An Angel Unaware

It is said that, 1) Angels are all around us, even though we don’t know it. And 2) Everyone has a twin…. or in the case of this story, a triplet!

I lost my Nana, Kathleen Browning, just before my son’s second birthday, so almost eight years ago. It was sudden and I never got a chance to make my way back to her to say good bye. In fact, I had phoned her about two weeks before and she was fine. Little did I know it was the last phone call I was going to make to her, but I will forever hold it’s details in my heart.

Fast forward to last night – July 19, around 8 pm CST, I was on Facebook chatting with my aunt about quotes Nana used often, like, “Oh for Heaven’s sake…” in her high pitched native, Boston accent when something was a surprise or very interesting to her. Being a life long Catholic, another one of her favorite sayings was, “Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,” when something startled her or she was flabbergasted. In turn, my sisters and I would yell back, “Where??” and she’d always laugh. There were so many more as the night went on and my cousins had joined in the conversation. Laughs were all around, and memories flowed like a trickling waterfall through my mind, leaving me missing Nana, and sad that I can’t see her anymore.

Now, I don’t know if God somehow heard all these sillies memories and said, “Hey Kathleen, come on over here and listen to what you’re family is saying.” Or gave her a free pass to the realm of Earth for the afternoon, but as I was taking my son to the community pool there was this woman swimming with her daughter and grandchildren who looked very familiar. Immediately my head echoed, “Nana?”

She had a short hair cut, thicker on top, in a chestnut brown with some natural sun kissed, red highlights, a round face, slender nose that had a lift at the nostrils, and coral lipstick on her lips. She was even buxom and curvy like my tall, and full-figured nana.

She caught me staring, and I said, “I’m sorry, you look just like my Nana.”

To which she laughed and said, “Oh for Heaven’s sake!”

I stopped dead in my tracks, to which she noticed, and I told her how my aunt and cousins were just talking about Nana quotes and that was one she said all the time, not to mentioned she said it just the way this woman did. She laughed again and we chatted for quite a while, mostly about Nana, what her life was like, where she came from and so on. Her daughter joined in, too, and I found out she’s just a little younger than me, and her husband’s good friend works with my husband! Small, small world! And it only gets smaller still…. so small, in fact, this is why I opened my blog mentioning angels and twins–err triplets (my Nana was a twin).

A break in conversation, I finally said, “My name is Eryn, by the way.” The daughter introduced herself as Kristin (uhh my sister’s name – and spelling) and Nana’s look-a-like said, “I’m Kathy.” My jaw dropped, face probably went pale too.

She said, “Don’t tell me your Nana’s name was Kathy?”

I said, “Not quite. It was Kathleen.”

Kristin and Kathy’s jaws dropped then, both tumbling over each other’s words to say, “Her/My full name is Kathleen.”

Chills. I got pure chills on a 90 degree day, to the point that I started to cry. I was completely shocked.

Later on I texted my aunt telling her this story, and she said that I had to ask if I could take her picture. Kathy joyfully agreed and I took a picture to mark the day I met my Nana’s angel on earth. Maybe she was guided to me for an extra special mark of the memories still twinkling about in my head from the night before, or maybe God or Nana knew I needed one more chance to say hello and spend a few hours with her again. Who knows? But I know I had to go and write down this moment the instant I got home. Whoever doesn’t believe that people aren’t supposed to meet…better change your thinking because after today, I firmly believe we are supposed to find people who are meant to change our lives.


Thank you Kathy

    I love you Nana!




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