I don’t know how I would be able to enjoy life without my Angels.  This is just one small example of how to talk to your angels when you are in a tight spot…

I have just returned home to Connecticut from visiting my family in Minnesota. The kids and I travel there, on our own, every summer, as my husband, David has to work. My brother, Eric, and his daughter, Kara, met us at my mom’s house – they drove in from Denver, Colorado. We then packed up the cars and caravaned the two hours to Lake Norway to stay at my mom and step-day’s picturesque log cabin on the lake.

Summer Vacation on Lake Norway

We so enjoyed our four days there, however; the kids and I almost didn’t make it!  We boarded our Delta flight at 10am at the Westchester County Airport.  Our flight was scheduled to depart at 10:30.  At 10:29 the pilot came on the loud speaker, “Folks, our flight attendant has misplaced her bag, which contained her flight manual, we are therefore unable to fly this aircraft.  We are having a new manual flown in from Detroit, which should take about 3 hours.  Therefore, we are asking you all to deplane this aircraft and check in with the Delta desk about re-booking your flights, if necessary.”  They can’t fly the plane because the flight attendant lost her manual!  What?

Within seconds, while still sitting on the plane, I called the 800 number for Delta reservations and was told that the best they could do for us would be to have us take a cab from Westchester to LaGuardia Airport, then fly to Atlanta to catch a connecting flight to Minneapolis which would land at midnight.  “No, thanks!”

Robert the fire maker at the lake

This is where my angels came in to play:

We got off the plane, and stood at the end of the line for the Delta counter.

I then asked my angels for help: “Please Angels, allow for the kids and me to be put on safe flights, that will allow us to arrive in Minneapolis as soon as possible.”

I then phoned the Delta reservation line again… “Yes, we can book you on a United flight leaving in an hour to Chicago, and from there you will be on a Delta flight to Minneapolis arriving at 4:00pm.”  Perfect!  “Thanks, Angels!!!”

Everything seemed in order until we arrived at the United ticket counter.  “Ma’am, we have no seats available on this flight – who put you on this flight?”  I explained that the Delta representative did.  “Well, you can go and sit at the gate, but we are overbooked and there is no way that there will be seats on this plane for you!”

So we dragged out bags (thank goodness we had only brought carry on bags!) down to the gate and waited.  People streamed onto the flight.  I was getting nervous, but I calmed my fears by continuing to talk to my angels and they were very re-assuring.  “Mrs. Jones, it’s your lucky day – three people booked on this flight did not show up – you and your kids can board the plane, and I’m sorry I was so rude to you earlier, usually everyone booked shows up, so I really thought you had no chance of getting on this plane.  Have a safe flight.”

Wow, we got on the flight and we got an apology – my angels were working overtime!

We arrived in Chicago without a problem, in large part due to an earth angel who shared with me half of her turkey sandwich.  When we boarded the plane we were told that a passenger on board was severely allergic to peanuts and that we would have to divert the plane for an emergency landing if peanuts were opened on the flight.  I had picked up a package of mixed nuts (no peanuts) to have while we were flying.  If I don’t have protein regularly I tend to pass out.  I mentioned this the the flight attendant, who looked as though he were going to pass out because of this catch-22 scenario. He told me not to open the nuts and to press my call button if I  was feeling faint.  Great plan…  About 20 minutes into the flight this lovely woman sitting in front of me asked if I would like half of her sandwich.  What a generous offer – I almost burst into tears.  I graciously accepted, felt a lot better and thanked her profusely.

We walked to our departure gate, where we discovered our next obstacle.   I was told that United wouldn’t release our tickets back to Delta!  Until they were able to regain control of our tickets we could not board the plane.  Oh my goodness – this was really turning into a nightmare.  After a second agent arrived and worked on the problem for over 30 minutes, without resolution, I started talking to my angels again.  “Angels, please allow for an easy transition of our tickets from United to Delta, with both parties getting exactly what they need, so we can board this flight and arrive safely in Minneapolis.”  I felt tingles all over my body.  When I looked over at the desk, where the gate agent was sitting, I saw her say, “Okay, great.  Thank you so much for helping me resolve this situation.  We are all set at this end, okay, you’re good, right?  Great, take care.  Goodbye.”

She looked at me, and gave me the thumbs up.  I looked at her, smiled, and in my head thanked my Angels once again for saving the day.

This blog post is part 4 of a 4 part series. I thought this series may be helpful to anyone who is facing the death of a loved one or knows anyone that has passed away. At times you may find it difficult to read, yet in the end I hope you can see the inspiration and gratitude I found in this 24 hour period.
Blessings ~Lisa

Robbie loved his daddy!

Next, I had to go tell the children and Ian’s mother. Pierre prepared some eggs and then we drove over to Marian’s where Rob had spent the night. When we arrive, Rob and Barb were on a walk so we told Marian. She of course took the news very hard. Once Rob came in I took him and sat him on my lap and said, “Robbie, I’m so sorry but Daddy died last night.” Robbie wailed, “But I wanted to sleep with him one more night!” He was crushed, as I was for having to tell him. He cried, and cried. It was just heart breaking.

