the angel at the Starbucks counter whose words helped me through a difficult morning.  Her presence just goes to show that blessings may come in most unexpected places.

14 thoughts on “An Unexpected Angel

  1. We often take for granted what is so familiar. Southerners know how to comfort.

    When Germans visit the US they always, always come back saying how friendly and warm everyone in the US is, and in the next breath say how “superficial” it all is. It is both at the same time. Southerners are past masters at finding the right word and the right register, providing comfort and welcome and solace just when you need it and I bless them for that. No one needs to be your best friend to let you know that you are a person worthy of love.

    I keep trying to find the way to show that care without being cloying or intrusive. Some just have that gift and above all, Southern ladies.

    I am so sorry for your loss.

    Love,

    Sharon

  2. May she rest in peace, Lulu. My prayers for you. My dad was buried on Cmas Eve when I was a teen, and my mom died on my 50 th birthday. You will always miss her, but the good memories will get you through.
    Give yourself time to grieve and heal, and celebrate her life.
    Many blessings in 2012.

  3. Linda, I have always shared a very close and loving relationship with my own Mother as you know from my blog. To enjoy the blessed gift of having a Mother in our lives is something that not everyone gets in this lifetime. You and I are among the richly blessed. Not only did we get to have them, love them, enjoy them, learn from them, argue with them, go through ups & downs with them, share special occasions with them, and bear grandchildren for them, but we got to do it for a good long time. More than 50+ years of our lives. Not everyone can say that. And for that we are truly blessed. Even though there were some very tough times mixed in there, you were blessed with the last 11 years for healing and forgiveness and renewed awareness of the love you shared. I am so deeply, deeply sorry that you lost your Mother, but so very, very glad that you at least had that chance to heal the relationship. Further, I thank God for that Starbucks Angel who knew just what to say. I’m putting my arms around you now and sending you a hug so tight you can hardly breathe for a moment. Know that you are thought of and loved from afar tonight.

  4. I am glad there was someone who gave you comfort in your time of need. As much as anything else, this is a definition of our humanity. Yes, you did have an angel on Christmas morning. You needed one, and one appeared.

    In one culture, condolences upon the death of a family member are expressed this way, “May all your sorrows be behind you.” When I first heard that, it seemed somewhat cold, but knowing how hard the last few years have been, not just for you but also for your mother, I hope your sorrows are all behind you.

    You were a good and dutiful daughter these last few years, a greater credit to you as things weren’t always good between the two of you. You can exhale now, you can put the sorrows behind you and you have the ability to selectively remember only the good.

    If I can help in any way, please let me know. Love, Dixie

  5. I’m very sorry for your loss. We have some friends who lost loved ones over the Christmas holiday and I was thinking how tough that must be. But what that Starbuck’s angel said has made me think about it differently. It’s a very comforting thought. Be well, my friend.

  6. What a bittersweet way to spend Christmas. And how sweet of the little Starbucks angel to give you words of hope. I grieve with you at the loss of your sweet mother…there is nothing like the love between a mother & daughter. We are never prepared to let them go. May you find peace in your heart. Even after almost 9 years, I still miss my Mom so much…but it does get better with the passing of time. With sympathy… Sheila

  7. I just keep thinking about how Grandma got to Heaven in time for the best birthday party ever. I bet Jesus put in a special request for her fried pies and chicken and dumplings!

    Glad you could have a good cry with the Starbucks angel. You don’t have to be strong. You were a good daughter and deserve to shed some tears.

    love,
    Lins

  8. I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. I lost my mum many years ago, but she’s still with me, as will yours be with you.
    So I want to wish you a happy new year and as you say angel’s come in all shapes and sizes. Claire

  9. I’m so sorry for your loss. And I am so glad that you had time together and nearby to reconcile and heal. What a gift, as well.
    What a dear girl – indeed, an angel. I’m thankful she swooped down and instinctively shared her beautiful perspective.
    May you find peace and more blessings as you honor your relationship with your mother.
    All my best to you.

  10. I know this has been a tough year for you! Lost Mom in March, but I totally agree with your Starbucks angel. They are free of pain! Praying for your continued peace.
    Love, Marci

  11. Thanks to all of you for your kind words. You, too, are angels. My thoughts are also with Mary, Pam, Judy, Marci, Edward and Micki who have lost a parent in recent months

  12. While I am sorry for your lost, I’m glad to know you at least were able to forge a relationship with your mom. Reading your story, made me think about my broken relationship with my mom and perhaps it’s time I try to do the same.

    I believe angels are sent to us when we are truly in need and usually at the most unexpected place — in your case, Starbucks. I’m glad she was able to give you comfort in your time of need.

  13. An angel needs comforting too and God sent you one. That is really lovely — how He makes us see things beyond our immediate thoughts. Celebrate her birth in heaven — same day with Christ! Hugggggs to you.

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