June 22, 2011
The Caregiver Chronicles: Angels Surround Us
BY Judy Overton
After a long and successful career in broadcast journalism in Houston, North Texas and Oklahoma, Judy Overton joined MD Anderson in 2008 as a senior communications specialist. Her husband, Tom, was treated at MD Anderson for renal cancer. He died in April 2007. Judy's occasional posts will cover aspects of the cancer experience from the caregiver's perspective.
"I believe in angels. Something good in everything I see.
I believe in angels, when I know the time is right for me."
The lyrics from the rock group ABBA's song resonate deeply within me. I truly believe in angels, especially those beloved souls who leave us, too soon.
The days march on
Four days had passed since I'd buried Tom. The sun streamed in through the blinds of our bedroom. The radio, which had been silent since Tom had died, beckoned.
When I turned it on, I was blown away. On the classical station, the song I'd selected for Tom's viewing was playing.
It hadn't been easy to choose this special tune. I'd wanted a song by the Houston Symphony with Sergei Commissiona conducting. Tom had been on the Symphony's public relations staff during Commissiona's tenure.
Of the choices, I was drawn to a march. Tom would've understood.
We'd both been exposed to rigid yet successful high school band programs, and felt the programs had helped us develop discipline and focus.
I immediately felt Tom's presence.
Though gone from this world, he lived on.
Perhaps he's now one of my angels.
My angel delivers rainbows
A few days later, I was touring Italy with the St. Thomas More Catholic Church choir.
Tom and I had planned to make the trip together, but when his oncologist told us he had six months or less to live, we cancelled our reservations.
During one of the eulogies at Tom's funeral mass, our parish priest encouraged me to make the trip.
I decided to go.
On a winding Italian highway on May 5 -- the 30th anniversary of the day Tom and I met -- our entourage witnessed a beautiful rainbow from the windows of the tour bus.
It was a special sight.
I believed, and still do, that it was Tom acknowledging our anniversary in splendid fashion.
Are these celestial signs, or wishful thinking?
Do you believe in angels, too?
I'd love to hear from you about your experiences.
I truly believe in angels, especially those beloved souls who leave us, too soon.
Caregiver & Employee