My friend, Nancy, has a mother, Zelda, who is ill with a terminal condition. Nancy has brought Zelda to her home and is taking care of her there. Due to this terminal disease, Zelda has bouts of memory lapse and strange behaviors, which Nancy indulges within reason. One of these is that Zelda likes to sleep on the couch in the enclosed porch, so Nancy has made her an alternative bed there.
One night, Nancy had lain down to sleep. Sleep would not come, however, because she kept hearing odd noises coming from the enclosed porch and kept seeing a vision of the glass-topped coffee table that stood in front of the couch. Try as she might, Nancy could not dismiss this image from her mind. Sighing, she got up to see what was going on.
Quietly opening the door to the porch, Nancy was aghast to see her mother on all fours smack atop the glass-covered coffee table! She stood there in shock, thinking how her husband had just had the top repaired because of a crack, wondering how on earth her mother had managed to get on top of the table, and wondering just how she could extract her mother from the table without breaking the glass again. For the problem was that the glass would surely break if Zelda were to put uneven weight on the glass, as she must if she were to get herself off the top of the table. Without a second thought, Nancy hurried to the table, put her arms around her mother’s chest, lifted up, and stood there for a second, expecting her mother to help with the extrication.
As Nancy lifted Zelda up into the air, she was expecting her mother to put out a foot onto the floor, or an arm to steady herself and aid in the extrication process, neither of which her mother did. Instead, Zelda had curled up her arms and legs, tucking them up against her body. “Ma! You’ve got to help me get you down!” cried Nancy, but Zelda just held her pose. In the next instant, Nancy found herself gently easing Zelda onto the floor, completely unharmed, with the glass still intact on top of the coffee table.
As Nancy calmly told this story, I just sat, open-mouthed.
“Do you know that you’ve just had Heavenly help in getting your mother off that coffee table?” I asked, awestruck.
“Yeah, I could feel it,” replied Nancy.
“Doesn’t this seem strange to you?” I asked, still awestruck.
“No,” replied Nancy. “I just expect it. They’re around all the time. It’s just part of life.”
I sat back, speechless. On questioning Nancy closely, she has these kinds of experiences often and takes them as a matter of course (doesn’t everyone have their own private Angel for just such occasions?) and expects that help will be available whenever and wherever she needs it. While I sat there, impressed down to my toenails, Nancy just treated this episode as a normal facet of life.
Be that as it may, I extracted every ounce of information from Nancy that she was willing to give, just to have the information complete so I could pass it along to you, dear Readers. We even walked into the porch to look at the physical setting. On doing so, I was even more impressed at how Nancy was able to accomplish getting her mother off the coffee table in the manner she had described, because after looking at the physical setting, there was no earthly way that Nancy would have either the strength or the leverage to accomplish what she had done without otherworldly help. Allow me to set the scene:
The enclosed porch is attached to the back of the house, runs its entire length, and is connected to the main house by two glass doors. Three sides of the porch are windows, covered by vertical blinds. It houses lounge furniture and the immense glass-topped coffee table. This table is approximately three feet wide by three feet deep and 2 ½ feet high, made of a bamboo-like material. The entire top is glass. It is situated in front of the couch; along one side is another stuffed arm chair. There is only approximately 1 ½ feet of space between the couch and the coffee table, so there is not much room for anything except feet. If a short person were to stand next to the coffee table, the top of it would come to mid-thigh. If that short person were to bend over the coffee table, her arms would not reach the far end, and she would not have enough leverage to lift anything long and heavy off the table top. As both Nancy and I are short (5’ 3”), I could immediately see that what Nancy had done—lift her mother off the coffee table without help and without cracking the table top–was totally impossible.
First of all, Zelda is not light. She is a sturdily built woman, who weighs approximately 150-160 lbs. That alone would preclude Nancy’s being able to lift Zelda off the table without help. Then, Zelda did not cooperate in getting off the table, but only just curled herself up into a ball when Nancy picked her straight up off the table. Picking Zelda straight up off the table was impossible both because of Zelda’s weight and the very important fact that Nancy would not have been able to get enough leverage to do so, since Nancy is so short in relation to height of the coffee table. Perhaps a strong, young man 6 feet tall or greater and weighing 250 lbs. could have lifted Zelda straight up and over, but not Nancy. Yet Nancy had done it, and she was not even out of breath. Lastly, there is the issue of setting the woman down safely after having lifted her off the table. Having lifted her mother up and over, Nancy would now be faced with setting her mother down onto the floor without hurting her. Remember that Zelda weighs approx. 150 lbs. That, coupled with gravity (F=ma for you physics fans), gives a great force downward that must be retarded in order for Zelda not to fall on her head with a thump. Nancy, with her small size, does not have the strength to retard that much force without endangering her mother’s well-being, yet it was accomplished. Her mother did not fall, did not hit her head, just gently came to earth.
One more point bears stressing: that of the tiny space between the couch and the coffee table. Even if Nancy had had some superhuman burst of strength and power to lift her mother off the coffee table by herself and set her down safely, there was not enough space in which to accomplish this incredible feat. Yet, Zelda was extracted from off the top of the glass coffee table by her short daughter without stirring a hair of her head. Wow. Just wow. This, dear Readers, is what your Angels wish you to remember: that help is available to you at all times, free for the asking. Just ask, expect, believe, and voila! Mission accomplished.