Giving Thanks: A

From Pinterest.
From Pinterest.

Today, we’re starting off with things to be thankful for starting with the letter A. So let’s get started…


From Pinterest.
From Pinterest.

Throughout my life I’ve researched the stories of angels.  From cultures in the most remote areas of the world to the folklores each religion tells, they all speak of angels appearing to humanity since the beginning of time.

Each age has spoken of the contributions angels have made to humanity.  From fire to farming to medicine, they have been credited as giving direction to mankind on how to survive.

These days, their roles have evolved even more as they continue to be our saviors…helping us in our most dire need.  It doesn’t matter which religion or background you come from, angels (in their spirit form) seem to still be aiding us and continue to be a large part of our lives and culture.

You can see their mark.  They protect the one doctor at the Boston Marathon just a few yards from the bomb as it goes off.  Why?  So that doctor can help save as many people as possible after the bomb has gone off.  Sure, you could ask why they didn’t just stop the bomb to begin with…in my experience, evil will happen, regardless.  They just find a way where even though the evil act will happen, they need to find the one soul that can contribute the most good during that tragedy.  One angel chose that doctor to help the survivors that day, because at that very moment, that is what the survivors needed more than anything.

While I have yet to see angels stop evil from taking its toll on humanity, I’ve seen them tap the shoulder of certain human beings that will end up helping those who need help the most when the time comes.

One of the first memories I had return to me after I lost so many of them after my surgery last year was the angel of death himself paying me a visit.  While most cower at the thought of that, I view him a little differently.  He’s helped me in so many ways over the years, including forcing me to deal with something that lay hidden within my soul that needed to be dealt with. These are the things you can’t take with you when you die.  If you do, it will keep you out of heaven.

He forced me to deal with the last guy that broke my heart.  I thought I was over it, but his focus was on forgiveness.  Forgiving him for hurting me worse than anyone had ever hurt me before, and forgiving myself for hurting him by leaving.  It was the latter part that was the most difficult…forgiving myself for hurting someone I loved by leaving.

Since our first encounter in Vatican City, I see him a little more frequently and I’m not that scared of him like I used to be.  I understand his role in the grander scheme of the universe.  Death and rebirth is a natural part of the universe.  We see it in the seasons.  Without fail, the leaves fall.  In the spring, they are reborn.  We see the constant wheel of life spin as things die and then the most beautiful things emerge.

I’ve watched in one family as they lost a mother to cancer, a year later a baby arrives.  {In this family’s case, two babies arrived.}  This is the circle of life.  Within loss and great sorrow, new life will emerge and bring joy.

Back to the surgery, one of the last things I remember before the anesthesia took effect was the angel of death visiting me while I was being prepped for surgery.  He told me I didn’t need to worry.  He wasn’t there for me that day.  He was there for someone else down the hall.  He wished me luck and let me know I was going to survive this…for a good reason.

In the few months leading up to the surgery, the doctors told me to prepare for the worst from the second we discovered the tumor.  The worst is death.  I was told to get my house in order because I may not survive this.  I spent those few months preparing myself and everyone for what was to come.  And then Death visited me to tell me I was going to live right before the surgery.  Believe me when I say that a weight of worry had definitely been lifted and at the right time.

When I was in the recovery room dreaming I was floating on a river watching the world go by, I could hear a nurse yelling at me to wake up and breathe.  I wasn’t breathing.  She needed me to concentrate on breathing.  I realized I was dreaming, which meant I was alive, so I opened my eyes to see people around me trying to wake me up.

I started focusing on my breathing to get the machine next to me to shut up.  I laid back and realized that I was floating on that river of life I always see in my meditations, the never-ending sea of God’s love, and I felt drunk on that love.  That’s when I realized that there was a good reason why I was given another chance at life.

The events of what happened last year changed the course of my life.  There’s my life before the surgery, and then there’s life after the surgery.  It’s focusing on that ‘good reason’ that I am shaping my future.

Angels, no matter what their ultimate role is, are here to help us in our journey in life.  I am thankful that they’re always helping us, because God knows, I need a lot of help navigating this adventure.  It’s also nice to see their mark on humanity.  It reminds me every single day that we’re not alone.  We are never alone.

Other A Things…

Other things I’m thankful for…Asian culture and food, apples, Anne Rice, Amy Tan, artichokes, Anthropologie and ART.  And probably a whole hell of a lot more stuff… 😉

About Michelle Kenneth

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