Saturday, February 26, 2011

Angel Unaware

I was first introduced to Dale Evans Rogers' book, "Angel Unaware", by my Aunt Azalee when I was a little girl. I was a voracious reader from the time I learned to read. Mrs. Rogers' book is about her baby girl, Robin Elizabeth, who was born in August of 1950 with Down Syndrome. Robin lived nearly exactly two years, succumbing to heart problems particular to her condition that couldn't be corrected in that day and age. Aunt Azalee, my Daddy's sister, had gained comfort from Mrs. Rogers' book and wanted to share it with me. My Aunt Azalee and her husband Uncle Stanford had two children, a boy who became a preacher and a Baptist home missionary, and a daughter, Carolyn Sue. Carolyn Sue was born a healthy baby but had a terrible illness a few months after and was left cerebral palsied and mentally handicapped. Her parents took her to many healing services in Texas and the surrounding area. The last one they attended, Aunt Azalee was told by the preacher that the child's mother's faith was not strong enough. Aunt Azalee told him that her faith WAS strong enough, but she was going to accept that Carolyn Sue would not be healed in this lifetime. My aunt and uncle threw themselves into giving Carolyn Sue the best care, even though doctors wanted them to institutionalize her. Carolyn Sue went to church every time the doors were open. My aunt explained to me that if her daughter had any mentality at all and could accept Jesus as her Savior, she wanted her to hear the Gospel as much as she could. They kept their daughter at home for years, even into their old age, and finally put her into a nearby nursing center when they could no longer care for her. Aunt Azalee and Uncle Stanford were the happiest people. They didn't consider Carolyn Sue a burden. If they wanted to go on a trip, they took her with them. Carolyn Sue was always included in any gathering of our family. I think they believed she was their angel unaware. My aunt and uncle always prayed for Carolyn Sue to pass away before they did, so they would know for sure she was being taken care of. Uncle Stanford passed away, but my aunt did live to see Carolyn Sue go to Heaven. Her funeral service was one of the most meaningful ones I have attended. My aunt knew she could go peacefully, knowing that her daughter was in Glory.
After my aunt died, I asked her son if I could have her copy of "Angel Unaware" but he had already had an estate sale and it was gone. Knowing how touched I was when I had read it, and what comfort my aunt had drawn from it, I wanted a copy for myself. It was highly unlikely that I could get one though, for that book was published in 1953 and was probably out of print. About two years ago, I was in Half Price Books in my favorite section, Nostalgia. I was just looking at the locked glass cabinet where they keep their "treasures" and what did I see but a perfect copy of "Angel Unaware"! Next to it was a copy of "Dearest Debbie", another Rogers book about their adopted Korean daughter who passed away on a church trip. I had that book when I was a teen and lost it in one of our moves. I got both books for a song, and the comfort that came in re-reading them has been priceless. Roy and Dale Evans Rogers were not only entertainers, but committed Christians, and their dedication to the Lord is shown in these books. Even though both stories are sad, the Rogers' approach to grieving the death of a child has been uplifting to me.
I have probably mentioned before that I don't consider Meredith an angel, though I may call her one as an endearing term. I saw this poem on another blog and wanted to share it with you. (I changed just a few words to make it suit me a bit better)

Angel Unaware

Oh, the longing we both had,
To be a mommy and a dad.
We put our hopes and dreams in you,
He hoped for pink and I did, too.
But for you, God had a different plan,
One we may never understand.
We were visited by an angel,
Though we didn't know it then.
You were the answer to our prayer,
Our angel unaware.

We hardly got to say hello,
Before we had to let you go.
God breathed your name and called you home.
So briefly here, so quickly gone.
But in the stillness of the night,
My empty arms still hold you tight.
We were visited by an angel,
Though we didn't know it then.
You were the answer to our prayer,
Our angel unaware.

In my mind I see you running
Chasing bees and butterflies.
Soft hair gently blowing,
Healthy cheeks, laughing eyes.
In the quietness of the morning,
When the mist hangs in the air,
I hold you close within my heart -
My angel unaware.

How can I miss someone so much
I barely had the chance to touch?
Yet, as you grew inside of me,
I learned how strong a love can be.
I knew you for your lifetime -
I'll love you for all of mine.
We were visited by an angel,
Though we didn't know it then.
You were the answer to our prayer,
Our angel unaware.
-Author Unknown

Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for
thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
Hebrews 13:2


Michelle Karr said...

Beautiful poem! What a blessed witness your Aunt was for you and the many around her. She was a special lady, as was her daughter. I am so glad you found those books. What a blessing from God! :)

Caroline said...

What a beautiful poem. Thanx for sharing it. What great books too.
Just wanta tell you thanx for all your sweet comments & all those things you do so wonderful. I love you & think of your family & your precious Meredith always.

Debby@Just Breathe said...

The poem is beautiful. What a sweet story you shared about your aunt and uncle. I know their story is sad but what wonderful parents they were. So sorry that you were unable to get her book but so glad that you found one.

Trennia said...

That is a beautiful poem, thank you for sharing it, and such a beautiful loving family you have.

Kristin said...

What a beautiful poem. That is so neat that you found that book again later on!

Protector of Vintage said...

I am so happy you found those books. Your posts are very beautiful and thoughtful.

Gottjoy! said...

Beautiful poem. I never knew that about Roy Rogers. I may need to go hunt up those books myself=).

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