Letting Go of the Rail


After her mother developed dementia, Jean Marie Ezman of Carbondale, Pennsylvania, had just one favor to ask of God, that Jean be permitted to care for Mom in her own home until she died. Jean had taken over this obligation in October 2002, and been faithful for three years. But in April, 2005, she almost became a patient herself.

"One morning I was pushing the large garbage can down our front steps for the pickup," Jean says. "Our house was located up behind a wall and there were eighteen cement steps to get to the sidewalk." Jean would usually tilt the container on its two back wheels to start down the steps, just like pushing a baby stroller. She would also hold onto the railing.

But on this morning, the garbage can's wheels got stuck on the third step from the top. Jean felt the can tip forward and, letting go of the railing, she pushed the can with both hands. The container fell forward, crashing down the steps. But since she was off-balance,Jean also flew down the steps. "My new glasses flew off," she remembers, "and I twisted once in the air before hitting my face on the cement." Her shoulder, knees and shins all came in contact with the steps too.

"It's amazing how many thoughts can flow through the brain in a couple of seconds," Jean says. "As I was falling, I thought---how could I be so stupid to let go of the rail, and how was I supposed to take care of my mother if I broke my bones?"

Jean finally landed. She stayed still for a moment, fearing the worst, and then gradually began to wiggle her fingers and toes. Gingerly, she took inventory, expecting pain in many places. But..she didn't feel anything wrong. Gripping the railing, she slowly got to her feet. There didn't seem to be any broken bones, no sprains or bumps. "I put my hand up to my face, but there was no blood," Jean says in wonder. "My knees were a little scraped but that was all." Then Jean remembered something. Every time her body had made contact with the cement, it was as if something soft but invisible was cushioning her. Amazed, Jean realized that she was not hurt at all. Only her glasses were missing.

But no. She squinted. There they were, neatly folded on the sidewalk, both lenses intact.

Jean thought about the event for a long time. Why was she not seriously injured? "The only conclusion I can come to is that God sent angels to keep me from harm, so I could continue to take care of my Mom," Jean says. And as it turned out, that prayer was answered, for Jean's mother died peacefully at home in 2006.

God cannot be outdone in generosity, Jean knows. What we give to Him, He returns a thousandfold.

Joan Anderson Copyrighted by Joan Wester Anderson, used with permission. Originally appeared on the Where Angels Walk website, http://joanwanderson.com

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