Shooting Stars

Shooting star. Fallen angels. I like the idea. I grew up in a city, a loud city, and like all cities, they could always use a little more love. A lot more angels.

I’ve seen one shooting star. One. Not in a city where you can’t see the stars for the lights, but in little East Sooke. I witnessed an angel falling from heaven! I know exactly where that angel fell. When the star hit the earth, it shattered into many pieces and the pieces landed in the hearts of many beautiful people.
I have never met an angel before. I would have said that a year ago. I would have said I didn’t believe in the basic goodness of people. Everyone lied, cheated and stole anything you let near them. At least I thought they did.
And then…and then I got sick. And suddenly found myself in the playground of heavens’ fallen children. I am speaking of course of Nancy and Phil Smith. My aunt and uncle.  
My disbelief in angels ironically bit me back. I was a blood relative to the purest angels I’ve ever met. George Elliot wrote, “the golden moments in the stream of life rush past us and we see nothing but sand;the angels come to visit us, and we only know them when they are gone.”
Nancy flew out to help out her twin (my mom) and me with every day things. She acted like it was the only course of action. She became mom 2. I can’t put into words how much she saved my mind. That sounds weird, but sunny angels can be like that. When they laugh, it’s infectious. Their concern feels genuine. Selfless. I was proved wrong as soon as Nancy entered our home.
It wasn’t just coming here that shocked me. I was in for an even greater shock when she followed us to Seattle for the first, rough leg of the trip. She was there, with smiles, laughter, soup and crackers for me and for the soul. She played canasta with me and other games! It made my gradually slimming horizons open up a little more, letting me plan games. Nancy’s uplifting stories brought hope. I was more thankful than ever before. 
The Seattle ‘jaunt’ was only a first of lengthy trips. Being unable to fly due to my illness, angels, displaying wondrous driving skills, sped us to California. 
  I had Phil, angel of love, laughter, smiles, good hugs, wisdom, honesty. 
  I had Nancy, angel of love, laughter, smiles, canasta, warmth, stories and wonder. 
  I had Dad, angel of love, bear hugs, 6:30 am music acceptance, cooking, surprises and laughter.   And I had Mom, angel of love, affection, emotions, midnight snacks, laughter, goodness and desserts. 
They all are angels of what I have become. 
They stuck with me. Incredibly. Even with pain when I lashed out with my tongue and weak arms. They stuck with me. Shockingly. Even when all I ate was Phad Thai and curry which I’m sure they will never touch again.  They stuck with me. Wonderfully. Even when I bugged the hell out of them or got angry or gave up or freaked out or lost myself. 
Because that’s what angels do. They stick with you. They help you work it out. “Angels have no philosophy but love.” (Adeline Cullen Ray)
Angels drive you from the Bay Area, California to little New Haven, Connecticut in order for you to get the help you need, even when you don’t want it. They stay at strange and ‘funky’ hotels to keep you going, let you order pay-per-view new movie releases when you can’t go to the theater, let you be picky about food, let you freak out and cry when you want to and yet they always love you in the end. They hug you. they pick you back up. Again and again and yet again when you think that they’re arms are tired from all the lifting they do of you. 
Angels stick with you for months, far beyond their heavenly call of duty. Nancy has been here for how many months and still is funny and has a contagious laugh and lets me joke with her and play games and feeds me breakfast in bed when I need the pep and still loves me. They still love me. 
Angels stick to you. Angels believe in you. My parents do. Not in so many words but I feel it. They brought me here. I fought, kicking and screaming. I dug my claws in, but they wrenched me here. Thank goodness. Glad they didn’t listen to the silly rumblings of an angry teen. They do more than I ever thought possible. I owe them all the gratitude and love my heart can hold. They’ve given me all the hope I can hold and still give me more. You can’t do more than what you do. Know that that is the truth. 
I need their love to hold me up. Angels are so strong in their hearts. Steady and emotional.  
In a city full of unsung angels, we need only look close by to see them. They wait for the chance to act. They have integrity and love like nothing I’ve seen. For angel-wanna-bees, you need only reach out a hand to find yourself one. 
Thank you angels. What more can I say? “Friends are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly.” 
Stick around, please. I could use some more flight lessons…

4 Comments on Shooting Stars

  1. Amy Charlotte
    October 2, 2008 at 11:24 pm

    You and I both know it babe. Press on little munchkin. I love you!

  2. daisysmum
    October 6, 2008 at 3:46 am


    Your words come – so wise and so well combined don’t come as a surprise to me because you were and always have been ‘not just a teen’ but someone meant to lead, and to shine … life doesn’t always let us choose how to shine, but shine you will sweet, brilliant girl!

    We havealways felt quite fortunate to know you and the angels that are your parents.
    I know what it is like to suddenly and despite all – be struck with the cruelty and the kindess of the world and the same time; There is SO MUCH goodness, there is SO MUCh love and we all care so very very much about what you are going through. We cannot change it, but we will not accept that we can’t make it easier in some tiny way. We will always be here.

    Angels are all around us, but if I may say personally – that goodness coming your way, and love and kindness is a fuzzy mirror of all that you as a family have done for others. It’s an angel boomerang 🙂

    Love from all of us, not a day goes by… we love you

    xx Emma , Patrick, Molly & Daisy

  3. Denyse
    October 10, 2008 at 10:22 pm

    Hi Nicole,

    Here’s an image to make you smile, I hope. I met your dad at the Sooke Fall Family Dinner earlier this week. Picture him in an apron, peeling LOTS of potatos — and I mean LOTS of potatos. He was awesome! He also spoke a bit about where you are at just starting your treatment. Hope you are having a good day, and that things start getting better quickly. Hang in there! People are thinking about you … even those you have never met 🙂

  4. raven
    October 11, 2008 at 9:24 pm

    Hello Nicola,

    I too have chronic Lyme, live on Southern Vancouver Island and seek treatment in the USA. I saw your story in the Times Colonist and found your blog through the letter your parents wrote to the same paper.

    I’m really enjoying reading your blog. It may seem strange, but it is both good and sad to know that I am not the only one going through this illness. Thank you for sharing your story.

    Please let me know how the treatment in Connecticut works for you.


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