(For this to make sense you will need to scroll down for part one)
When I arrived at the hospital, I found my friend seated by her son’s side holding his hand. He was in pretty bad shape, but after a while he did begin to respond and we all breathed a sigh of relief. I had become very good at watching hospital monitors when my mother was ill, so I took up my vigil watching. After a while several family members started filling the room, so I hugged my friend goodbye and slipped out, ready to head home and take back the roll assignment.
But then I looked at my watch. It was now 3:30 p.m. and I still hadn’t marked a single item off my original Christmas to-do list. Being just a mile from the mall, and knowing the rolls were well cared for, I decided to head south for a quick run into Penney’s.
I hurried up the stairs, found what I wanted and got in the long line of customers waiting to check out. Just before it was my turn, I noticed an older woman ahead of me wearing a “Grandma’s Rules” t-shirt. As the little old lady hobbled off, in my cheeriest voice I commented to her that I liked her shirt. She didn’t even look at me as she walked past. Note to self, “Don’t try to be friendly to old grumbling grandmas during the Christmas rush.”
I put my purchase on the counter and pulled out my wallet, when I noticed a set of unfamiliar keys sitting on the counter, most likely belonging to the old woman. I handed them to the cashier, made my purchase and hurried down the stairs to head home. But as I reached the door my conscience began to bother me and I thought I should at least look around to see if I could spot the owner of the keys. After a cursory search, my conscience was eased and I headed out.
Then into my mind came the thought to go back and leave by a different door. On my way back through the store, I glanced over and there at the cashier stand was Grandma Grumpy. I went and told her that she may have left her keys upstairs. That is when I learned I had been judging her erroneously.
She responded with, “Oh, no!” She caught hold of the table for balance and then looking at me pleadingly she added, “I can’t go up and get them. I just can’t.” She went on to explain she had recently had surgery and had only been home a few days. She was feeling okay earlier and thought she could hurry to the mall to make a few needed purchases but now she was feeling very ill and couldn’t do anything but go home.
I ran back up the stairs and across the floor to the cashier. Hoping I looked honest, I explained I had found the owner of the keys and would take them to her. She no longer had them. She had taken them to “Lost and Found” so I now needed to go there. No problem. I ran back across the floor, found “Lost and Found” and asked if I could have the keys. “Sure” the lady said, “You just need to tell me what they look like and I will give them to you.” Are you kidding me??? I didn’t think telling her they weren’t mine would be a good idea at this point, so doing my best to remember, I vaguely described them. She handed me a set, and hoping they were the right ones, I ran back across the floor, down the stairs and over to where I had left the old woman standing. Only she wasn’t there. She had wandered off in search of a chair.
Finally, I found her, gave her the keys and headed once again for the door. But just as I got there I glanced back and noticed the woman attempting to gather her packages. I knew there was no way she could carry all those items, so I went back and offered to help her to her car. She accepted my offer and we very slowly made our way across the parking lot to where her car was parked.
And then my day changed completely.
With tears in her eyes, she reached up and gave me a very big hug and said, “Thank you so much! You are my angel.”
As for the rolls . . . well, other than Lisa’s husband trying to tell me she burned them, all was well. Lisa brought beautiful, fluffy and perfectly golden rolls to the dinner that night. As I enjoyed one with my meal, the words of the grandma at the store kept echoing in my mind. I may have been her angel, but Lisa had been mine.
And then I realized something. When I ran off to help Wendy, Lisa needed to help me because I had been helping Michelle, and I was helping Michelle because she had been helping Jennifer, and Jennifer and Wendy both helped me at my daughter’s wedding.
It was a circle of sisters. It was a circle of angels.
And then I remembered a quote by Joseph Smith in this month’s visiting teaching message that said, “‘If you live up to your privileges, the angels cannot be restrained from being your associates."
I was surrounded by angels.
And that is a pretty nice place to be.