Saturday, April 1, 2017

I surround myself with Angels

Surround yourself with ANGELS

Please meet my friend Penny. I have been keeping an eye on this young lady for awhile now....I am enamored by her writing and thrilled to collaborate with her on our upcoming project...she is a brilliant soul...I hope you enjoy a small sample of her creativity....
"Robert and I met in the Near Death Experience group on facebook.  After reading his book, I contacted him and we soon became friends.  He has been an endless source of encouragement and guidance to me, as I work through my own near-death experience through writing..."
Penny Wilson

I suppose it’s true for all of us, that many of the lessons we learn are taught through our children. My life had taken some tough turns when I decided to take a charge nurse position at a camp for kids with special needs. I was hoping it would be a sort of get-away. The kids could enjoy the camp and learn what life entailed for children who had struggles larger than theirs. While I enjoyed a much needed change of scenery.
We arrived at Camp Friendship and were given the grand tour. The grounds were beautiful, with rolling hills, mature trees, a sparkling lake and even a small farm that the campers could enjoy. Part of the tour was the “bike barn”. Inside the old tattered structure were bikes of every sort; bikes with two wheels, training wheels, large tricycles, tandem bikes, just about every configuration of wheels that one could imagine, constructed for people of any skill level. We were free to choose any bike, and could keep them until summer’s end.
My youngest child Jake, stood at the door of the barn looking defeated; shoulders slumped, eyes downcast, as he pondered his decision. He’d spent two summers trying to learn how to ride. His own body had sabotaged him at every turn. Born prematurely, he struggled with coordination which made many everyday tasks difficult.
I understood his pain. I knew how it felt to struggle, even more so, to struggle and fail. I too had hit the ground many times and dragged myself back up to start again. Of course, my injuries were of the heart, but they hurt just the same. Even so, I would have gladly taken another kick to the chest to prevent his suffering a third summer of mocking laughter from children younger than he, as they rode past.
David and Laurie Ann chose standard bikes, as did I. I didn’t want Jake to miss out, so I suggested that he choose a three-wheeled tricycle (large enough to suit a seven-year-old). He immediately took offense at my suggestion. His expression, a mix of hurt and anger. “I’m not a baby! I can ride a normal bike.” I smiled at his moxie. It had gotten him through many struggles. “Okay buddy, you go for it!” He walked around, studying each one, until he decided on a blue, two wheeled, boy’s bike without training wheels.
I knew better than to discourage him, though my heart was already hurting at the most probable outcome. He was not about to ride that “baby bike”. I suppose he thought it better to fail like a man than to admit defeat, and I respected him for that choice. Slowly, he pushed his selection out of the barn and surveyed the area; wanting to be sure that there would be no witnesses, should he fail. I looked to the sky, “God, if you have some extra time today and could give him this one thing, I’d really appreciate it.”
All was quiet, the season wouldn’t begin until Sunday and only a few campers came for weekend respite, they were nowhere in sight. I assumed he would walk the bike to the bottom of the hill and begin from there, but in an assertion of ego, he chose to try and ride it down the sloping landscape.
Climbing onto the seat he took hold of the handlebars, and pushed off with his foot, quickly bringing his feet to the pedals. If it were possible to will success on a child, I would have willed him to ride to the far reaches of the camp.
He raced down the hill, teetering and steering frantically to avoid falling. I could see that his weight wasn’t centered, and that he was going to fall, and fall he did. He crashed at the bottom of the hill and lay beneath the bike, a tangled mess. Crying angrily, his pride injured more than his little body, he lay there, defeated. My heart ached for him.
At that moment, campers who had been watching from the building at the bottom of the hill, filed out, one by one. Each of them suffered some sort of disability, be it mental, physical or both. Some had walkers, others had wheelchairs and still others could walk only with assistance from a camp counselor.
One of the men ran, in a limping sort of way, to the scene of the accident and lifted the bike from on top of Jacob. He offered Jake his hand and helped him up, and they introduced themselves, “Hi, my name is Bobby.” Jake sniffled, “Mine’s Jake.” He spoke to Jacob in a voice that was difficult to understand. “I know how it feels to wanna do something and not be able to, but if you really believe you can, then you WILL do it.”
He spoke slowly, carefully enunciating each word so that Jacob could understand. Through tear filled eyes my little boy looked at him, wondering if the words from a man, who was so obviously impaired, could possibly have any merit. After all, Bobby had no idea that Jake had been trying to learn to ride a two-wheeled bicycle for the past two summers. This man didn’t know his history. He didn’t know about the countless scraped knees, the mailboxes into which he had crashed on so many occasions, the many injuries to his pride as on-looking children watched him try and fail.
Could this man with his slurred speech and ambling gait possibly be right? Jake stared into his eyes as though searching him for something that might validate the truth in his words. Using his forearm, he wiped the tears from his cheeks and stared at Bobby, then at the bike, deciding if he wanted to try once more.
Bobby grabbed the seat of the bike and steadied it. Jake looked at him, unsure, and then he made his choice. He climbed onto the bike! “Believe you can do it Jake, and you WILL do it”, Bobby whispered, and sent him off with a firm push.
Jake pedaled frantically, the handlebars weaving a crooked path over the sidewalk and through the grass. The bike wobbled precariously, threatening to topple over at any moment. The group of onlookers shouted words of encouragement. “You can do it Jake! You can do it!”
He pedaled faster, gaining momentum in a visual flurry of cycling feet. Holding my breath, I stood with my hands to my face, watching between my fingers. It seemed he was going too fast to control the bike, but he was so emboldened by the screams of encouragement, so thrilled at the feeling of being carried forward by his own power, that he rode faster and faster. He looked back over his shoulder and exclaimed to Bobby, “I’m doing it! I’m really DOING it!” The crowd roared all the louder.
In his enthusiasm, he lost sight of the fast approaching tree. “Jacob! Watch out for the tree!” I shouted. By the time he turned to look where he was going, it was too late. He struck the tree with such momentum that he rode right up it until the bike was perpendicular to the ground, causing him to fall backward into the grass, the bike landing on top of him.
I gasped and ran toward him. He didn’t cry. He leapt from the ground, scuffed and bleeding, proclaiming, “I believed and I did it! It worked! It really worked!” The campers exploded into applause, running to Jake to hug him and shake his hand, everyone bursting with the triumph of my little boy. This group of people who had struggled and fought their whole lives to do even the simplest of tasks, some of them barely able to walk, ran to relish in the victory of that seven-year-old child.
Sometimes, when I am feeling down, or defeated, I’m swept back to that summer day. Standing at the bottom of the hill watching trust and determination play out. The day when a little boy soaked up the faith of a simple but wise man, and embraced belief. I remind myself of the joy, the thrill I felt watching him conquer that demon of fear, and putting aside every failure he’d suffered, that he might once and for all taste sweet victory. All of us walked a little bit taller that day, especially a wonderful little boy named Jake.

