Friday, January 29, 2010

My Guardian Angel

At every juncture of my life, no matter how dark or gray it might have seemed, God has always sent me what I needed when I needed it most. Since I could remember, I had a special connection with one of my uncles. In my family we affectionately call him “Clean”. As a little girl, I lit up when ever I saw him. From an early age, he referred to me as “His Angel”. He is less than 10 years older than me, and more like a big brother than an uncle, but his presence always put a smile on my face. In our family, Clean was someone that protected us all. If someone was bothering any of the girls in our family, Clean took care of it. We all put him on a pedestal, and to be honest, we still do.

When I was around 11 years old, Clean moved away for an extended period of time, and I thought my heart would break. At this point he was in his late teens, early twenties, and I didn’t see him very often, but when I did see him my heart just melted. The thought of not seeing him, even rarely, filled me with great sadness. I still remember the day I had to say goodbye, after my mom made him a going away dinner. I really didn’t appreciate that he brought his girlfriend to the dinner, as I didn’t feel as though I should have to share him when I wasn’t going to see him for a long time. Needless to say, I pretended to like her, and enjoyed our last evening together. And poof…he was gone.

While he was away, I was approaching my teen years, which were very challenging for me. I was experiencing the normal growing pains of that period, which were compounded with some serious family issues. I was sad, lonely, and lost at this time in my life. My parents had just divorced, and I hopelessly wanted my father back, but more than that, I just yearned for my father to follow through. There were times when he said he was coming to pick me up, and I waited for hours with no sign of him insight. My heart sunk each time this happened, and it was often. We lived in a new, tougher neighborhood, so my mother didn’t allow me off the porch, so I experienced hours of isolation and loneliness. At this time, my mother and sister were overwhelmed with their own issues. As you can imagine, it was an extremely rough time for me. One day, feeling overwhelmingly troubled, about a week after my uncle departed, I received a letter. It started with “How is the most Beautiful Angel in the world…” Beautiful was the farthest from what I felt at that time. I was very skinny (Like the kids in the commercial from Ethiopia skinny), started to experience acne, underdeveloped, and had no idea how to do my hair; but when I got that letter I felt beautiful. I couldn’t wait to write him back, and I couldn’t wait to receive another letter from him. Again, it always started with “My Beautiful Angel”, and I would melt each time. At this time, when my life seemed very dark, it was the anticipation of these letters that brought sunshine into my days. It was like I held a special secret in my heart as I went through my daily activities. One day, instead of a letter, there was a package waiting for me. In the package was a handmade framed mirror with a picture of Clean imbeded inside that said, “Alicia you are my Ultimate Love”. Needless to say, I walked around hugging that mirror day and night. Now, I was not the only person enthralled with my Uncle Brother, we all were. But you can best believe I made sure everyone knew that I was the only one that he made a mirror for…My sister and Aunts quickly got tired of me and that mirror. Anyway, time passed and these letters brought me so much joy. One day I received a letter that said I am going to be coming home sooner than expected, and the first person I am going to see is my angel….

I remember it like it was yesterday. I couldn't wait for shool to end, and I waited anxiously for the door bell to ring.  Sadly, the day came quickly to an end. Heartbroken that he had not come, I started to get ready for another day. I was in the shower with a shower cap on my head when the door rang. I remember my mother and sister being very excited as they opened the door, and they called me downstairs. Right away I completely panicked, because his “Beautiful Angel” looked a hot mess. I got myself together the best I could, and came downstairs. I hugged him and was completely star struck. I was unable to say much at all, but I felt like the luckiest girl in the world. Clean was home and all in the world was good. Regular visits resumed. He was very handsome…fine handsome, so he had many girlfriends, which I wasn’t thrilled about. I was just happy to hold such a special place in his heart. Sometimes this was problematic because some of the girls he dated didn’t like how he put me, my sister and his sisters on a pedestal….He always made it clear from the start that if his family needed him; he was there in a heartbeat.

I was just about to turn thirteen and he began a yearly ritual of taking me to a Broadway play and dinner for my birthday. It was something special that he only did for me and again I took great pride in that. I would get dressed up, and it was the only time I felt beautiful from the inside out. One year he asked me what play I wanted to see. I told him, “Dream Girls, but it’s been sold out for months.” He asked my second choice, and told me to be ready on our special day. I still don’t know how he pulled it off at the age of 20 something, but he not only got tickets to Dream Girls, but we were in the first row. My sister and aunts are about tired of this story, because I still tell it like it was yesterday. Afterwards we went to a fancy restaurant, and he taught me how to eat like a lady and taught me how a lady should be treated. He was the first male in my life to truly make me feel like a princess…and when my true prince came, I was able to recognize him.

As we both became adults, our friendship grew into a less fairytale relationship. We became real friends and began to share our real ups and downs of life. My uncle is not a real angel, and like all of us, has made many mistakes as he navigated through his own life. No matter how many mistakes he has made, or how hard he is on himself because of those mistakes, one thing that will never change is the impact he had on my life, and for that I will be forever grateful to him.

