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Guardian Angels

Maybe I’m too naive and trusting. Maybe I just want to like everyone. Either way, last week I had a chance encounter with complete strangers – and it was wonderful!

I originally ‘met’ @OurClassCeeLife on Instagram. I read about her story and saw she was coming through Kansas City. So, of course, I reached out and asked to grab a cup of coffee when she passed through. We did one better and went to Joe’s KC {known to us locals as OK Joe’s} because she and her John has seen it on Food Network and had dreamed of making it for burnt ends – before he died unexpectedly last year.

For some reason, May 21st was the extra hard day for me this year {instead of the usual May 20th – my guess is because May 20th was a Sunday, my normal lay low, recharge day}. But, I’d made plans and it was once in a lifetime. Up until the minute I got in the car I was thinking of excuses to miss dinner and just go lay in bed. But I pushed through and hoped that getting out of the house would do me some good…but I still didn’t want to have to be around people.

I pulled into the parking lot and just sat in the car for a long while. I didn’t see an RV anywhere so I took a few minutes to psych myself up to go in, be sociable, and ‘adult’ for just a little bit. A few minutes later a big ol’ RV pulled into the little bitty parking lot and parked like a pro. I knew it had to be my dinner date.

Normally, a line out the door we walked right in and ordered. Normally, no burnt ends after 2pm we got a pound. Normally, seating at a premium we sat right down.

We shared our stories of loss, gratitude and finding our new joy and couldn’t help but notice the connections in our stories and the pleasant ‘ah-ha’s’…We knew that John and Maddie wanted us to meet AND made sure all the pieces were in place to make it extra special.

After we’d stuffed ourselves with burnt ends, chicken, onion rings and french friends. My friend quietly says “I hope this doesn’t bother you but I want to take some pictures.”

John’s urn comes out of the backpack and we arrange it nicely on the table between the leftovers and the pleathera of BBQ sauces. I take a few pictures, then ask if I can be in one – just to prove it happened. John’s urn starts to get packed away…

“Stop. I’d like John to be in my picture too!” I could see the light in the eyes of every member of that family. I think it meant just as much to me to have John on the picture as it did to them 🙂

There were a couple younger girls at a table next to us that saw what we were doing and snickered a little bit. A part of me was glad they didn’t ‘get’ why our pictures were so special. Another part of me thought: just you wait, some day you’ll want to do something like this – something that means the world to you – and there will be a couple girls in the corner laughing, trying to make you feel bad for what you’re doing…

If you ever have the pleasure of witnessing a special memory like this I challenge you to make it that much sweeter: offer to TAKE the picture, share a hug, or a handshake…Do a litle something special for those that are trying to find their silver lining.

3 thoughts on “Guardian Angels

  1. Why is it that I’m finally reading this story TODAY? I love your version even better than my own….. and also I love how there are so many similarities in how we told the story (makes me realize that we are even more SOUL sisters!)

    This day of my trip was one that continues to make me smile. I’m so glad you were able to push through that day and come. CeeCee will hopefully be rolling through town again this summer (I drove through at Christmas but the weather was hard at my heels and I couldn’t stop). We will have to set up another lunch date. Your choice this time!

    1. Crystal W.

      That I don’t know Kristyn!

      Like many things I do these days {as I’m sure you understand too} I have to psych myself up for – but once I’m there I couldn’t imagine it any other way! I can’t wait to see you again this summer!!

  2. Avatar
    • Stacy Phillips

    What a beautifully written story. My family is very close with Kristyn’s family as we are both families that adopted our children. In fact, they are so close their children and ours refer the the adults as Aunt and Uncle. I am so very glad that you and Kristyn were able to connect and meet. What brought you together as grief has created a lasting friendship.


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