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An Angel in My Driveway

She'd had an earth angel in her helpful and handy pal Marv. But now that Marv had passed, who'd come to help her?

By Audrey Carli, Iron River, Michigan

As appeared in

Car wash, dry cleaners, the grocery store…

I made a mental list of everything I had to do the next morning as I crawled into my bed one cold January night. Nothing I can’t handle, I thought, snuggling under the blankets.

Suddenly I sat bolt upright. The driveway! It was covered in six inches of snow. I’d have to clear it to get my car out to run my errands. I pictured myself dragging the snow blower out of the garage and battling the elements.

My to-do list didn’t seem so doable anymore—it seemed overwhelming. I sure could use a helping hand tomorrow, Lord. How I miss Marv.

Marv had been a godsend after my husband died. I’d never realized how many things Dave took care of until he was no longer around. When the belt on my vacuum cleaner broke, for example, I went to the hardware store to get a replacement. Marv was the clerk who helped me. I looked at the box. “I hope the directions are simple on how to install this thing.”

“Tell you what,” Marv said. “I’ll stop by after work and install it.” Marv installed the new vacuum belt that evening. Wouldn’t take a penny. “Just call if you need help with anything else,” he said.

I tried not to impose, but whenever I had a new chore to master, or felt at a loss for what to do, my friendly neighborhood handyman was there: installing a new faucet, fixing a broken curtain rod, and sometimes clearing off my driveway with the snow blower.

On one occasion, especially, Marv was a lifesaver. A storm had moved in while I was away visiting my daughter. I worried about getting into my driveway when I returned. But Marv took care of me.

When I pulled up, he’d already cleared a path right up the center of the driveway.

It was the last time Marv ever cleared my driveway. The next fall he passed away unexpectedly. I grieved for Marv’s wife. I missed seeing Marv around the neighborhood.

And I missed knowing that if I felt overwhelmed, someone was there at the ready.

I put the snow-covered driveway I’d have to tackle the next morning out of my mind, and fell into a deep sleep. When I woke, the sun was up too. I heard a crow caw from a tree outside. It was a brand-new morning, and yet…that silly driveway awaited. I wished I could just turn over and go back to sleep. Sometimes things just seemed like too much for one person to handle alone.

I got dressed, grabbed the snow blower from the garage and shuffled outside. But when I opened the door, I couldn’t believe my eyes. The driveway wasn’t covered in snow. It had been cleared! But by whom?

It was too neat a job for the wind to have cleared it. And there were no signs of someone having used a shovel. Yet I would’ve heard the roar of a blower. Strangest of all, the clearing was done in a unique way: right up the center. Marv style!

The Lord wanted me to know that not all godsends have a name, like my husband, Dave, or my handy friend Marv. But that didn’t mean they weren’t every bit as real. 

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