The Angel in the Apartment Office
Forty years ago, a man was drafted at 19, sent to a jungle, sprayed with Agent Orange, and terrorized by sniper fire. Today, that brave young man, who served as an Army Ranger, is a dignified old man, who sometimes has trouble remembering his keys and his meds.
I had the honor of driving him to his medical appointment at the VA hospital today. My daughter works at a VA hospital, so I thought about her as I thought about him.
The maintenance man at the apartment complex was waiting with him until I arrived, and when we got to the VA, I escorted him to the greeter at the main desk, who escorted him to the nurse at the clinic, who escorted him back to the greeter, who escorted him back to me.
The manager at the apartment complex was waiting for him until I delivered him home. She was a pretty young woman, kind and patient, who escorted him to his apartment door. On the way, she made sure that he had his groceries and his keys and his medications.
I realized that I was just one link in an unbroken chain of complete strangers, who ensured safe passage for this man on this day. I knew that the story had not begun this morning and that it had not ended this afternoon. Long after I leave, others remain to keep watch.
I wandered into a sacred space today, which was unfamiliar to me but home to the others. In thanks, I said a short prayer for the angels in the apartment office and the caregivers at the VA hospital, and then, I said a long prayer for the heroes in the passenger seat.