The Caregiver Chronicles: Angels Surround Us

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rainbow1.jpgAfter a long and successful career in broadcast journalism in Houston, North Texas and Oklahoma, Judy Overton joined MD Anderson in 2008 as a senior communications specialist. Her husband, Tom, was treated at MD Anderson for renal cancer. He died in April 2007. Judy's occasional posts will cover aspects of the cancer experience from the caregiver's perspective. Read more posts in this series

"I believe in angels. Something good in everything I see.
I believe in angels, when I know the time is right for me."

The lyrics from the rock group Abba's song resonate deeply within me. I truly believe in angels, especially those beloved souls who leave us, too soon.

The days march on
Four days had passed since I'd buried Tom. The sun streamed in through the blinds of our bedroom. The radio, which had been silent since Tom had died, beckoned.

When I turned it on, I was blown away.

On the classical station, the song I'd selected for Tom's viewing was playing.

It hadn't been easy to choose this special tune. I'd wanted a song by the Houston Symphony with Sergei Commissiona conducting. Tom had been on the Symphony's public relations staff during Commissiona's tenure.

Of the choices, I was drawn to a march. Tom would've understood.

We'd both been exposed to rigid yet successful high school band programs, and felt the programs had helped us develop discipline and focus.

I immediately felt Tom's presence.

Though gone from this world, he lived on.

Perhaps he's now one of my angels.

My angel delivers rainbows
A few days later, I was touring Italy with the St. Thomas More Catholic Church choir.

Tom and I had planned to make the trip together, but when his oncologist told us he had six months or less to live, we cancelled our reservations.

During one of the eulogies at Tom's funeral mass, our parish priest encouraged me to make the trip.

I decided to go.

On a winding Italian highway on May 5 -- the 30th anniversary of the day Tom and I met -- our entourage witnessed a beautiful rainbow from the windows of the tour bus.

It was a special sight.

I believed, and still do, that it was Tom acknowledging our anniversary in splendid fashion.

Are these celestial signs, or wishful thinking?

Do you believe in angels, too?

I'd love to hear from you about your experiences.

1 Comment

Quite the coincidence that I should find your article. I came to the page looking for success stories from stem cell patients. I had my transplant November 8 for AML and am doing really well. Sometimes so well I can't believe it and I wanted to see some stories from people who had been through it and made it. Then I started looking at the other articles and saw your story about angels.

I am not strong person. I cried so much when I found out I was sick and what I would be going through. I was scared beyond anything I had ever known. One day I went down and talked with Father Don at the chapel, and he helped cry it out and heard my confession. I went outside after and sat in the garden and felt such relief. But I was still quite afraid.

There were many occasions in my stay at Houston and at the hospital where I believe angels came to help me. One night a nurse came into my room to administer my chemo. She told me a story about a stem cell survivor she had met on a cruise who was celebrating his one year anniversary. During the course of this chemo, when everything seemed so uncertain, it gave me hope. She was so kind and understanding. That nurse never came to my room again, and I was there for another 25 days after that. Was she an angel? I think so.

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