I co-wrote a book with my sister many years ago that, sadly never saw the light of the printed page. The working title was “Iguana” — I think because the opening chapter featured one of those creatures, but also because there were plenty of these reptiles in the Virgin Islands and Martinique, two of the narrative’s locales. There was also a large lumbering green iguana living in the lemon tree on the side of my south Florida home. That’s the back story, but ultimately the title was changed to “Facets.” For good luck, I got a vanity tag for my then-Florida-registered car. “Facets” has since become my favorite all-time word because it’s all-reaching — from the sparkle of a diamond to the parts of a human body, to contemplation, literature and zoology.
There are seven archangels noted in the bible, as well as a number of other religious traditions. The most well-known are Michael, Gabriel and Raphael who, along with their brethren, represent facets of the celestial hierarchy. I can attest from personal experience that either these renowned seraphim are getting personally involved in my life, or there are also angels among us living as fellow human beings.
My first angel was actually named Michael. Coincidence? I think not, especially since I attend St. Michael’s Parish. I was advised by my real estate agent to be right-priced when selling my home, and to accept a reasonable offer. I did that, and not only sold my house quickly but to the most gracious and lovely person.
Searching for rentals in the local area quickly became discouraging because everything I saw was more money than I wanted to pay or too sad to be considered a home, and they all clearly declared “No Pets.” Then I met Brenda, who turned down other interested renters for her fabulous second floor apartment and not only accepted my kitten but quickly adopted her own senior cat.
I needed help lugging boxes up the stairs to the new apartment and Angel Tom offered support and expertise installing a new wireless doorbell, because a building dating back to 1786 (and updated in the 1800s) is a challenge with electronics.
Then the worst thing imaginable happened — my kitten went missing. Angel Rose immediately arrived and together we searched and chirp-called in every nook and cranny for Darlin’s answer. We heard her distress call for help in the attic but could not physically reach her.
I called the local volunteer fire department and Chief Ryan (Angel #5) speedily responded with reinforcements. The search was inconclusive and he returned the next morning with state-of-the-art equipment that could listen and see through walls. The pronouncement was that the kitten had left the dwelling.
As I was contemplating a full court press to search outside for my kitten, I received an urgent message from Angel #6 Unit Lynn & Phil who said they would help search at daylight. After 20 minutes of reconnaissance, my beloved kitten was found in the rafters of a local barn, where she immediately jumped into my arms.
The complications of life in general and facing a growing number of healthcare costs drew me ultimately to Angel #7 Steve, who freely shared his expertise, helped me fill out forms, and turned me in the right direction for assistance from several agencies. I am now confident there are many more than seven archangels because we live among many facets of angels. We only need to ask for, and freely accept, their assistance. And the saving grace is that we return the favor.
Jo Ann Jaacks lives in Litchfield and is the publicist for Little Free Library in the Litchfield Hills