I was in a somewhat confused place in my life a couple of years ago. I had been unceremoniously ousted from my high paying marketing position two years before and was still struggling with a lot of "who am I and why am I here?" type questions. I didn't realize it at time, but I was in process of evolving from a person that lived almost entirely through my mind to person I'm becoming who lives from her heart and soul.
Of course, life marches on even when you're in throughs of a personal identity crisis. At this point, fate had thrown me a broken dishwasher.
Our family's finances at time of appliance meltdown were abysmal. Finally, after several months of dealing with mountains of dirty dishes strewn around kitchen, I cried "Uncle". I bought a dishwasher with remaining credit available on our credit card.
I was so happy when two young men showed up to install my shiny new best friend. It was stainless steel on front, absolutely beautiful, and amazingly quiet.
Too quiet, as it turned out.
I used my sleek new companion several days in a row. Each time I finished running dishwasher and took out dishes, they were still dirty. I called store to ask for help and they promised to send someone out next morning to check into problem.
Marty, repairman, showed up right on time. He was around fifty, slender and had a cowboy sort of air about him. I was immediately comfortable with him. He seemed open and friendly, competent and wise. We went into kitchen and within five minutes, Marty had determined that installers hadn't opened a water valve completely, so there wasn't adequate water reaching dishwasher.
I was relieved problem was so simple and easily fixed. I thanked him and offered him some coffee. He accepted a mug, leaned back against kitchen counter and after taking a sip, asked me if I believed in angels. His question caught me off guard, it didn't fit with our conversation up to that point. I asked what prompted him to ask me that question. He said he'd noticed I had several angel and cherub paintings and figurines around my house and garden. I felt slightly disconcerted and avoiding his original question, I said yes, I did indeed collect them.
He then handed me a postcard from his tool box with information about a store in Independence, Missouri, about 45 minutes from my home. He said I should go there some time because owner had many angel objects for sale. I asked Marty how he found out about store. He proceeded to tell me an amazing story.
About six months before I met Marty, his only daughter had been killed in a car accident on I-435, a nearby highway. She was a passenger in front seat riding with a couple of friends. The driver's cellular phone rang and he dropped it while trying to answer it. When he bent over to pick it up, he lost control of car and slammed into a concrete barrier. Marty's daughter was only person that was killed.