by Dottie Walters
My grandma told me about angels. She said they come knocking at the door of our hearts, trying to deliver a message to us. I saw them in my mind's eye with a big mail sack slung between their wings and a post office cap set jauntily on their head. I wondered if the stamps on their letters said "Heaven Express." "No use waiting for the angel to open your door," Grandma explained. "You see, there is only one door handle on the door of your heart. Only one bolt. They are on the inside. Your side. You must listen for the angel, throw open the lock and open up that door!"
I loved the story and asked her again and again to tell me, "What does the angel do then?" "The angel never says 'hello.' You reach out and take the message, and the angel gives you your instructions: 'Arise and go forth!' then the angel flies away.
It is your responsibility to take action."
However, there was one time when the knocking stopped. It happened when my daughter, Lilly, was badly hurt in an accident. She was riding on the back of a forklift her father rented to move some hay for our horses. Lilly and two of the neighbor children begged him to let them ride on the forklift when he took it back to the rental place. Going down a little hill, the steering gear broke. Her father almost pulled his arms out of their sockets trying to hold the big rig on the road before it turned over. The little neighbor girl broke her arm. Lilly's father was knocked unconscious. Lilly was pinned underneath, with the huge weight of the rig on her left hand. Gasoline spilled out, burning her legs and hip.
The neighbor boy was unhurt and kept his wits. He ran out and stopped traffic. We rushed Lilly to Orthopedic Hospital in Los Angles where they began a long series of operations, each time amputating more of her hand as gangrene ate more away. Lilly had just started piano lessons.
During this time I often drove off by myself to cry, not wanting others to see me. I couldn't stop. I found I did not have the concentration to read anything. No angels knocked. There was a heavy silence in my heart. I kept thinking of all the things Lilly would never do because of this terrible accident.
When we took her back to the hospital for the sixth operation, my spirit was very low. I am a writer, I had looked forward with great anticipation to her taking typing lessons the next year. The therapist at the hospital confirmed my fears, "Don't worry, she'll do other things." I kept thinking over and over, "She will never type! Never type. Never type."
We set her bag down in the hospital room and suddenly turned around because a young teenage girl in the next bed said to us in a commanding voice: "I've been waiting for you! You go down the hall right now, third room on the left! There is a boy there who was hurt in a motorcycle accident. You go down there and lift up his spirit, right now!" She had the voice of a field marshal. We immediately obeyed her. We talked to the boy and encouraged him, and then came back to Lilly's hospital room.
For the first time I noticed that this unusual girl was bent way over. "Who are you?" I asked. "My name is Toni Daniels," she grinned. "I go to the handicapped high school. This time the doctors are going to make me a whole inch taller! You see, I had polio. I have had many operations."
She had the charisma and strength of a General Schwartzkopf. I couldn't help the words that came flying out of my mouth, "But you aren't handicapped!"
"Oh, yes, you are right," she replied, looking sideways at me. "They teach us down at our school that we are never handicapped as long as we can help someone else. Now, if you met my schoolmate who teaches the typing class, you might think she is handicapped because she was born with no arms and no legs. But she helps all of us by teaching us typing, with a wand between her teeth."
Ka bang! Suddenly I heard it-the clanging noise of pounding and kicking and yelling at the door of my heart! I ran out of the room and down the corridor to find a pay phone. I asked the operator for the giant of the 1960's typing world - IBM! In my haste I didn't stop to consider I was just getting the number for some small a local sales office. I was arising, and going through that opening door!
I asked for the Manager, I wanted to go straight to the top! I told him my little girl had lost nearly all of her left hand, and if they had one-hand touch-typing charts. He paused a long moment, "Well now, this is very odd. I'd never heard of such a thing until a few days ago. Someone sent me a one-handed typing manual, it's right here on my desk. Let's see, it has charts for the right hand, or the left hand. Let me send it to you as my gift."
It wasn't until very recently we realized how rare these one hand typing manuals are, and what a miracle it was for him to have it on his desk the day I called. Today no one at IBM seems to be aware that a person with one hand might want to type like everyone else!
When we were finally able to take Lilly back to school, I took the one-hand typing charts with me. I asked the school principal if Lilly could take typing, even though she was too young. He told me I could ask the typing teacher if I wanted to, perhaps the teacher would volunteer his time at lunch, "After all, she certainly can't be allowed to slow down the entire class - and we certainly can't pay him for his time." My heart sank.
But the typing teacher, Mr. Fredrigill, was wonderful. He just smiled at us and said, "We will find a way. We'll just learn one hand touch typing together." I have since heard of so many unwilling to take on a child with a challenge. On the first day of class, he sat down with Lilly 30 minutes before the others came in. That was all it took, she continued on with the class.
Soon she was touch-typing all of her homework. Her English teacher scolded her; "Your mother is typing your homework. Don't let her baby you, Lilly. You have a good right hand. You can write out your own homework."
"Oh, no sir." She smiled at him I'm up to 30 words a minute with my touch-typing."
The teacher sat down suddenly. Then he said slowly, "Being able to type has always been my dream." He was a polio victim. His right arm hung helplessly by his side.
"Come to the typing room, during lunch time. I'll teach you!" It was after the first lunchtime lesson that she came home and said, "Mama, Toni Daniels was right. I'm not handicapped anymore - I am helping someone else."
Today, Lilly is the author of six internationally acclaimed books, helping a great many people. She has taught all of our office staff to use our Apple computers with our mouse pad on the left side, because that is where she makes hers fly around with what remains of her hand. We are all handicapped in comparison to her computer and typing skills!
She has now created her own "One Hand Typing and Keyboarding Manual: With Personal Motivational Messages From Others Who Have Overcome!" because she still will tell you, that you are not handicapped, when you can help someone else. (http://www.aboutonehandtyping.com)
Shush. Listen! Do you hear the knocking? Throw the bolt! Open the door! Angels never say "hello." Their greeting is always "Arise and go forth!"
by Dottie Walters, (c) 2000,
- from Lilly Walters' One Hand Typing and Keyboarding Manual: With Personal Motivational Messages From Others Who Have Overcome!
****** No portion of this publication may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without prior written consent from Lilly Walters ******* For information on use of this story,
Phone 626-335-8069, Fax 626-335-6127, E-mail Lilly@aboutonehandtyping.com
Angels Never Say Hello!
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