Temporary Part-time Angel Stories
What Happened In New Orleans
Two weeks ago, I was visiting New Orleans by myself. Of course, I wanted to tour the famous French Quarter. The second day of my tour I left my hotel to pick up the St. Charles streetcar. The end of the streetcar ride is Canal Street. As I was crossing Canal Street, a woman beside me asked me if I knew how to reach Bourbon Street. As I was walking (she was on my left side) I got so involved in giving her directions, I failed to notice the traffic on Canal Street. I put one foot down off the curb when all of a sudden I felt a strong grip on my right shoulder and arm, and I was physically dragged up on the curb. Finally, my eyes focused on the traffic in front of me. Instead of sitting at the red light, the traffic was actually moving and moving pretty fast. If I had not been grabbed by the gentleman who did this I would have been seriously injured if not dead. Unfortunately, I did not get the name of the man when I profusely thanked him for doing what he did. He was my Guardian Angel that day. I don't know who he was or why he was there, but I thank God I met him that day.
(TPA editor; when we at Temporary Part Time Angel receive stories like this one, we are always amazed and awed by the unanswered question, how was this man guided to be at that exact spot at the exact time to come to someone’s rescue.)
As we sat at the coffee bar, and talked about Temporary Part Time Angel, Arthur told me he liked the idea of being a Temporary Part Time Angels. He told me how he always carried a few small gifts for people who looked like they needed something. How he liked to always have a few extra dollars in one pocket so when he was at the checkout line at the grocery store, and the person was having to tell the cashier to put some of the basics back, that he could take out of that pocket and say let me pay for that. “Just consider it a gift from me to you.” Then Arthur told me how these things made him feel. Etc.
Then he said, “Let me tell you about the most fantastic day in my life. To this day, I don’t know what encouraged me to do it, I didn’t get anything out of it, and it cost me over three hundred American dollars, but I have never felt better than I did that day.
For some reason I found myself in the Toys-are-us parking lot. I don’t know why, I have never been married and don’t have any children. In fact I don’t even have any nieces or nephews to buy for. I was there, and felt compelled to go inside. The parking lot lights hadn’t come on yet, and the only light was the light coming out of the store. Suddenly I noticed a silhouette sitting of to the side, at first I thought it was a teenage girl, but as I got closer I noticed the silhouette was a woman in her twenties, and she was crying. I asked her what was wrong, and she told me it was Christmas time and she couldn’t afford to buy gifts for her two children, to have under the tree. I told her lets go get a few things, “Let it be my gift to you so you can have toys for your children from Santa. As soon as we got into the store, I picked up a couple of small things, then said to her, I guess we need a shopping cart. She said, “I can’t believe this is happening for me and my children.” Then I said maybe we should go down the isles like we were at the grocery store. As I kept putting stuff in the cart she kept repeating, “I can’t believe this is happening.” Then we got to one isle and she picked up a small package of Play Dough and said sheepishly do you think we could get one of these. I told her no they need the big one and, put it in the cart. Then I saw an Etch-A-Sketch saying every child needs one of these, as I put it into the cart, with tears on her face she kept saying, “I can’t believe this is happening.” When we went down the next isle I saw a Rock-um Sock-um, and asked her if it’s not too violent for her I would like to get one of these for the boys. On the next isle she picked up one small Nerf Ball, I said no, one is not enough and put six in the cart. On the next isle I saw Gumbo and Pokie, and it reminded me of the fun I had with them when I was little, and I hoped her boys would have as much fun. I hadn’t had this much fun in years, I felt like a little kid who could get what ever he wanted. Even now when I talk about that day I get chill bumps all over. By the time we got to the last isle the cart was so overflowing I couldn’t put another thing in. So I said I guess we are finished and headed for the register as we waited in line I saw these huge lollipops and asked her if she allowed her children to have sugar, when she said yes I picked the two largest ones and set them on the counter. When the cashier saw just how many toys we put on the counter she said, “I guess someone is going to have a good Christmas.” With tears on her face the woman said, “ I don’t even know his name, we never met before, and he is doing this for me and my children.”
I helped her put the toys into her car and said, ”Merry Christmas, and the next year will be a much better year.
A note from one of the authors, I can’t help but think that somewhere are two young men who have heard this story from their mother hundreds of times. The year they almost didn’t have a Christmas, and the man who came to the rescue that day in December about twenty years ago. If either of you read this please e-mail me at GeorgeBailey@TemporaryPartTimeAngel.com I will see that he gets to read it.
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