Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



Thursday, April 5, 2012

Angels Among Us

There are angels around us.
And they appear in the unlikeliest places.
When they are most needed . . .
Our family had fallen on hard times.
It happens to everyone.
It was our turn.
My Husby had been out of work for some time.
And it looked as though he would remain out of work for some time more.
We were 'economizing'.
We had given up everything that was not strictly necessary.
Cable.
Restaurants.
Entertainment.
Shopping.
And we were living off our food storage.
The last thing I wanted to give up . . . and indeed the last thing I did give up was our milk deliveries.
The thought of living on skim milk powder from our storage was . . . how can I say this tactfully . . . horrifying.
But we were about to do it.
Sigh.
Our milkman, John, was a very nice man.
Friendly.
Smart.
Attentive.
And no, none of our kids look like him.
Just FYI.
Moving on . . .
I dreaded telling him that this next delivery would be our last.
But our precious store of capital was rapidly dwindling, despite our best efforts.
And the job had to be done.
He arrived, carrying our order of milk, cheese and cream.
And I told him, tearfully, that we couldn't afford deliveries any longer.
He just grinned and handed me a note.
It read: “Happy birthday . . . or something . . . for the next four months.”
I stared at it.
Then at John.
What on earth did it mean?
“Someone has paid for your milk deliveries for the next four months,” he said, finally.
“What?”
Okay, so quick, I'm not.
“Someone has taken over paying your milk bill for the next four months.”
“Who?”
His grin widened. “I can't tell you.”
“What?”
Sigh. Some people are slow.
“I can't tell you,” he repeated patiently. “Someone, who wishes to remain anonymous, has asked that your bill be forwarded to them for the next four months.”
“It was you, wasn't it, John.”
It was more a statement than a question.
He laughed. “I can absolutely guarantee that it was not me,” he said. “Cross my heart.”
I stared at him suspiciously for a few minutes.
Then finally took the carton of dairy products from him and allowed him to carry on with his route.
And that's when the tears started.
Who knew that we were having such difficulties?
And, more importantly, who cared enough to do this for us?
Moving ahead four months . . .
My Husby once more happily employed and a steady trickle of money flowing into the family coffers, I took my last free delivery of milk.
And was happy to tell John that deliveries could continue.
On our nickle.
I never did find out who our Good Samaritan was.
They had swooped in and helped.
Just when they were needed.
Then swooped out again.
Faceless.
Nameless.
But definitely not heartless.
To my Angel, and you know who you are . . . THANK YOU!


21 comments:

  1. I remember about 5 Christmas's ago, a couple we know in town were putting up their Christmas lights. They had just moved to town and didn't know all that many people yet. He had taken a job programming computers at a construction contractors head office but was still on (what they call) probation. Well, the deck (made out of recylced plastic called Trex) had a light coating of frost and it was slippery. Gord got up on the ladder and it slipped out from under him; he fell breaking a couple of ribs.
    We had just received a Christmas hamper from one of those outfits that you contribute to starting around June then they send it to you in December. We decided that we didn't need it that year and placed it on the couple's deck. Our daughter rang the bell and we took off like the mill tails of hell (well, a Satun Vue) and to this day they don't have any idea where it came from.
    Kind of gives you a good feeling to do something like that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What a wonderful experience! To BE the angel! Hey . . . wait . . . was it you???

      Delete
  2. What a special story and experience... LOVE that there are angels among us!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just common everyday folk. Who are anything but common and everyday!

      Delete
  3. There's a story to keep in the family memory book for generations to come. I'll bet you've returned the favour many times over.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is a favourite family memory! I hope we've returned the favour! Nothing quite so touching, though . . .

      Delete
  4. Everywhere around us. Thanks for the lovely story.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I have told a similar story involving a thanksgiving turkey. Warms my heart to know that there are people who care.

    Feels so good to be on the receiving -- and giving -- end of the relationship, doesn't it?

    Pearl

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's nice to know that some good is being done! Receiving . . . giving . . . you're right. It all feels good!

      Delete
  6. That was such a nice gesture. Yes it feels good to do something nice for people and yes a good samaritan is one who keeps it a secret because it isn't for other people to know.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was just so . . . humbling and heart-warming. I'll never forget it!

      Delete
  7. What a delightful story of anonymous angels! It can be very humbling to accept the gifts, can't it? I have been humbled by having to accept help because of health issues, and in retrospect it was good for my humility. :-)

    Of course, it is also wonderful to be able to be an angel for folks as well!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Accepting gifts is hard! And very humbling! The only way to get around it is to go out and be an angel yourself. So much joy either way!

      Delete
  8. Stories like that make me believe in miracles... It's God's hand at work again. I am simply left awe-struck. Yup, there's so much joy in giving and receiving gifts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So much joy! Given so selflessly. It is a miracle!

      Delete
  9. Diane, your story reminds me of how God works in mysterious ways--and yes, sometimes He employs angels; kind, compassionate, selfless people who do things like paying for milk for four months. This post warms my heart. It gives me hope that there are still good people in the world and that they show up when you most need them. Lovely message, lady! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Bella! It certainly gave me hope for the future, knowing that good people were out there and so willing to serve.

      Delete
  10. Beautiful!!! Makes me want to seek and find and help. Pay it forward if you will. We've certainly had our fair share of angels visiting us as well. Love it.

    Someone once told me this "If we didn't have trials now and again.....where would the opportunities be for the rest of us to serve?" It's what makes the world go around. Sometimes we get to be the ones who serve others....and sometimes we need to be the ones who receive that service. {Even though the latter one seems harder. ; ) }

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I love that! Our trials are for other people to serve. It's beautiful. Perfect. Thank you for sharing this! :)

      Delete
  11. Thank you for sharing this! It is such a beautiful story of what true charity is all about. What may have been a small sacrifice for them turned out to be a tremendous blessing for you. What a great account to remind us to always be watching for those who have needs that we can fill. I've sure had plenty of anonymous angels bless my life and I will forever be grateful for them! :)

    ReplyDelete

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