Just when I needed an angel


His name is Melvin. I met him on Thursday, Aug. 9. I don’t know what Melvin was doing on Wednesday, Aug. 8, or on Friday, Aug. 10. I only know that on Aug. 9, he was an angel.

We met about noon, when my oncologist was escorting me to my “chemo” chair for chemotherapy. Trust me on this: If there were two things in life I never wanted to have, one was an oncologist, and the other a “chemo” chair. As of Aug. 9, I have both.

I was scared silly entering the room of foreboding chairs, bags, tubes and potent drugs. Melvin was already there. Unlike me, he’d been doing this for months.

“This is Melvin,” said the doc. “He has your exact illness and is taking your exact treatment. You are close in age. Maybe you could talk.”

Believe me, Melvin could talk. And his talk was all positive. He began by telling me, “We’re gettin’ well here,” and went on the tell me how, “wonderful Doc is.”

He quoted scripture off and on the entire four hours we spent together. He tried to make me feel better about not being able to color my hair. “Gray hair is good,” he said, “it’s in the Bible. It’s right there in the Bible.”

“Sure,” I thought.

He was thrilled the Olympics were on television. “God says to love one another,” said Melvin. “And that’s what they are doing – all those people from different countries – loving one another.”

I felt better.

Then he told me he was a Sagittarius.

“What day?” I asked.

“December 8,” he said.

There were only two of us in the room, and we had the same birthday, three years apart.


Not really. The amazing part came that night, at home.

At 10 p.m. I opened my Bible, a one year version with 365 daily readings, with a passage from the Old Testament, the New Testament, a Psalm and a Proverb in each day’s reading.

I turned to Aug. 9. There it was: Proverb 20:28-30. “…The glory of young men is their strength, gray hair the splendor of the old.”

Like I said, I don’t know what he was doing on Wednesday, Aug. 8, or Friday, Aug. 10, but on Thursday, Aug. 9, he was an angel.