Have you ever heard the song by U2, “If God Would Send His Angels”?
If God Would Send His Angels
Would Everything Be Alright?
God works in mysterious ways. You know that it’s God’s work when you are left completely awestruck. I could say that I have been completely awestruck since my grandfather passed away in 2007. The journey that I’ve been on since we laid my grandfather to rest has been beyond amazing. I have to take a step back sometimes and just realize that in this moment, this act has been touched by God.
I could also say that I am just as awestruck now about a matter that hits a little more close to my heart than my career (literally and physically).
A few years ago, when Kevin Weekes, Jed Ortmeyer and Ryan Hollweg were still New York Rangers, I met a disabled man in a wheelchair outside of the Rangers Toys for Tots event in Bryant Park. His name was Rolly. I’m sure that all three of those guys remember Rolly. The Rangers allowed Rolly into the small building after the event to meet the players. He got his picture taken with them along with a few autographs after all of the other fans had left. The Rangers were beyond amazing to him that day.
For some strange reason, God put me and Rolly together for a reason that day. I helped him get Rangers autographs of the other players that were there earlier that afternoon (which included me chasing after Weekes to ask him to sign an autograph for Rolly and have his picture taken with him…I wrote about that moment a month ago on this blogsite) and he helped me sort out the grand design that was happening in my life.
This, of course, was before I lost my grandfather to skin cancer. This was before I had a writing career. This was during the time where the end of the life that I wanted to forget about and heal from was coming to a conclusion.
It was over cups of hot chocolate that Rolly and I developed a spiritual bond. He needed that spiritual energy and inspirational aura that I tend to give off (which men are very susceptible to…something about there’s something about me that makes them want to become a better man…not a pick up line, because even gay men are susceptible to being infected by that aura). What I needed from Rolly was for someone to open my eyes and realize that God is still there for me, when I’m ready.
Rolly, to me, was an angel and I knew he was the second I started talking to him. Our meeting was just so random. I never talk to strangers, but after I dropped off the toys for the Toys for Tots, I met Rolly outside and stayed with him for the next 3 hours.
Rolly has been confined to a wheelchair for over a decade. He was hit by a car that left him paralyzed from the waist down. He told me that for the first seven years after the accident, he was mad at God. He was very angry and very bitter, but then one day he let it all go and began to have a little faith again.
Despite how crappy life can be, there’s always a way you can choose to live your life. You can be miserable or you can be happy. He chose happiness.
It was during this conversation that I started to let go of the reasons why I escaped to New York City and forgave that idiot that broke my heart. My new day was starting to begin.
Rolly and I talked maybe once a year after that…but the calls always came at just the right time.
Last fall, I felt the overwhelming need to call Rolly. Something was telling me that he needed someone. He needed help.
It was only today that I found out that I was being prompted to call him because he had hit a very severe depression and was mourning the death of his mother at that time. He had cut off the entire world in his state of mourning. I couldn’t get through to him on the phone that day, so I sat in wonder of what ever happened to Rolly.
Fast forward a year later and God is still working his magic.
While lying in the hospital due to kidney problems, his brother decided to get him a new phone and started transferring the phone numbers over. Out of the long list of numbers he had in his phone, only two numbers transferred over…mine and someone else.
When he told me this, I understood instantly that this was God’s work.
The message in this entire call was something I had seen in my own meditations over the past few weeks…something bad had been revealed, it will last for a while, but remain positive because everything is going to be okay. It’s only temporary…I’ll make it through.
Rolly called me right at the time that I am trying to tell myself to stop worrying. I have already accepted the worst of the situation, but you can’t help but worry when your body isn’t working the way you need it to. You worry that you won’t wake up.
You worry because the cat looks at you with worry in her eyes and does crazy stuff in the middle of the night to try and wake you up because your lung has stopped and you’re not waking up to realize that it has.
You can’t help it…but you worry, even though you shouldn’t.
I knew when I first had my surgery that there would be complications, but everything would be fine in the end. Those are the things I saw in my meditations. I knew that there would be a problem from the start. It would get worse, but then everything would be okay and I would be happier with the end result, but I would have to live with certain limitations. I never realized that the complication would involve an organ I did not have surgery on.
