Angels, Lifechangers, and Laughter

Eric Alagan and billgncs posted last week about “lifechangers”: people who played pivotal roles in their lives. Eric called them angels, and in his beautiful way described a life changer, an angel in his life.

IMG_0099I’ve been trying to think of the life changers in my own life, but I can think of no single person or life changer in particular. My life looks to me like some long but inevitable path, an unanalyzable unit. But in my efforts to remember life changers and angels I recalled some of the innumerable people I have met who were at least part-angels: peeople who shined for me, who smiled, who befriended me, who helped, who liked me, who shared something with me. Taken together they create quite a bright light – a bonfire, as Eric suggests. images

I thought of Craig W., a classmate in 3rd grade. A chunky African-American kid in our mostly white, mostly Italian, P.S. 34 in the Bronx, who went home from school by train. (Yes, it was safe for an 8 year old to take the train by himself back then) As I lived adjacent to the train station, Craig and I would walk together. We would laugh almost continuously. I remember we had something of a joke about the words “sour cream” and “sour milk”. The mere mention of either of these words would throw our 8 year old psyches into paroxysms of laughter. Craig would usually cry from laughing, his round torso would jiggle and bounce with laughter. On the last day of school we were laughing even more wildly than ever. As we approached the train station, I said, “See ya in September, Craig”. Craig said “See ya” as he walked giggling and guffawing all the way up the station steps. But Craig must have moved over the summer, and I never saw him again.

Craig and I had laughed with the angels. images-2

What an amazing piece of joy Craig brought me with his “sour cream” and “sour milk” jokes.

A gift from the heavens it was!

I think of it now and smile.

23 thoughts on “Angels, Lifechangers, and Laughter

  1. There is something so special about shared laughter between friends. I have one friend who can reduce me to a blubbering mass of giggles and snorts with just a few words. I haven’t seen her in years now but every once in awhile she will send me a message and I will burst out laughing.

  2. Laughing with angels–a dear phrase–and a memory of childhood. Perhaps you will encounter him again someday–

    1. I very much doubt that we will meet, and we probably wouldn’t recognize each other after all these years. It’s just a sweet memory, and the fact that I can recall it so vividly points to its angelic nature. Thank you for commenting

  3. There is something very attractive about that “some long but inevitable path” that you mention… especially to one who’s gone down the rocky road. The story, though, is moving… despite being about the small moments.

    1. Well, maybe the long inevitable path is a rocky one. But the presence of joy and laughter, including many of the simple daily moments, has a touch of the divine I think. Well, I suppose everything would.

  4. Well โ€œBumbaโ€ ๐Ÿ˜€

    This is a great honour to be mentioned here and in the company of a true gentleman such as Bill (billgncs).

    It saddened me to read you did not meet Craig again (as it reminded me of Heng and I), but also glad you retain that happy period. I think you were both angels for each other.

    It is so wonderful that the memories still evoke a smile.

    All good wishes and thank you,
    Eric

    1. Eric,
      Thanks to you. And as for being sad that I never saw Craig again, I believe that, as a child, I was impervious to those sorts of reactions. Just as a dog possesses no memories to bother him, as a child I was unruffled, or too busy with stickball, to care or think about looking back. Interesting. But certainly it is wonderful to be able to share something with the angels in these fine moments.

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