Saturday, January 9, 2010

Laura's Angels

A lot of my readers already know this: I am part of a special group called Laura's Angels. This is a prayer/care web that originated with Kokomo High School quite a few years ago.

Our school is large and the staff is spread out. Friendships form easily within departments but, for instance, English teachers don't even tread the same halls as those math people upstairs. Consequently, it's not uncommon to walk past adults in the halls and not know who they are.

But teachers, by their natures, care about people, their students and their colleagues. One of those people could be carrying a heavy load and others would never know.

So, Laura's Angels formed, first to meet some specific needs of one of our teachers. It was and is, at first, a prayer chain. If someone makes a request known, within moments, e-mail flashes that message to any who open it. And, since so many of our teachers and staff are praying Christians, prayers begin to rise.

Then, from some mysterious closet, gifts arrive at a desk. Those gifts can include baby clothes, restaurant cards, snacks, inspirational books, and etc. That last is the constantly organic brain child of the head Angel.

The Angels have been on the case for the Bolingers since last April. As I returned to school, I sent this note to my fellow angels.

Hi Laura’s Angels.

You may have noticed, or maybe not, that I am back in 137 this semester. It’s good to be among you, my friends, for many reasons.

Teaching has consumed my life, my heart, my time for much of the last 35 years. I took a leave, rather abruptly, last spring when my husband was diagnosed with Stage 4 gall bladder cancer. Don’t bother to GOOGLE it; it’s bad.

You, my dears, rallied around us, as you do for all who bring needs to your attention. Tangibly, you donated many, many, many pillowcases for a specific need. And in that miraculous realm of intercession, you began to pray for us. When I began to blog, many of you continued to follow us on the path we walk.

We were given good, scientific information that Mike would not survive 6 months. We spent our spring and early summer preparing for that, as much as one can. And we hung on to each other and to God.

Last August, Mike was doing much better than expected but I extended my leave as we both figured the clock would wind down in the fall.

It is still ticking. Folks who know Mike see him around town and are 1) pleased; 2) surprised; 3) confused; and/or all of this. He has gained 10 pounds, swims 2 – 3 miles most days, and is making beautiful furniture in his shop. I talked him into letter his hair grow so now he has a great golden mane.

Some well-meaning people shake his hand and say how glad they are that he is healed. Please understand my heart here. He is NOT healed. Lurking in there, in secret places, gall bladder cancer is waiting to take his life. His doctors are pleased and amazed at his progress. We are enjoying a sweeter marriage than we’ve ever had.

It was Mike’s wish that I return to school this semester. It’s kind of a move toward some sort of normal. I was not all that sold on the idea at first but he said, “It will be good for you.”

Guess what? He’s right. I’m among friends and some really nice teenagers. It is my milieu.

But, my friends, I would ask that you continue to remember us in your prayers. We don’t know how this disease will progress. I will keep you updated with specifics as/if such needs arise.

For example, Mike had a CAT scan this week and we will meet with his doctor next Monday at 9:30. We will appreciate knowing that you are holding us up.

I can visualize the movement from that initial newsflash to this greater community. So many of our teachers belong to local churches, prayer groups, women's groups, men's groups, groupie groups, and they forward this need to their friends.

Who forward it to other friends. And on and on.

Personally, we have heard from absolute strangers in far away places; of course, they are strangers no more as they become part of our safety net, those invisible strands that wrap themselves around us.

Laura’s Angels: what a blessing to KHS and our greater community.

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