Tag Archives: angels

Shaking My Can on the Corner

I know, it doesn’t sound pretty.

What I mean is that I was “shaking a can” for ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) on the corner this morning.  It was amazing.

I saw a lot of volunteers standing in the rain to help!

I witnessed generosity in spades.

There were lots of people saying, “God Bless!” which of course, I loved and immediately responded with “GOD BLESS YOU TOO”.  I think that’s one of the nicest things you can say to someone.  We all need to be blessed.

I saw kids reaching out their hands from the back seat with coins to share.

I met people who shared their stories of loved ones lost to this terrible disease.

There was a woman who came back around in her car after she went home to get more money.

I saw a priest who stopped to contribute and told me a story about a fellow priest who suffered from ALS.

There were Mercedes and beat up cars and Cadillacs and delivery trucks and motorcycles and teenagers learning to drive.  There were people with dogs and families together and babies in back.  There were older couples.  There were people dressed up and people who were sweaty coming straight from a work out.  There were women who just finished running a race for breast cancer.

A hospice nurse stopped to tell me to check out her bumper sticker which said “Stamp out  ALS”.  Her eyes were so kind and I got the feeling she knew this disease intimately.  I thanked her for what she does every day…hospice nurses are angels.

It choked me up.

I got a glimpse today.  I got a glimpse of goodness.  Actually, I feel like I got a gallon of goodness.  What a blessing.

This disease is bad.  Do what you can to help. Give. Pray. Smile at people who are on the corner shaking their can.  Even if you don’t give money, look  up and make eye contact, wave and acknowledge.  There are people in pain.  There is suffering.

But in the midst of suffering, there is grace.

We are in this together.  Thank God.

To all the moms out there – HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY.  Thank you for your love and your healing and your smiles and your warm cozy hugs.  Thank you for dancing in the kitchen and picking us up at 3 am.  Thank you for your prayers.  Thank you for believing in us.  Thank you for advocating for us.  Thank you for running out to Walgreen’s late at night because we forgot we needed posterboard.  Thank you for your wisdom.  Thank you for your understanding.  Thank you for holding our hair back when we puke and for wiping our tears.  Thank you for changing our diapers and feeding us and feeding us and feeding us.  Thank you for listening. Thank you for sweeping and cleaning and shoveling and planting and decorating.  Thank you for sharing your faith and your knowledge and your hope and your dreams.  Thank you for your courage.

This is big.  Because when you got into this thing called motherhood, maybe you didn’t know what it was.  Nobody told you because nobody could.  It’s different for all of us.  It’s joy and it’s laughter and it’s pain and it’s worry and it’s fear.  Deep down fear.  Fear of failure and fear of our babies not being safe.  But it’s faith too.  It’s faith in something bigger and something better and something really real.  It’s faith in LOVE.  It’s faith that when we share our love, we create something beautiful.  We share, then our kids share and then the world shares and we are all so much brighter.

Thank you to all the moms.  Mine, yours, you, me, everyone.  Here’s a poem I received when I was awaiting the arrival of my first baby.  Oh man…it kills me.

BABY ASKS GOD, “THEY TELL ME YOU ARE SENDING ME TO EARTH TOMMORROW,  BUT HOW AM I GOING TO LIVE THERE BEING SO SMALL AND HELPLESS?”
GOD SAID, “YOUR ANGEL WILL BE WAITING FOR YOU AND WILL TAKE CARE OF YOU.”
THE CHILD FURTHER INQUIRED, “BUT TELL ME, HERE IN HEAVEN I DON’T HAVE TO DO ANYTHING BUT SING AND SMILE TO BE HAPPY.”
GOD SAID, “YOUR ANGEL WILL SING FOR YOU AND WILL ALSO SMILE FOR YOU.” AND YOU WILL FEEL YOUR ANGEL’S LOVE AND BE VERY HAPPY.”
AGAIN THE CHILD ASKED, “AND HOW AM I GOING TO BE ABLE TO UNDERSTAND WHEN PEOPLE TALK TO ME IF I DON’T KNOW THE LANGUAGE?”
GOD SAID, “YOUR ANGEL WILL TELL YOU THE MOST BEAUTIFUL AND SWEET WORDS YOU WILL EVER HEAR, AND WITH MUCH PATIENCE AND CARE, YOUR ANGEL WILL TEACH YOU HOW TO SPEAK.”
“AND WHAT AM I GOING TO DO WHEN I WANT TO TALK TO YOU?”
GOD SAID, “YOUR ANGEL WILL PLACE YOUR HANDS TOGETHER AND TEACH YOU HOW TO PRAY.”
“WHO WILL PROTECT ME?”
GOD SAID, “YOUR ANGEL WILL PROTECT YOU EVEN IF IT MEANS RISKING HER LIFE.”
“BUT I WILL ALWAYS BE SAD BECAUSE I WILL NOT SEE YOU ANYMORE.”
GOD SAID, “YOUR ANGEL WILL ALWAYS TALK TO YOU ABOUT ME AND WILL TEACH YOU THE WAY TO COME BACK TO ME, EVEN THOUGH I WILL ALWAYS BE NEXT TO YOU.”
 AT THAT MOMENT THERE WAS MUCH PEACE IN HEAVEN, BUT VOICES FROM EARTH COULD BE HEARD AND THE CHILD HURRIEDLY ASKED, “GOD, IF I AM TO LEAVE NOW, PLEASE TELL ME MY ANGELS NAME.”
 GOD SAID, YOU WILL SIMPLY CALL HER, “MOM.”

Angels indeed.   Enjoy your day Moms!

©2012 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™ All Rights Reserved

Protection

There but for the Grace of God go I.

– John Bradford

I was in Chicago recently. 

I used to live there when I was in my 20s.

Now, in my 40s,  I see it in a whole new light. 

I kept thinking of the quote above. I guess as we get older, we become more intimate with our mortality.  We are not as brave (or clueless) as we used to be. I have no doubt angels were looking out for me throughout my life but I kept them especially busy in my 20’s. 

We were at the Vic for a concert.  I’ve been there many times for concerts and movies (Brew and View anyone?).  And now I want to say this: Thank you God for protecting me in the many crowded, dark places I frequented.  Thank you for getting me home safely.  I tested you.  I pushed my luck.  Thank you.

The bike riders were inches away from dying, cutting it close at every turn.  (Is this true or is it just my motherly perception?) Thank you God that I was never hit by a car or hit anyone with my car. 

Sitting there at the Vic, an overwhelming feeling of gratitude engulfed me.

I see it as a mother now.  Where I saw opportunity, now I see risk.  Where I saw fun and action, now I see danger and the unknown.  Where I saw freedom and escape, now I see chaos and a lack of boundaries.

So with my gratitude, Lord, today I ask for the ability to see like I’m young again.  To recognize that the need I had to experience the city may one day visit my children.  I may be driving their stuff down in a U-Haul for them to room with 6 girls in a one “bedroom” which looks a lot like a closet.  Give me the courage and the strength to let them go.  Not only to let them go but to encourage them to experience the fun, the action, the freedom and the escape that the city offers. 

You and your angels were strong enough to protect me.  I know you are not going anywhere.  I know you’ll be there when my kids are in their 20’s too… Right?

©2011 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™ All Rights Reserved
picture of The Vic Theatre from flyingabruzzobrothers.com
picture of lincoln park street from chicago.ettractions.com