I’ve had a number of encounters with what I shall call “Angels” because there has been no other rational explanation for these events that I have ever been able to find or figure out.
Don’t mind me telling you this story because no, I am not insane or delusional by any means. I’m actually rather logical minded, analytical and always look for a non-paranormal explanation before I will chalk it up to either The Un-Explainable or Paranormal. I don’t drink, take drugs or do weed or any form of mind altering drugs so, I have no other way to explain one of my stories that I’m about to tell you.
Whether you’d put this down to angelic encounters or not, is up to you. If you have a rational explanation for it, I’d love to hear it. Please comment below.
My Handful of Quarters Angel
Back in 1999, my father was dying of terminal cancer. It was his final days in this earthly existence and my 2 brothers and myself, had spent endless hours at the hospital with him as we wanted him to be surrounded by people he loved when he left this plane.
For nearly 3 weeks, we’d only left the hospital to shower, change clothing and perhaps, grab a few hours worth of sleep before heading back to the ICU where we were allowed to be 24/7 as it was his final hours. We hadn’t left his side and would take turns, going out into a garden area when the nurses would ask us to leave so that they could do their jobs in both space and peace. After nearly 3 weeks of being there, we got to know quite a number of staff members as that is where they’d take their breaks or lunches or dinners during the nice weather. Even after shift changes, we’d get to know another group of them, having been there around the clock.
The evening before my father passed on, we were walking back into the hospital, having finished our tea and coffees and figuring that we’d given the nursing staff enough time to do their work on our father who was now, unconscious for the most part. My 2 brothers and my husband had gone through the revolving doors to re-enter the hospital. I had hung back for a moment longer to finish the last of my tea and be able to toss the empty cardboard cup into the garbage before going in. As I went to enter, a gentleman none of us had ever seen before, was exiting into the garden area on the other side of the doors. Being glass, we could see each other but, I wasn’t paying attention to him, simply thinking it odd that he had found this tiny garden area and was obviously a patient because he was dressed in track pants, a hospital gown and pushing an IV pole.
As I was going in, he was coming out and while I wasn’t paying much attention to him, he stopped or blocked the door so that I had to face him. I figured perhaps, he’d jammed his IV pole or something along those lines, so I didn’t push. When I looked over, wondering if he was ok, I realized that he was seemingly, purposely stopping the door from moving further. Though we were heading in opposite directions, he had stopped the doors so that we had no choice but, to face one another. It was as though he was making sure that I was seeing him for some odd reason. I looked over at him and he stared at me, smiled a warm smile that cannot be put into words, catching my gaze with total attention at this point. I smiled back but it took a moment as he held his deep, indescribable smile, fixated into my eyes and only then, did he let the door go so that we could both go our direct opposite ways…him out and me, in.
Early morning hours crept in as we sat vigil at my father’s bedside. The nursing staff was no longer asking us to leave while they did their work so, we knew the end was near for him. The monitors all showed “stable” but, we were told that it was only a matter of hours or less before he would go into final crisis. My 2 brothers took the opportunity to grab some coffees and teas from a nearby all-night coffee shop. They had theirs outside first then, brought my husband’s and mine in to give us a chance to get outside for a bit and take a washroom break. That was sometime after 4 a.m. but before 4:30 a.m.. We gratefully took leave, vowing to only be less than a half hour.
We sat outside for about 15 minutes, having our tea and coffee then, decided to head back in. I had confessed to my husband that for some unknown reason, I was terrified of seeing my father take his final breath. I knew he had to leave us but, I didn’t want to witness the all-too-familiar for me act of watching my father gasp his last breath. To this day, I don’t know why really but, I did. My husband could only tell me that there were 2 choices and he knew that not being there wasn’t an option for me. We hurried back inside of the hospital so as to get a chance for a much needed bathroom visit.
The main lobby of the hospital and all of the surrounding hallways in the area we were in, were deserted at that time in the morning. You could have heard a pin drop. Not even the caretakers were there. They had long since finished their nightly rounds for that area and my husband had gone to the men’s room which was around the corner from the ladies’ room where I had just finished washing my hands and was drying them with paper towel. I heard a male’s voice that I knew was not my husband’s.
“Why does no one know where to get coffee?” the voice asked, echoing through the empty halls.
I stepped outside of the washroom but, there was no one there as far as the eyes could see. Surprised but, not thinking heavily about it, I simply assumed that whomever this was, had gone done some other hallway that perhaps, I hadn’t known about and shrugged it off.
My husband rounded the corner a moment or so later and we headed towards the elevators, pushing the button to go up to the 3rd floor where my father was with no one else in sight. Less than a few seconds later (confirmed by my now also baffled husband), a man stood behind me. I turned out of shock, wondering where he’d come from as there had been no one in sight only a couple of seconds ago. It was as though he’d been dropped down from the ceiling or something crazy like that. More ironic was the fact that it was the same man that I had seen hours ago for the first time. He was the one who had trapped me in the revolving doors. This time, he had no IV or pole. The elevator doors opened and all 3 of us walked in without saying a word. He pushed the 10th floor button while I had pushed the 3rd floor. He smiled at me again with a radiated warmth that I cannot even begin to describe.
