You and I have lost friends or family members because of drunk drivers. My friend, Jan Heuer, did a public Facebook post on the anniversary of the tragic death of her sister, Cheryl Hagler, more than 45 years ago by a drunk driver at the steering wheel of a car on Fairbanks N. Houston. Only God’s love can hope to fill the emptiness which results from such death.
To thank Jan Heuer for reminding us of the need to remember lost ones, like Cheryl, and to express what she meant to me, I have asked my Publicist, Ann Boland, to repost my prayer on Cheryl, one of my own Bending Angels.
God – After four years of being schooled at home, the day had come for me to attend Post Elementary full-time. I felt so unprepared and out of place.
On the bus would I fit in? Would I be accepted as I looked after polio?
As I stood under the tallow tree waiting on the bus to arrive, I obsessed about how different than others I was. Scoliosis. Uneven shoulders and legs. Orthopedic shoes of different heights A steel back brace. Topping it off was that football helmet Mother made me wear to protect my brain if I fell.
Suddenly, the yellow school bus driven by Bubba Willbern pulled to a stop in front of me. The way the children watched me from the windows inside the bus made me feel like an ugly creature in a fishbowl.
My brother, Charles, helped me up the steps and into the bus. Apprehensively, I looked first at the faces down the left row of seats and then to the right. Everyone turned away from me. Where would I ever find a seat?
Lord, then Your angel appeared. A girl on the sixth row on the right scooted closer to the window. She smiled at me. She patted the seat next to her and waved for me to join her.
The bus that year went to Post Elementary every day. But, with Your angel, Cheryl Hagler, sitting beside me, I always went somewhere else. In her divine way, Cheryl guided me ever closer to you with each passing day. Through her, You imparted to me the sacred lesson of the power of acceptance of the differences in others.
In her early twenties Cheryl, who once wore that Peter Pan-collared blouse, was killed by a drunk driver near where You and the bus brought us together.
God, please help all Your children search for the angels You send them. For in finding angels whether on a bus, in church, or in a line at Starbucks we can receive the holiest of holy messages from You. That we are unconditionally loved by You.
Oh! And God, thank You for my angel, Cheryl. More importantly, at the moment of her tragic death, I thank You for giving her light-filled wings to fly into Your loving arms. I know You made room for Cheryl in Heaven just as she made a place for me next to her on the bus when I needed her most on Earth. Amen
Jack H. Emmott is a Senior Counsel of Gray, Reed & McGraw, LLP, a 145-lawyer full-service firm in Houston, Dallas, and Waco, Texas. He is Board-Certified in both Family Law and Civil Trial Law and is a Master Credentialed Collaborative Law Professional Divorce Attorney.
To arrange a book signing or personal appearance please contact Jack’s Publicist, Ann Boland by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 520-247-0070.