I was as stressed as I could ever remember being. I can't justify it. There are worse things to be stressed about. I was last-minute cleaning during the holidays the night before the staff Christmas party at my house. I hadn't procrastinated. It was just busy as holidays, especially Christmas, are. I simply hadn't had time to get to it. My heart was racing and I felt on the verge of an actual anxiety attack. Not having ever had a real anxiety attack, it's what I imagined it to feel like.
My mother-in-law was also visiting. That is only an issue because I'm someone who can't operate the same way when company is in the house. She's feeble and can't do anything, but her presence, hovering and asking me regularly "What are you doing now?" added to my anxiety. My daughter, Erin, was home from college for the weekend, and she and her boyfriend Jon were also there; actually, they saved me. They were jolly and pitched in. Jon kept saying in his Jon way..."It's all for YOU!" in a rap sort of way. My husband finally left to take his mother back to her place, so that helped. Erin and Jon were hanging garland on the stairway and encouraging me that we'd get it all done. I hated Erin hanging back and having to leave late to get back to school.
I don't remember now exactly where everyone was when it happened. Maybe Erin and Jon had finished and left. I know at least that I was alone in the kitchen cleaning the wood floor when I felt it. I felt a hand on the middle of my back. I didn't hear a voice, but I felt a voice. The message was that everything would be fine and I should calm down. My reaction was exactly as anyone's would be if someone had come up behind them, as if Erin or someone had a question or something to say to me. I stopped mopping, stood up straight, and turned to see who was there. No one. I wasn't frightened exactly. I may have gasped a bit, as you do when someone approaches you from behind and you didn't expect anyone there. I was taken aback, did a sort of double take.
I immediately thought of Maggie, my former principal who died unexpectedly the previous year. She meant a lot to me. She had the gift of making everyone she was with feel they were special and important. She never seemed focused on herself. She is who I believed was there. It was a school staff party after all. I didn't think it up. I didn't wish it to be. It's just who I thought of spontaneously. I kept it to myself for months. I eventually shared it with Erin.
I don't know if it was Maggie. Maybe it was my guardian angel. I believe in angels, and maybe they make you think what you think. Maybe to me my angel needed to be Maggie at that moment in time. The questions don't really matter. I needed something, I needed comfort and encouragement, and there is no doubt in my mind that I was visited and given a gift. It was the second time in my life I was aware of being visited.