This is a portion of a "Grandma Cary" children story called "Angels". Since I began to focus on miracles last week, and posted my accident event, I chose to share this one, too. If any of you want the whole "Angel" story, I'd be glad to send it. This begins rather in the middle.
...“You know what, girls? I remember a time when I believe an angel was very busy helping my family when I was a little girl just about your age. Want to hear the story?”
With her eyes rolling and talking fast, Makayla said, “If it’s the time you fell out of the car and your dad ran over your legs, but you ended up OK, we already know that story and you never mentioned an angel when you told us."
“No, it’s not that time. It’s another time entirely, a couple of years after that, and it’s even far more, wonderfully more, miraculous. But before I tell you, let’s get out of the kitchen – it makes me either want to work or eat, and I’ve had enough of both of those today. Let’s go up on my bed.”
The girls headed for the doorway as Grandma Cary took one last glance around the kitchen and turned out the light. The three of them headed up the stairs and climbed onto the bed, plopping down in the middle of the pile of pillows and pulling the comforter up around their chins. The girls snuggled up against Grandma Cary, one on each side. Then the story began pouring out of Grandma's mouth... and heart.
“A very long time ago, more than fifty years now, our family was traveling from Portland, Oregon, where we were living, to Tacoma, Washington, where we had piles of family -- aunts and uncles and lots and lots of cousins. It was a trip of about 150 miles. In those days, It took much longer than it would now. No Interstate highways back then and just single lanes. Usually cars weren’t able to go as fast and, even if they could, speed limits were a lot lower.”
Miranda popped in. “Mom sure would have had a harder time driving then,” she laughed, and Grandma Cary shook her head and laughed along with her and Makayla. Their Mom had a reputation as a pretty fast driver and everybody teased her about it.
“Back to the story, Miranda.” Grandma winked at her. “We were going to Tacoma for Christmas, and it was a dark, rainy and foggy evening. I was 8, Niki was 3, and Patti was 2, Teri was about 10 months old, and Mom was expecting my sister Betty. In those days cars didn’t have seat belts or safety locks on the doors and there weren’t car seats for babies. Mom says that Niki and I were sitting on the back seat and that I was holding baby Teri. Patti, the 2-year-old, was playing around in the back, and had been hollered at a couple of times to stay away from the door.
"Suddenly, Patti leaned on the door handle and disappeared out of the car on the passenger side. I screamed about it and Dad hit the brakes. It took a few seconds to get stopped, especially since – and this is the scary and strange part – we were going over a bridge. There wasn’t anywhere to pull over.
“Not long ago when we talked about this for the first time in many, many years, Mom told me that somehow Patti, instead of flying outward from the car, and hitting the concrete side of the bridge, she bounced along the road and into the lane behind them. A man driving behind us saw her fly out, and he stopped. At first they couldn’t see her -- it was dark and foggy -- and then they heard her whimper. The other man found her in the middle of the road and he stood over her and protected her until Mom and Dad could reach her. Mom says that Patti had been wearing a heavy snow suit, heavy shoes, and a stocking cap. The cap was gone, and her head was badly hurt and she had a wound on her neck. The man told Mom and Dad that his wife worked in a hospital nearby, so Mom held Patti in her lap and Dad drove to the hospital as fast as he could. Niki remembers Patti being all bloody, and screaming all the way to the hospital and in the emergency room.
"Mom and Dad left Patti at the hospital with the doctors and we all went on to Tacoma about 60 miles away. The three of us girls stayed there with an aunt and uncle so Mom and Dad could go back down to be with her. Patti was only in the hospital overnight. Even though she was pretty scratched up and had a concussion, they couldn’t find anything else really wrong with her, so the doctors sent her home. Mom said Patti had bandages all over her head, and that she was really hurting. She didn’t want anyone to touch her. That’s really hard on a Mom, because when your baby is sick, let me tell you, you want to hold them and rock them and make it all better.”
Grandma Cary looked at the girls. For once they didn’t have much to say. They looked back at her with big, serious eyes.
“So, Grandma,” Miranda asked, thoughtfully. “Where do you think the angel was?”
“Over the years, as I’ve thought about this accident, I’ve realized an angel must have been there to ‘aim’ Patti away from the bridge wall and somehow under or around our car and then softened her landing. To land in the middle of a highway like that, and not have a car hit her, and to find her in the fog, and the guy to stand over her to protect her -- all that is pretty amazing.
"When my Mom and I talked about this she said there must have been an angel, and believe me, Mom had never been an angel-thinking kind of person. But when we wonder, sometimes, whether angels can see us and know what we’re doing and what could happen if they weren’t paying attention, all I have to do is remember riding in the backseat of the car and watching Patti fly out the door..."
For many years of being caught up in our family generational addictions and much of the abuse, Patti struggled. Niki and Patti have been in the Northwest all these years. Niki, who had come to the Lord when she was 19, had prayed for Patti and sought to draw her to the Lord and free her from all she was buried in. [I was rarely in the NW for many years and seldom saw Patti even when I was visiting.] A few years ago, in her early 50s, Patti suddenly truly understood that the Lord would forgive her when she accepted Him, and that she knew He had protected her all those years. The photo is one I took of them a year ago when I was out visiting and the three of us went "playing" together for a day on the Oregon coast. Believe me, fellowshiping with my sisters is a wonderful blessing beyond belief.