“Were you the one who was asking for coffee a few moments ago,” I asked him.
“Yes,” he answered. “That was me. I sometimes talk to myself but, I really wanted a coffee and the cafeteria doesn’t open until 7 a.m.. I suppose I could get one from a vending machine but, I don’t have enough change.”
He pulled out a handful of nickels, dimes and some pennies from his bathrobe pocket to show me.
“Here I said,” pulling out a handful of quarters that I’d saved to use a pay phone if needed. “Will this be enough?”
“Why yes!” he said with delight, taking only 3 quarters from my handful of perhaps, 10. “Bless you, dear.”
After taking his 3 quarters, he took my hand in his, closed my fingers over the rest with both of his hands for what felt like an eternity but was only I would suppose, a few seconds or so then, looking directly into my eyes to see his gaze said yet again, “bless you.”
The elevator doors opened. Even my husband was so stunned that neither of us realized that we’d reached the 3rd floor, our floor. The man stepped out and stood facing me as the doors shut again, a smile that shone a thousand lights of warmth through me, not breaking his gaze until the doors had completely shut again between us.
“Wait…that’s OUR floor!” my husband bellowed, trying to push the “open doors” symbol button. It was too late. The elevator had begun going up again.
Realizing that if I didn’t do something, we’d head up to the 10th floor, the button that the gentleman had pushed. Frantically, I pushed every button in between to stop the ride up but, for some odd reason, the elevator didn’t stop at any of the middle floors. It went straight up to the 10th floor.
I only caught a quick glimpse as my husband had quickly hit the “close doors” button and the 3rd floor again but, I saw enough to see that it was a ward, like normal hospital ward floors for patients. It had taken an extra couple of moments for us to ride up and back down again to the 3rd floor.
As we rounded the end of my father’s bed, one of my brothers said, “we think Dad has just taken his last breath.”
The monitors still showed a heartbeat but, it was slowing down and looked erratic. All that I had time to do was to kiss my father’s forehead, grab his hand and say, “so-long for now, Dad.” Within a moment or two, the monitor flatlined and a doctor and nurse checked him with their stethoscopes, shutting down the monitors. “He’s gone,” the doctor said then, looked at the clock and charted the time of death.
We were given about 20 minutes alone with my father’s body. We cried and hugged each other and him. It was sad but, we also realized that our father was finally out of pain and suffering. Wherever we go or don’t go, he was at peace and for that, we were relieved for him.
As we slowly walked the hallways again at nearly 6 a.m., life was beginning to show up around the hospital with staff arriving for their shifts and other people coming in for perhaps, tests or surgeries. The sun was just starting to rise and we could see it through the floor to ceiling windows as we rounded the main corridor towards the exit to the parking lot.
“I’ll be back in a moment,” I said suddenly and coming from somewhere I didn’t recognize at that point. “I have something I have to do.”
My 2 brothers stood there, speechless as did my husband while I ran for the elevators.
I pushed the 10th floor button and walked into the ward I had seen the night before. I went to the main nursing station and asked about the gentleman that I’d seen the night before, giving a full description of him.
“There’s no one here on this floor like that,” the desk nurse answered. “I’ve been here all night and we don’t have a patient that fits your description.”
“Are you sure?” I asked. “It’s important. It’s really important to me. May I see for myself?”
I didn’t give her a chance to answer before I headed towards the 2 hallways, looking into every room. Most patients were still sleeping or were being attended to by nursing staff. None of them were him and no beds were unaccounted for as there was someone in each bed or nearby it.
It wasn’t until we were part way home that morning that my husband asked me what I had done.
“Don’t you get it?” I asked him. “I was terrified of seeing Dad take his physical last breath yet, I was there with him when he passed. I didn’t see him take that last breath. Were it not for the coffee, the quarters and the ride up to the 10th floor and back down again, I would have been right there. I missed it by seconds!”
“Yeah, so?” my husband said as though he wasn’t getting what I was saying.
“That man…that man….the quarters, the coffee..the ride up and he got off on our floor and we got off on his…” I said loudly enough for surrounding cars to hear at a stop light. “That saved me from what I feared most and yet…I was there when Dad died and held his hand, kissed his forehead and got to say so-long as I’d wanted to do for my dad.”
“So…where did you go when you left us in the lobby?” my husband asked, knowing the answer in all reality.
“The 10th floor,” I replied.
“And…?” he asked, waiting for an answer.
“And, he wasn’t a patient,” I replied.
“So, what was he? An angel?” my husband said, half laughing.
I simply looked at my husband and he knew the answer. I knew the answer.
Am I right? Am I wrong? Had I run into a lonely man who was simply wanting coffee and had a lovely smile? Or….had I met an Angel?
To this day, I don’t know for sure but, I do know that I have other stories to share and will.
From my little corner of life, I believe that Angels DO exist.
Stay well. Blessings, Love and Light.
Have a wonderful day.