Apostates, Angels, and Starbucks

I lost my mother today. She was 82, and had a long, fruitful life. Her list of physical ailments had slowly increased over the years, but mortality is never so powerful as when it is sudden.

She had twenty four hour home care, and the night aide felt something was amiss. When Mom could not be roused, the aide called 911 immediately, and Mom was taken to the nearest hospital.

By the time we arrived, at nearly 2:30 this morning, the scans of her head were already up on the computer. The pools of blood displacing her brain tissue were painfully obvious. The neurologist described the hemorrhage as a ‘bomb going off in her head.’ Sudden, all encompassing, and irreversible. My mother was gone.

Later that night, I made plans to pick up my sister at Denver International. She had caught the quickest flight from Lancaster that she could, at would arrive late in the afternoon. I volunteered to make the drive, in spite of a migraine ghosting around my temples.

Caffeine! That would do the trick, at least for a while. I pulled into a nearby Starbucks, which was easy, as they are everywhere. I placed my order, and was given a bright, full-faced smile by the young, cheery barista.

She made my drink, and asked “So, how’s you’re day so far?” I could feel my face start to crumple.

(A long time ago, I once loved a determined apostate. He had once been a minister, and walked away from his beliefs. He wore his apostasy like a dagger, forged in some  unrevealed fire.)

The barista put my drink on the counter and crossed over the barrier.

(Apostates can be stubborn. I can’t judge though, I was the prodigal daughter myself, once.)

The unknown young lady lightly placed her hands on my arms. “I don’t know you, but I am to tell you that you are loved. May I give you a hug?” Astonished, I felt a wave of kindness and concern roll over me.

“My mother died today.” The dazzling barista reached up and hugged me firmly. “I’m so sorry for your loss.” For a moment, I wept on the shoulder of an oddly familiar stranger. “You are loved.”

 For he will command his angels concerning you 
   to guard you in all your ways.  Psalm 91:11

Much love,



2 thoughts on “Apostates, Angels, and Starbucks

  1. I am so sorry for your loss. We’ve never met but we are cousins; I met your mother on a few occasions and she was a kind, good woman. My branch of the family always spoke highly of her and we send our condolences.
    Tara Lowry Pfarner
    Boston, NY


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s