Guardian Angels

We’ve all had instances where we’ve done something and wondered how we managed to survive it. Such as not paying attention and driving past a stop sign. Or, you are on a chair hanging curtains and lose your balance. You land in a sitting position on the kitchen table instead of falling all the way to the floor, so you don’t get hurt. Guardian Angels or just dumb luck?

I for one believe in Guardian Angels because, aside from those little things, I have had two experiences that would have been life-changing if my Guardian Angel hadn’t stepped in.

The first.

One day I was walking downtown on my way to a job interview. Since I had to do it on my lunch hour for my current job, I was in a hurry. I stopped at a corner and waited for the signal. As soon as it changed to “walk” I started to step off the curb. Just then, a gentleman grabbed my arm and said “Wait.” I looked over to see a woman in a pickup truck who had decided to beat the signal and failed. The man standing on the other side of the gentleman stepped out and was struck. The police were called and people started giving their eye-witness accounts. I looked around for my “angel”, but he was gone and I continued on to my interview. I always look both ways now after the “walk” signal comes on.

The second.

When I was about 25, I had to work late one evening and left the office about 7:00 p.m. I had parked at a hotel parking lot downtown and was walking there – it was just a couple of blocks. There had been some women raped in downtown parking garages recently, but in a different area from where I was.

Years before, in high school a police officer had talked to our class about safety. He said that most women get hurt because they are too polite to follow their instincts. They don’t want to offend someone by refusing to get into a elevator with them, and things like that. I also had read a newspaper interview of a rapist explaining how easy it is to find victims because of the same thing – manners.

That evening as I rounded the first corner on my journey I noticed a young man standing across the street. He was clean and well-dressed. As I passed, he started walking in the same direction. Yes, I noticed, but rather than turn around and go back, like both the policeman and the rapist had suggested, I continued on. I entered the hotel where I had parked and he did too. So, I thought I’d stop in the little store inside the hotel and give the guy a chance to move on. He didn’t. I could have told the cashier that I thought the man was following me, but I didn’t. I had to walk past the check-in counter on my way to the garage and I could have told the person there that I thought I was being followed and asked to have someone escort me to my car. I didn’t. Why? I didn’t want to appear paranoid or be thought of as silly.

I went into the elevator and so did my shadow. It occurred to me that I should get off, but I didn’t want to offend my shadow. (Too polite.) Even though the policeman and the rapist had said to let the other person press their floor first, I didn’t. I pressed my floor and he said he was going to the same floor. Red Light!! Ignored.

This parking garage was laid out so that when you exited the elevator lobby, you could go straight up the ramp, or turn right then left to walk down. I was parked so that I had to walk up. When I left the elevator lobby, a van had just parked and the occupants were climbing out. I walked toward them and noticed that my shadow turned to go down. See, I told myself, I was being silly. But, as I was climbing into my car, I noticed my shadow walk back into the elevator lobby to go back down. I realized that I came that close to being raped and possibly killed because I didn’t follow my instincts and was too polite.

I made sure to tell all my friends my story, although it showed how stupid I was, so they would be careful and not make my mistakes. And that’s also why I am writing this now. Be careful out there.

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