At a very difficult time in my life, God sent me a guardian angel to give me hope in times of great pain and insecurity. In our darkest times, God will send us angels in various forms. My uncle/brother helped to build my self esteem when it was at an all time low and at such a pivotal point in my development. I realize that as tough a period of time that was for me, it was his letters that gave me hope that everything would eventually be ok…and it was. We remain very close, though we don’t talk nearly as often as I wish. Life is busy for both of us…He has a family, and I have a full life with an awesome husband and kids. My husband also respects and loves Clean, because he knows the difference that he made in who I am today. That relationship reminds me that sometimes the smallest things we do for the children in our lives, could make a tremendous impact later in life. I try to remember that with my own kids and other children and young adults that I interact with. I point out their beauty, their awesome spirit, and remind them that they are Powerful Beyond Measure…What might have been deemed as a small gesture to others, has had an astonishing affect on me…by the way…at age 40, I still have that mirror.

Please share a story of how a guardian angel looked over you when you needed it most. I am sure if you look real hard…all of you can think of at least one story where the grace of God helped you through…


  1. After years of drug addiction, recovery and then many other addictions; God sent my guardian angel into my life as a young adult woman. This person is beautiful inside and out. She taught me how to love again and the value of family. I had been out in the streets for so long that I did not realize how much in life I had missed. But my God blessed me by putting this person in my life to teach me simple things…stuff we take for granted. And no matter how many mistakes I made and there were many---she continued to nurture me with love and kind words. Although she made me feel special, I watched her treat everybody with love and kindness, even those who were nasty towards her---because if it was me…oops almost lost myself let me bring it in!-:) She also helped with smoothing out the rough edges in regards to my attitude. I believe the friendship and love I received was unconditional. Because of the deposit this person made in my life, it opened my eyes to another guardian angel that was already in my life and is now my husband. And my guardian angel was the coordinator for our wedding…I could go on but I'm not.....thanking you Norma Raye-:)

    Jersey Cuz

  2. Alicia Booker30 January, 2010

    WOW...thanks for sharing Jersey Cuz...I am familiar with your amazing testimony, but I had no idea that Norma Raye had such an impact on you. Thanking God for both of your guardian angels, and Thanking God for you...


  3. A Guardian Angel….My own guardian angel came in the form of a family friend/aunt who lived in the same house as we did growing up and when my darkest hours of childhood would haunt me it was always “Aunt Gerry” who was there for me. She had this uncanny ability to recognize my pain even though I rarely spoke of it. When I was feeling lonely and sad and scared she would be there for me. When my parents were going through their tumultuous divorce (I am talking over 40 years ago and surprising to most is that at that time divorce was still illegal in NJ and I was in a Catholic School so I was immediately shunned by classmates as well as teachers because of my parents’ divorce – a whole other subject) and too busy to be there for my siblings and I, she was there for me. It’s the little things that I still remember most. The time she took me to practice for my First Communion because my mom wasn’t there. How she made my borrowed Communion dress look perfect and new by ironing it with starch until it was crisp as new. When I felt so alone she would ask me to help her with her puppies. (She had three dogs, one poodle, one boxer and a German Sheppard who had just given birth to about 8 pups and they needed bottle feeding). It was a special assignment that only I was allowed to help her with and it gave me such a purpose and a worth. There are so many small and to most insignificant gestures that she did for me throughout my years that I can’t possibly pen them all here but it’s not even the things she did that I remember most, but rather the way she always made me feel…SPECIAL… in a time of my life when there didn’t seem to be anything special at all. Well “Aunt Gerry” died a few years ago and even though we hadn’t seen each other in years, her passing was very painful for me and I wrote to her daughter of all the things that her mom had meant to me. Her daughter was so shocked to learn of all that had been going on in our house, where she lived too and had no idea of what I had gone through. But my letter gave her comfort to know that her mom had been there for me. So today when I think back on that part of my life, I always think of Aunt Gerry and all that she did for me but most importantly how she made me feel. She made me feel that I was important too and that even though I was scared and lonely, others cared about me and would and did help me through.

    Sue M

  4. Wow Cuz, Cousin VGJ :), that touched me so and it was so good to talk to you today Saturday January 30, 2010. You were so easy to love because when I met you I truly saw God in you even though you were rough around the edges :), this is not what I saw first. And to then to find out we were cousins what a blessing. So let me tell all about my guardian angel. It was this person who taught me how to love. I learned from this person that you must always look beyond what you see, because if one just looks at face value you will miss the blessing and beauty of the person. I am a patient person by nature but some think that patient means "waiting" I have learned it also means doing things over and over again like listening, inviting, teaching,showing, sharing and praying. Patience in essence is "love". My angel taught me a lot about patience she was the most patience person I have ever known and often times I did not like the way some treated her and she would do nothing! I soon learned that it may have appeared that she did nothing but she had the ability to look past what people did or did not do and love everyone in spite of. She prayed for them when they were mean to her, and she always forgave. She understood the true meaning of the "battle is not mine" she had bigger fish to fry and loads of prayers to give attention to. There was no poison her body because she did not clog her arteries with "hate" She was never blinded by "fear" she did not ache with "mistrust" nor did she worry or suffer when others talked about her. She took it all to God; she was a good and faithful servant and prayed for everyone every day both for her family and those who would mistreat her(sometime they were one in the same). Yes I am talking about my guardian angel Grandma Squire. I could talk to her about anything be it about sex or a bible verse and she would give me an honest and heartfelt answer. I miss her coconut cake and her fried chicken but more than anything I miss the way I felt when I was in her presence rather in person or on the phone. I always felt loved, important, believed I could be anything I wanted. I felt safe because I knew Grandma was praying not just for me but for the entire family each and every day. She was not just my guardian angel but she was the Family's angle. I still feel her spirit and when I am feeling low I talk to Grandma and she still says "Norma Raye God's going to work it out just trust him and pray often" I do Grandma. I miss and love you so!