That’s where the worry lies…I didn’t have surgery on my lungs, but it failed during the surgery. I almost died on the table because I stopped breathing and they couldn’t get me to start breathing again. The attending nurse said they all thought I was going to die, but then I started breathing. It was shallow, but it was better than nothing.
Since then, I’ve had severe complications. The doctors have been treating it as a stomach related issue with a dormant asthma that awakened during the surgery. Well, the diagnosis has been wrong. The surgeon has been trying to cover up the truth of my surgery. I found out from the attending nurse ten months after the surgery because he accidentally leaked what happened after I looked at him funny when he asked me how my breathing was doing.
I went to my regular doctor with the news he had given to me and she couldn’t believe what she was hearing. I didn’t have asthma. I had a more serious issue (and she had diagnosed me with asthma). This is not her fault. It is the fault of the surgeon for not being honest with me 10 months after my surgery, fully knowing that there have been severe issues post-op. If we had known that my lungs had stopped during the surgery, my regular doctor would have diagnosed the problems differently. The focus would not have been on the stomach. It would have been on the lungs.
So that should tell all of you that there’s a potential malpractice suit forthcoming…because the cover-up is starting to look like the surgeon was at fault.
Knowing now that my lungs have stopped and are still continuing to stop and have been the true reason for all of the blackouts and fainting spells, it does scare the crap out of me.
You can see why it’s hard to keep telling myself again and again…stop worrying. Worrying helps nothing.
But Rolly’s phone call left me sitting there realizing, this is God repeating to me exactly what he’s said in all of the meditations…it will be bad at first, but it will get better and everything will be okay. Be brave, remain positive and have faith.
You see, I had my chest x-ray on Thursday. I meet with the pulmonary specialist in a few days. My last meditation came out with “Be brave. You’re going to need to be brave now.”
Those words have been repeating in my head all week long.
To hear Rolly give me the same message can only leave me with tears in my eyes and still in awe that God has gone this far to use one of his angels to repeat that message to me verbally (just in case I missed the first few times). Be brave, remain positive and have faith. [Now do you understand why only two phone numbers transferred over on his phone? There are no coincidences in life.]
Rolly is disabled and has been for many years. He has so many other ailments (and the fact that he’s calling me from the rehabilitation center), to hear him say those words to me…you can’t help but be humbled by God’s works. It reminds you that even when our bodies fail us, we still have to keep our positive outlook in life even more powerful than before. It takes a lot of strength to remain positive when you are scared to death.
Rolly’s enlightening words make me think about how I feel like a child sometimes that still needs to be taught how to become an adult. But I guess in God’s eyes, I’m still that young child that has so much to learn.
In the end, it’s our souls that live on. Our bodies are frail. They get sick. They stop working. It doesn’t live forever. It dies. It is our soul that always moves on.
Keeping the soul positive and surrounding my world with positive wishes is really the only thing I should be focused on.
He even told me to forgive someone who was not a friend when she was called to duty. He said that it’s best to know that she is that type of person (maybe she’s changed), but to give her another chance and forgive her.
It wasn’t until he said that that I realized God is too good. He’s been reading my thoughts and feelings, because over the past week I’ve been thinking about forgiving her, because I missed her. I felt like I was done being mad and that she probably could use my friendship. But at least I would go in knowing that the kind of friend I am to her will never be returned. I have to love without expecting anything in return.
For those who question God’s existence, I can only say that I have no reason to ever question God’s existence. Just read about my rookie year…if you were in my shoes, wouldn’t you be just as awestruck? I’m not talking about the people that I met along the way when I talk about being awestruck. I’m talking about the experience and being able to tell the story afterwards. I love immortalizing moments in life. Writing about hockey to me is like immortalizing a moment and telling all that want to know about it what I saw, felt, and learned.
This journey I’ve been on careerwise is beyond amazing that when I’m walking down that long hallway between the press room and the Devils locker room, I always get that awe-like feeling…the feeling that God has put me here. I didn’t choose this, God chose this journey. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
There is always a reason to everything. I understand why my body is failing. I get that. I don’t punish God for it, because he’s with me all along the way. I believe that the reason why this is all happening is for something much bigger than me. It’s to help someone I may not have even met yet. It’s for the moment when someone needs to hear God speaking that he’ll use my experiences and my words to tell that person to be brave, remain positive and have faith.