The Angel Arrived Right on Time

A little girl feels God's comfort when she needs it most.

by
- Posted on Jan 18, 2019

An angel doll on a bed with other stuffed animals.

Lights from the Christmas tree still winked from my living room. I couldn’t bring myself to take down the decorations. The holiday was over, but it hadn’t felt like Christmas at all. Not without Kamryn, I thought. The telephone rang, interrupting my thoughts.

It was my daughter, Kathleen. She had to take my granddaughter to the hospital for some routine blood work, but five-year-old Kristyn was refusing to get in the car.

Of course, I knew exactly why she didn’t want to go to the hospital. Kristyn wasn’t just being cranky and she wasn’t just afraid of needles. After a long battle at St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, we’d lost her 10-year-old sister, Kamryn, to a malignant brain tumor in October. Losing her had robbed Christmas of its joy, and it made Kristyn associate hospitals with her real pain about her sister. How could she ever feel safe there herself? Especially so soon after spending our family’s first Christmas without her sister?

We all tried to use the holiday to honor Kamryn’s memory. Kathleen had even bought an angel doll online. A company called Personal Creations only made the angel doll around Christmastime. It seemed like the perfect way to remember Kamryn, who would be with the angels herself.

We had Kamryn’s name engraved on the doll and planned to put it in her Christmas stocking, which was hung as always with her two sisters’. We hoped it would remind us—and show her sister—that Kamryn wasn’t really gone. She was with God, whole and healthy. Healed at last.

The angel doll was supposed to arrive by Christmas morning, but it hadn’t. Kathleen called the company, but they couldn’t locate the doll, not even with the FedEx tracking number. Kamryn’s stocking was empty Christmas morning.

“I’m on my way,” I said to Kathleen. “Maybe I can assure Kristyn that it will be okay.”

I hopped into the car. I tried to be optimistic about my chances of calming Kristyn down, but I knew it would be a long time before Kristyn would associate doctors and hospitals with healing instead of sadness. Chances were my coaxing wouldn’t be much help. Kristyn needed more reassurance than I could give. Send your comfort to her, Lord, I prayed as I pulled into the driveway. Maybe I needed some reassurance myself.

“Grannie!” Kristyn raced out to my car. “The mail came!”

Kathleen appeared at the door, the angel doll cradled in her arms.

“I thought it was lost forever,” Kathleen said. “I’d given up hope. No explanation of why it took this long.” She held out the angel doll to me, Kamryn’s name glistening in gold on the hem of the angel’s white dress. Kristyn reached up and ran her finger over her sister’s name. For the moment, at least, she wasn’t thinking about the hospital.

“Maybe the angel doll can come to the blood test with us,” Kathleen suggested. “You can hug her real close the whole time.”

Kristyn considered it. “Okay,” she said. She was no longer afraid. And to think, I hadn’t even said a word. I didn’t need to.

I had to wonder, was the angel doll late to arrive or did it arrive just in time?

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