As most know by now, I was raised in Chelsea, Iowa and attended St. Joseph’s Parochial School in the ‘50s. I was about nine years old or so and we had just been taught about our Guardian Angels. Sister Gabrielis was sharing her thoughts about angels to a whole bunch of eight, nine and ten year old kids. Mine was about nine feet tall and had an enormous wing span and was assigned to keep me out of trouble. Ok, maybe not out of trouble, but from harm. Guardian angels were assigned to protect us from harm, evil and any kind of bad thing that might happen during the course of the day.
And how many of you know that nine year old boys can find a whole bunch of trouble in the course of just one day? I never actually had to go out looking for trouble.......geeeze, it usually found me.
Now for the rest of the story. Nine year old boy, (me). Just learned about Guardian Angels. Always protecting. Always keeping a watchful eye. No harm can happen to me!!! ‘Cuz my Guardian Angel was protecting me.”
About once a month or so, my mom and dad would make a trip to the big city for a bunch of shopping. The big city of Marshalltown. Monday nights the stores were open. We left Chelsea, population 384, around 6:30 in the evening and arrived in Marshalltown, population thirty thousand, around 7 pm or so. We parked the pick up. Didn’t have a car. Dad always drove his pick-up with the shifter on the column. He could go from first to third gear in about ten seconds.
Dad parked the truck. We walked up to main street. Cars zooming everywhere. Stop lights working just fine and even those lights that told you when to walk/not walk. Ever notice that they are never on long enough to walk completely across the street.
Anyway, here we stood. On the corner of Main Street in Marshalltown, Iowa. When all of a sudden something came completely over me, (I have absolutely no idea what it was), and as we were waiting for the light to give us the okay to walk, I JUST TOOK OFF RUNNING ACROSS THE BUSY INTERSECTION.
Cars slammed their breaks. Horns honked. I darted this way and that way. Dodging this car and that car. Running as fast as I could to get to the other side. The blare of cars braking and honking and cursing and shaking their fists at me was something to behold, although I really didn’t have time to take it all in. You see, I was running for my life.
I got to the other side. Smile on my face. Ah, made it and not even a scratch. Mom and Dad still standing clear on the other side of the intersection. Well, not actually standing there. Mom is now running and dodging the cars. They are now honking their horns at her and screeching their brakes so as not to hit her. And of course right behind her was Dad!!!! He didn’t look too happy. Neither did Mom!
Mom reached me first. Gave me a great big hug and kiss. “Oh Johnny, Johnny, you’re safe.” She was ecstatic, as was Dad when he arrived moments later. But then there was an interesting change of events. Very interesting indeed.
Mom, after seeing I was safe, questioned me......”Why in the world did you run across the street like that?” she asked. Hah! I triumphantly answered.....”Mom, not to worry. We just learned about our Guardian Angels today at school. And you know what Mom and Dad. It’s true, it’s true, they do protect you.”
Dad looked at me. It was no longer a look of love and gladness that I was safe from harm’s way. It was one of those looks that only a father can give a son before he clobbers him to a pulp. I had seen that look many many times in my formative years.
It was a look in which I truly prayed, hoped, wished and begged God.....THAT MY GUARDIAN ANGEL WOULD REALLY PROTECT ME. All Dad said (as there was now quite a commotion in downtown Marshalltown), “Boy, wait till we get home.”
Well, that’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it. Any comments, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.