Jennifer Danny | Finding Our Angels in COVID-19

SCV Voices: Guest Commentary
SCV Voices: Guest Commentary

Hi readers! It’s been quite a long time since I’ve written a column, but I thought it was needed as we are all in unprecedented circumstances and that perhaps this would help to keep us connected. Many of you may remember my columns of years past. The common denominator of the articles I wrote were always about finding the good, even when it seemed difficult. I was quite fortunate back then to have been given a platform and an opportunity to have a column because writing replenishes my soul.

Recently someone asked me what is normal nowadays and how do we collectively get through something like this pandemic. I replied, “I think whatever you need to do to find comfort at this time can help with the uncertainty.”  

That question resonated with me and I thought back to 2003 when my mother died unexpectedly. I sought solace in nature, as simplistic as watching the blue hues of the sky and observing the clouds as they slowly moved through. I looked for answers among them. I watched the green in the hills and mountains, after the spring rain that graced our valley, for that too was a gentle reminder that life goes on.

I started to become interested in angels and while I’ve always been religious, I began a new spiritual journey. I was searching for something that could give me tangible advice on how to move on. After all, I was a wife, mother and daughter and my new normal was to figure this all out. Faced with this challenge, I sought comfort in the things in life that only come when one takes the time to “Be Still And Know,” and in time the grief I felt had dissipated, and the beautiful memories were there ready to take their rightful place. 

Flash forward eight years later and I had read the book, “Messages, Signs, Visits, and Premonitions from Loved Ones Lost on 9/11,” written by Bonnie McEneaney. She lost her husband in the World Trade Center attacks. The date 9/11 holds a special meaning to me, for that is my son’s birthday. And the day of the attacks my son, who was 5 at the time, ran into our room (he was in the afternoon kindergarten program, so our mornings were spent at home) and as the towers fell, he, not seeing what was on the television, asked us to sing “Happy Birthday” to him. My husband and I did our best to shelter him from what was going on that fateful day, singing as best as we could. Yet our voices cracked in unison, as we tried to protect the innocence of our child.

On Sept. 11, 2011, I watched the show “Beyond: Messages from 9/11.” The stories that each person shared about the signs that their loved ones had sent to them after the attacks touched me in such a way that I, too, felt compelled to ask for a sign. I knew I didn’t deserve one because I hadn’t lost someone in the terror attacks, but the feeling was so great in my heart, I knew I that I had to ask. My prayer was simplistic. I asked for a sign that I could cherish and identify with. 

As the afternoon pushed into evening, I realized I had to get our daughter back to school. At the time she attended college in the city and, that particular Sunday, she was visiting to celebrate her brother’s 15th birthday. Isn’t it funny how “time flies” where, merely a few paragraphs back, I was talking about his fifth birthday? Around 9, it was time to leave, I helped my daughter pack up the car and I drove her home.

By the time I got back to the house it was nearly 11. As I exited the car, I sensed the stillness of the night and was comforted by the bright light of the harvest moon. I made my way up the walkway to the front door. As I turned the corner, something caught my eye.  Nestled in the ground stood this beautiful angel statue. It was next to my birdbath and surrounded by my plants. I had no idea how it got there, but what I did know was that I hadn’t seen it before.  

I was in awe of this statue sitting in my yard and I knew I had received the sign I had asked for. In fact, this particular corner of my walkway was quite special to me. It was home to the orchids I had replanted after my mother’s memorial that continued to bloom each spring. I’ve often thought of that corner of my yard as “hers.” Next to the orchids sits another angel statue of a mother and her child, which to me is symbolic of the unconditional love a mother gives her children. I felt tremendous emotion surround me as I looked around my yard. Alas, it was late, so I got ready for bed.

The next morning I went outside to make sure I hadn’t imagined the angel statue, and guess what? Not only was it still there, but also the morning sunlight was already shining upon her beautiful face. Perhaps a kind neighbor had placed it there or maybe a stranger? My curiosity beckoned me to try and solve this wonderful mystery. I asked my husband, who had been asleep when I arrived home, if he had put a new angel statue in the yard. He said no, then I saw two of my neighbors and I asked them if they had put the angel statue in my yard. They looked somewhat perplexed and said, “No, Jennifer we didn’t.” 

I relished in the idea that there was no real discernible fact that could explain what had happened.

By now you might be thinking, how does this relate to the situation we are all in now with COVID-19, and I say, before this pandemic began, we hadn’t experienced something so paralyzing for one’s psyche since 9/11 where SUDDENLY all daily routines stopped and, in fact, We The People came to a halt, but yet we persevered and looked for the “light at the end of the tunnel” and came together as a nation. We cared for one another. The correlation of both of these hardships said to us, to never give up, to love one another and to find hope even when the situation seems “hopeless.” 

And I go back to that beautiful autumn evening in 2011 when something magical occurred. A statue of an angel appeared in my front yard.  I think that the gift of the beautiful angel statue was sent to me at a time when I really needed a sign. I believe we are all connected spiritually and the spiritual laws work in conjunction with the natural laws. When you can “quiet your mind” you will always be guided to the answers you seek. 

Life is full of these magical moments that tell us to listen to “that still small voice” within and it is at that moment we are given an opportunity to step out of the ordinary and be part of something extraordinary.

I close with this: The dandelion doesn’t know it is considered a weed. It grows and flowers with a beautiful color of yellow. The yellow fades and the white dried petals remain. We were always told as children that if you pick a dandelion with the dried leaves barely hanging on, and you made a wish and blew those dried leaves, your wish would come true. 

Ah, but who would have ever have known what the dandelion was really thinking? Perhaps, the dandelion knows the symbolism that when something so pure and altruistic as this, if one blows the dried leaves away, a wish will come true, can be the symbol of hope. The possibilities are endless. 

What if we were the “seeds” of the dandelion? Our good intentions being sent because “we” were a part of the bigger picture to “plant” the good during the hard times and to, in effect, be the cultivators of the healing process?

Jennifer Danny is a writer and author of the book: “Angels in the Clouds©.” She can be reached at: [email protected].

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