Day 2 Blogging Challenge: Talk about a time in your life when you have been “touched by an angel,” or had a God wink moment that helped you get back on track or see something in your life through new eyes.
I recently went on my very first trip overseas to Italy. My friends and I had been talking about it for over a year, and we finally made it happen. The excitement of this trip was unmatched by anything else I had experienced so far in life.
I’ve always believed in guardian angels. I’ve always believed that my guardian angels are, in fact, my grandparents. I was fortunate enough to actually have six grandparents in my life, as my dad was adopted at a young age. However, without going into the complex details of my family history, let’s just say that I really only knew one of them. Two of my grandparents died well before I was born, one I never knew existed until after they died, and the others died when I was too young to fully establish a relationship with them. The one that I was closest to was my Pops on my Mom’s side. He passed away from a heart attack on Easter Sunday when I was four. My parents found him in our bathroom. Needless to say, Easter hasn’t really been the same since. It’s not one of my particularly favorite holidays.
I’ve always envied people who’ve had their grandparents in their lives because I’ve never really had the opportunity to know what that was like. The grief I feel for all of them never goes away. To be quite honest, I don’t think it ever will.
With all that being said, I’ve had quite a few moments in my life when I’ve really felt their presence with me. This happened most recently on my trip to Italy, specifically on my last night in Rome when I was at the Vatican. Growing up in South Louisiana, I come from a very traditional Catholic family. My Granny and Pops were very involved with their faith. I have my Granny’s rosary that’s well over fifty years old, and I keep my Pops’ bible on my nightstand. As I was walking through the Vatican that evening, I became pretty overcome with emotion for the first time in awhile. It’s hard to explain exactly what I was feeling at that moment. It’s also important to note here that I am not, by any means, a crier. It’s so rare to see tears fall from my eyes. Seriously, it never happens. However, in this moment, I felt my eyes water a little bit because I strongly felt my Granny’s and Pops’ presence right there with me. Here I was, standing in the Vatican feeling more connected to them than I ever had in my entire life. It felt like they were both right there walking right beside me and taking it all in with me. Until I realized that they weren’t physically there. They were there with me in spirit, but that was it. I quickly realized that that particular moment of the trip wasn’t for me at all. It was completely for them. Their first granddaughter was standing in a place that they had only dreamed of going to, but never had the chance to make it there during their time on Earth. But, they certainly made it there with me.
I had been doing a lot of soul searching prior to this trip and most certainly during it. Feeling their presence that evening just gave me such an immense feeling of comfort and reassurance. It was almost like I could hear them saying to me “it’s okay. You’re going to be fine, and we are just so proud of you. Please stop worrying.” These were the words that I needed to hear when I didn’t even know I needed to hear them. Something changed in me in that moment. It was so freeing. I felt like I had finally come full circle. I accomplished something that was once only a dream. I visited the place that my grandparents would have absolutely loved to have gone to. I did it for myself, but I also did it for them, and I wholeheartedly believe that it was no coincidence that I ended up there when I did. No coincidence that I had met my friend less than a year earlier who shared the same travel dreams as me. No coincidence that I survived as a preemie early on in my life. No coincidence that I’d defied a lot of odds in my twenty eight years of living. My grandparents have been with me every step of the way. Guiding me in the right direction, protecting me from the things that aren’t meant for me, and loving me, even when I may not always deserve it.
So, yes, I like to say that I’m touched by an angel all the time. Several actually, and I hope and pray that they stay with me for as long as I live.