Marc and I then drove over to pick up Jenna from her sleep over. The night before, she had been invited at the last minute to spend the night at her friend, Lizzy’s. I walked in and took her to the side and said, “I’m so sorry honey, but Daddy died this morning at 1 am.” Jenna hardly blinked an eye and said, “Oh that’s sad, can I go tell my friends?” I said yes, so she trotted down to the basement and after gathering her things together, she casually said, “My Dad died this morning.” The three other girls gasped and were shocked and stunned. They all ran and gave her a hug. We left the house and stopped at Duncan Donuts.

Later that day Marc, Pierre and I took the kids to Kane Funeral Home. After arriving, the funeral director explained to the kids how Daddy would look. He would be laying on a hospital gurney with a sheet over him, up to his chin. He explained that Daddy was gone to heaven and this was just his body. The kids were scared and tentative. Jenna didn’t want to go first. So Rob and I went in and Rob just walked right up to Ian and threw his arm over his chest. Then he tip toed up and gave him a kiss on the cheek and then another hug. He was crying.

Jenna was standing at the door crying, so I went back and slowly walked forward with her. She was very scared and terrified. She wanted to go up to Ian, but didn’t. I asked if she wanted me to give Daddy a hug and kiss and she said yes. So I did. His body was as stiff as a board and when I kissed him his skin was cold and firm, like kissing a cold watermelon. I stepped back and told Jenna to feel the table and that Daddy felt just like that. It was a shell and had gone hard. She very reluctantly stepped forward and gave Daddy a big hug. She stayed for several seconds and just sobbed. It was the first time she had cried since hearing the news of her father’s death. She stepped back with me and I asked if she was ready to go, and she said yes. I told her we could stay as long as she wanted. She was ready to go. We turned to leave and she ran back and gave Ian one last hug. Then Rob went back and gave one more hug and we walked out.

The kids were crying very hard and I was trying to comfort them as best as possible. Marc and Pierre were very comforting and soothing to the kids as well. Danny, the funeral director, had things I need to sign. I said than you so much for making Ian look so good. He looked beautiful. Danny turned and said, “Your welcome Mrs. Sharpe, but you are the hero here. The way you helped your children was incredible. This will be a moment they will never forget. I’ve seen many viewings and you were a rock.” I felt surprised by this reaction as I did just what I felt I should have done, nothing more and certainly nothing less.

Our final date - 2003 Christmas Party

I had never been so close to death before. When I was eleven, while I was visiting my dad’s parents my mother’s father died. I didn’t attend the service and I had no concept of death. And now here I am age 37, with two children 8 and 10 and my own husband died in my bed early this morning. And yet, the biggest thing I feel is relief. Seven years of endurance ended on 2/22/04, when Ian was 44 years old.

I think Ian chose his time. The kids were sleeping away from the house that evening; I was in another bedroom, dreaming of Heaven. He was in his bedroom, his best friend, Pierre, was sitting at his side listening to his belabored breathing. Ian felt peace. He felt safe, he felt love, he felt no guilt, he let go. He didn’t want to go, he fought and he fought and he fought, but he knew there was no other way and he let go – it was the perfect way in the perfect place and in the perfect situation. It could not have been planned better. It was almost as if for the last 24 hours we had been set up in a magical chess game, and with each move we made we were one step closer to the ultimate check mate.

Yesterday’s blog was a crash course in happiness. After I posted and reflected about what I had written I realized that another awesome element to incorporate into your daily life is gratitude. Happiness is achieved at a much faster rate by marinating your life with gratitude.

Gratitude – grat·i·tude (noun); meaning: thanks

It’s really that simple. The more thankful you are, the more wonderful your life becomes. Even bad things you can be thankful for. There have been many times that I get stuck in traffic and I start to get frustrated and annoyed – only to discover up ahead is a terrible car accident. It’s possible that if I had been traveling faster I could have been in that horrible crash. Yikes!!! Think about delays as a way to catch your breath and be thankful that nothing worse has happened.

I truly believe that things happen for a reason. If you are miserable in life, I encourage you to look closely at how you feel about your situation. If you wake up every morning and dread going to work, do you think once you arrive you’re going to have a wonderful day at work? How could you? Now, if you wake up and think to yourself, “Wow, I’m so grateful to have a job. Even though this is not exactly where I want to be right now – it’s where I am. I am going to do the best I can do today and be thankful I have a job.” My prediction is that you would have a much better experience on that day.

Knockout Roses - Thank you!

My gratitude practice is to think about my day as I’m falling asleep. As I’m drifting off to la la land I try to recall all of the events that occurred throughout my day and give thanks. It’s a wonderful way to end my day and helps me to wake up with a positive attitude. Once my eyes open in the morning, I give thanks for another day of grateful possibilities. Give it a try – I guarantee it will improve your life, and increase your happiness level exponentially! – Lisa

p.s  I’m so grateful for such gorgeous flowers in my garden – I took these photos this morning – ahhhh!