Sometimes friendships, like angels, fall out of the clear blue sky.
I’m fortunate enough to have stumbled into such a friendship.
Now I don’t claim this young woman is a literal angel. I’m always a little skeptical of those who claim to have met real angels. My doubt is based on accounts of such occurrences from the Bible. Those who met angels in the Bible were always scared out of their wits. They “fell on their faces as if dead,” or were “sore afraid.” I believe a few may have, to put it nicely, pooped in their pants (or peed their frocks, as it were). No touchy-feely cherub-faced angels are present in scripture.
No, this angel is more along the lines of the earthly concept. She’s young, beautiful, hard-working, intelligent, and has a compassionate heart.
The Redhead and I first met Liz at a Mexican restaurant in a nearby town about a year ago. We had been told this place was the “real deal,” and being lovers of authentic Mexican food, we decided to give it a try. It was as good as advertised–the best I’ve had anywhere in Alabama. We spent that original visit chatting with the wife of the owner. We do this at all Mexican restaurants–we try to speak a little Spanish, they try to speak a little English, we talk about our mutual interests. We didn’t meet our soon-to-be friend on the first visit, but I did notice the only employee who was not Hispanic. She was easy to spot, because she never stopped moving–a veritable machine of the waitress arts–a blur of activity.
On our return trip, we were seated at a table in her section of the restaurant. I started the conversation with my standard joke for Caucasians who work in Mexican restaurants: “I sure hate to see these white Americans taking Mexican jobs.” She actually laughed out loud (the Redhead has heard this one so many times that she rolls her eyes because she knows it’s coming).
Over the next few trips, a friendship formed. I’m not sure why. Something just clicked. Perhaps she missed her parents back in Georgia. Perhaps we were on the lookout for a potential daughter-in-law. Who knows? But some sort of bond was formed, and we feel richer for it.
Over the months that followed we visited the restaurant about once a week. We eventually met her fiance’, a fine young Mexican-American man. We met at other restaurants for dinner, we four, and talked about things of mutual interest: Mexico, the U.S., politics, the two languages, and our families. We dined together in each other’s homes. The angel made us a delicious cake at Christmas and another one for my birthday. We rushed to the emergency room one night to check on her when she was sick.
And then came the night a month or so ago at the restaurant when the angel told us that she had to fly away. She was moving back to Georgia to help out with a sick grandmother.
That’s what angels do, after all. They help when they are called on.
We traveled to Georgia this weekend to watch the angel and her handsome hombre tie the knot. It was a small ceremony–just family and a few friends–so we were honored to be included.
So now we are left with mixed emotions. We are sad and feel poorer knowing we will miss our friends. But we are equally pleased and happy to have witnessed young love as it embarks on the exciting but perilous journey of lives joined together. And we are thankful for the short time we had together.
Such is the experience of those who encounter angels. Their lives are never quite the same.