Neither here nor there, because this strange turn of events led us to attend a church that we don't normally go to. It is downtown, in a semi-shady area. We are happy at our on-campus Catholic Center church. But we went to this one today since we missed Mass.
We walked in, and took a seat in the third row from the back. I could tell in the pew right behind us were three tween girls, but didn't see who was sitting in the very back row. All I knew is that she was having a hard time with the new songs for the mass...a trait which I share with her. (They were the same for centuries and now they are being changed. I am having trouble getting on board this new train.) When it came time for the sign of peace, I shook hands with the tweens and then looked up to who sat in the row behind. There was Angel.
We shook hands and said "peace be with you." I then saw Angel's mother, who smiled and waved--it would have been quite a long reach as I was holding Sam and they were two rows behind. But her smile was a hearty and warm one. It was the minestrone of smiles. :-)
When she passed our pew to receive communion, Angel's mom winked at me. It melted my heart and I actually teared up. I was really glad that we went to this unusual church, at the expense even of seeing Father Eric, the former pastor of our usual church who has gone on to work as a pastor and Catholic film producer in LA.
After Mass, we smiled at each other again, and Angel gave a little wave. We were walking to our car, when we heard a loud "Yoo Hoo!!?!?!" from across the street. Here came Angel and her mom, putting in major effort to reach us before we drove off. And how sweet they were!!
Angel's mom, Gladys, walked up and said to me, "I think we have something in common, you and I." She proceeded to introduce herself and then her daughter followed suit. Her beautiful 23 year old daughter, Angel, has Down syndrome. She asked how old Sam was, and then just smiled and said, "you all have such a beautiful life ahead of you!" She went on about how great her life, and especially Angel's life, is. She talked about dance classes, and "girls' night in," and bowling. Angel told us she had a friend named Sam, and told us our Sam was cute. Gladys told us if we ever needed help, or a break, to let us know; that it is sometimes hard but always worth it. Then she and Angel said they hoped to see us again, and have a good week.
Yes. Angel, indeed.