Thursday, April 01, 2010
angel in the wings
In room with a vista, I mentioned that something odd happened while I was in the hospital.
I said not more only because I am very skeptical of tales like this. I pride myself on being a son of the Enlightenment. I dislike superstition.
You know the setup. I needed help to resolve my hotel and computer problems. The young woman who showed up to help said that the hotel would need a note to allow her to check me out of the hotel.
I asked for her name -- to include it in the note. She handed me her ID card that was clipped on her lapel.
As I was writing her name down, her first name struck me: "Leticia."
I have known only one other Leticia. She was a young Salvation Army officer stationed at Salem several years back. A good friend.
She was one of the most generous and kind people I have ever met. Prior to coming to Salem, she developed a severe medical condition that required a kidney transplant. Her husband, who bore no blood relationship, turned out to be a perfect transplant match. So, he gave up one of his kidneys for the sake of his wife.
The love that the two of them shared was contagious to our congregation. The few years we shared with them added depth to our lives.
Leticia's condition finally won out over her body. She died this past year. And I have been thinking of her and her husband for months.
When the young woman in the hospital handed me her ID, I commented it was a pretty name and one shared by a friend. She responded: "She must be a good friend." I responded: "She is."
The mere mention of her name put me in a good spirit as I waited for part of my life to be set well.When she returned with all of my goods, she also told me I could stay in the hospital an extra night. With one mission most of my concerns were resolved.
I was so busy, I did not thank her properly. I hobbled out to the nurses' station and asked for Leticia's telephone extension.
They told me no one named Leticia worked there.
When I described her, they said her name was something starting with an "M." Marta or something like that.There is no doubt it was the same woman. She acknowledged doing all of the tasks. But her name tag -- what I thought was exactly the same tag she showed me -- clearly had a name other than "Leticia."I do not know what all this means. There could be plenty of rational explanations. I just don't have one.
All I know is that I am glad she was there.
More than that, it is a marvelous memorial to my friend, Leticia. The service rendered is exactly what she would have offered. Service with generosity and love.
I am not certain I need to understand anything more than that.
Note: You can read more about Leticia.