Art by: Guido Reni
This is my story. It begins with my love of angels. Ever since I was a little boy I had an imaginary friend named Gabby. I would play with her every day until one day she told me that she would have to leave me and that she'll come back one day. She said that it would only be for a little while and it's not like I didn't have a brother or sister to play with, it was Gabby well. She was my best friend.
“Please Gabby, don't leave me!” I cried so hard. I still remember how hard it was when she told me that she was going to leave. Her presence was so intense and loving. It was like when your mother tells you that when things will be okay, it's okay. Still sobbing, I asked Gabby." Why" and she said "In time I will understand" and being a kid I just didn't comprehend this. So I just said goodbye....
At a young age, I didn't understand well. My mom, noticing how sad I was, never dismissed that I had a friend that no one could see. I must have looked crazy talking into thin air. My mom being psychic, she understood that my friend was more real than anyone could imagine.
She explained to me not to be sad because she would come and visit me in my dreams while I was sleeping and she was my angel. I said to her "what's an angel?" she said "they are our friends from heaven and they love being around us, especially children". "Why did she leave me mommy? " She said that Gabby will be back, but she will be back at her own time because heaven has no time. She added that she needed to be back with God in his home.
As I became a young man I forgot all about Gabby and of course as young adults we forget our childhood memories, the toys we played with, the summer ice-cream running down our hand, the Christmas feeling as we did as a child when we woke up on Christmas morning. As adults we are brought up to be responsible and do the things that grown-ups do. For some reason Gabby wasn't even on my mind.
When my mom passed. She was taken away from me suddenly by a cerebral aneurysm.
At the funeral she had Easter lilies everywhere and I mean everywhere.
A strange, wonderful, safe feeling came over me at the time of my mom’s passing: Gabby was with me. I couldn't see her but I felt her next to me. This presence was so indescribable I just couldn't put it into words. Yet, I thought nothing of it.
Two years after I lost all my feelings about religion and had no faith at the time. I was self-destructive, drinking and smoking well back in the 90’s as a young 20-30 something. That's what I did to cope, until one day I came across a small card of Archangel Gabriel. In this picture she was kneeling holding a flower lily across her chest. Till this day, I have this card with me. Her image in my back pocket or in my wallet She was beautiful, it was my friend Gabby. That year I stopped drinking and carried on. It was my soul searching for myself. Thanks to this card, I found.
One day while I was driving I was feeling something strange. While driving I noticed the church in my neighborhood. So I stopped and went in the church. I noticed a painting of a beautiful angel on the wall of the church it was an Archangel Gabriel.
In the painting the angel was giving the Blessed Mother a flower, which I remember was a small flower. She had in the at her presents when I used to play with her as child. I did a double-take because "Oh my goodness". As I gasped in the painting it was an image of my friend. It was Gabby. The memory of her rushed my mind, the smell of the flowers, her soft-spoken voice, her love and her grace. I couldn't believe my eyes immediately. My eyes filled up with tears and a pull in my my heart. I remember. I'm older now so what made me filled up with tears was the memory of my friend Gabby. After I left the church my mind raced with curiosity from that day on. My mission was to try and find a way to get in touch with this angel. So I went to the bookstore and purchase what little books they had at the time on angels and proceeded to study. The more I studied the more educated I became on this topic. I sat and wondered if there is a heaven where Gabby went to.
So one day, when I sat on the front stoop of my childhood home I said "Gabby, where are you? I miss you! If you were my friend and if you do exist, please show me a sign because I'm here.”
Well, I went back to my daily routine of hustle and bustle of life. Two years went by and strange things started happening.
For some strange reason the card disappeared on me and I couldn't find it.
I had a hard time finding a soulmate that year I went to my dad’s house in front of my childhood home and noticed that the whole front of the house was planted with Easter lilies. White and tall standing strong, their fragrances enveloped my senses. I just remembered how much my mother loved these flowers. And how the memories of Gabby came flooding back.
Feeling sad as I sat there on the front stoop, memories flooded back to me of my friend and my mom, how psychic she was and remembering her telling me the beautiful story of having a friend Gabby and what a beautiful angel she was and how lucky I was to have such a special friend as a child. My mother always said that I had a special light and that’s why I had an angel to play with. Just sitting there remembering, I prayed to Gabriel
I love you Gabby my child hood friend!
~Louis M. Otero
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