Penny Wilson is the mother of three, and has two beautiful grandchildren.  Recently retired from nursing, she lives in Kentucky with her fiancΓ© Don, and their three eccentric cats.  In 2002, she began her professional career after earning her Associate Degree in nursing from Eastern Kentucky

University.  She went on to enter the

fields of cardio thoracic and critical care nursing.  In 2011, her practice
expanded, allowing her to care for terminally ill and actively dying patients.
 This gave her the opportunity to provide support through often neglected
found herself examining her own beliefs about death and what lay beyond.
end-of-life transitions.  As each soul passed into the spirit world, she  It was not until her own near-death experiences, that she decided to
condition resulted in frequent episodes of respiratory failure, forcing doctors
leave nursing and pursue writing as her life’s work.  In August of 2014, Penny was struck with a rare disease called, idiopathic anaphylaxis.  The to initiate life-support.  These anaphylactic attacks have repeated
themselves eighteen times since she first received her diagnosis.   Her journeys into the afterlife, helped her
to understand the abiding love that our Creator has for us, and the divine
nature of our existence. Penny learned that each of us is blessed with the
ability to affect profound change in the world. 
Inspired by her experiences, she began putting them to paper and is
currently working on her first book, “A Life Reclaimed”.   She is a contributing author to the upcoming
book, “The Transformative Power of Near-Death Experiences” by Dr. Penny Sartori
and Kelly Walsh and has a blog on Facebook,

Penny is also a speaker with

Please visit my friend and say hello...You will find her spirit a remarkable testament and her humor and wit second to none...I love this gal...I hope you do too...

Here is a recent radio interview with this remarkable woman...

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