Angel, Guardian of First Responders


"I was sick to my stomach, Jen, just sick to my stomach," said Christine giving Kisses a kiss on her head. "Anyway, it all started after I had closed my eyes and said a prayer for Rob. Then, when I opened my eyes to set up my camera for some photos of the memorial, a big truck rumbled by and scared Kisses. Nearly dropping my camera, when I went to grab her, somehow she pulled out of her collar and bolted across the street and around the corner."

"Oh, my God. Oh, my God," said Jen. "I would have died. There's so much traffic around there, everywhere in New York, and she's so small. She was lucky she wasn't hit by a car."

"I know," said Christine hugging her dog and kissing the top of her head again. "Accustomed to walking with me off leash, she ran as if she was running through a cornfield. Kisses, here Kisses. Where are you girl? Kisses! Kisses? By the time I ran around the corner, she was gone."

"Calling out Kisses like that, I'm surprised you weren't sexually accosted by one of our resident perverts that roam the streets looking for victims," said Jen with a sad laugh. "If I yelled out kisses in this neighborhood, I'd have a line of horny men rushing to kiss me, while grabbing my ass and feeling my tits."

"Anyway, too far to walk, I returned to my car and slowly drove around lower Manhattan, circling around the last place where I saw my dog. With every other street a one way, I stopped and got out of the car to call her, whenever I thought I saw her and whenever I found a place to park. Kisses! Kisses?"

"You must have been out of your mind with fright," said Jennifer.

"I was, but I prayed. I asked God for his help and God gave me the strength to look for Kisses without falling apart. Up and down Vesey Street to the north, down and around the West Side Highway to the west, around Liberty Street to the south, and up Church Street to the east. Sixteen acres is a lot of ground to cover, especially in bumper to bumper traffic with a stop light or stop sign on nearly every corner. Around and around, after going around the block for the third time, I had just about given up hope of ever finding my dog, when I saw a New York City policeman standing by the South Memorial pool, exactly where I had been, and holding Kisses in his arms. An answer to my prayers, I couldn't believe what I was seeing."

"You always had your faith," said Jennifer. "I never believed in God and religion, in the way you do."

"It was a miracle," said Christine, squeezing Jennifer's hand. "I parked my car at the first space I saw, a block away, and ran. Kisses! Kisses! Thank God! Thank God!"

"She's a good dog," he said in a soothingly calm voice, while rubbing her head, before handing her to me. "She's a smart dog, too. Rob would have liked her."

"He startled me, floored me, actually, when he mentioned Rob's name. I looked up at him, as if looking at someone that I already knew, even though we had just met. Yet, never able to remember what he looked like before, that is, until you asked me if he was cute, I felt so calm standing there next to him."

"That's so weird how someone can make you forget your troubles and feel at peace," said Jennifer with a soft smile. "I wish I could find someone like that."

"When he asked me about Rob, I asked him if he knew my husband?"

"No Christine, he said, but I know where to find his name. I know all the names. Along with all the others who were lost that day, he's the reason why I'm here," he said escorting me to his name.

"Now that I think about it, I don't remember introducing myself and telling him my name, he just knew it. I don't remember him telling me his name either, I just knew it."

"You're giving me the chills," said Jennifer.


"I said, finally meeting someone, you must be thrilled," said Jennifer.

"With so many police officers in attendance, I figured maybe he saw me at one of the masses, remembered me from being interviewed on TV, saw my picture in the newspaper, or remembered me from one of the many ceremonies they had. Maybe he saw me at the White House being presented with Rob's medal, I don't know, but it was as if he knew me already and could see right through me to know who I am. It was surreal, Jen, and so very drawn to him, as if I was standing in the presence of someone good and powerful, he made me feel so happy and safe."

"Christine, listen to me," said Jennifer fidgeting with her fingers. "I must tell you something."


"Before you fall for this guy," said Jennifer pausing to take her friend's hands in hers, "there's something you should know about him."

"What? What do you know about him that I don't know? You said you never met him. You said you never dated him. You said--"

"Angel is not who you think he is," said Jennifer with a serious look.

"What do you mean Angel is not who I think he is? How do you know who he is or isn't if you never met him?" Christine stared at her friend, while waiting for her to reply? "Who is he?"

"From the rumors that I've heard, Angel is, well, an Angel. He was sent here to protect those lost souls that haven't yet found their way."

"An Angel?" Christine looked at her friend, as if she had lost her mind or had been drinking. "What do you mean, Angel is an Angel? Don't be ridiculous. There's no such a thing as there?" Hiding her shocked disbelief and wanting to believe her friend, she looked at Jennifer laughing and shaking her head, before looking at her in disbelief.

"Sorry, Christine, but he's not of our world."

"Stop it, Jennifer. You're scaring me. Why are you doing this, after I finally meet someone?"

"I'm sorry, Christine."

"If he's an Angel, with all the telephone conversations we've had and e-mails we exchanged, why didn't you tell me there was a Guardian Angel in New York watching over the Twin Tower Memorial. Huh? Answer me that."

"I didn't want to upset you with rumored nonsense, Christine. I never figured you have a celestial experience with an Angel. What kind of insensitive friend would I be--"

"If he was an Angel, Jen, how come an Angel sighting wasn't reported in the way that they report UFOs? He'd be all over the news and the press. There'd be every priest, nun, religious devotee, zealot, and politician making pilgrimages to New York, just to meet with him with the hopes he'd deliver their messages to God or have something to impart to them from the lips of our Lord Almighty."

"Fortunately or unfortunately, not everyone sees him, Christine. For some inexplicable reason you were chosen. You are among a select few who have even seen him and the sighting of him has been written off as those distraught family members who want to believe their loved ones made it to Heaven. Except for you, no one has even talked to him or so much as come near him."

"I don't believe you. Angel is as real as you are. Angel is human. Angel is a man and not an Angel."

"You must believe me, Christine. You're a vulnerable, grieving widow. As if a mirage or a vision, he disappears as quickly as he emerges. Until you described him to me, no one has been able to describe him. They forget what he looks like, as soon as they see him. Few even remember his name."

"You're wrong, Jennifer. Angel is a real man," said Christine with tears beginning to well up in her eyes.

"I'm not wrong, Christine. I'm telling you what I know. Those who have seen him all say the same thing. They say that they saw an Angel with wings dressed as a police officer, which is how he got the name, Angel. Of course, those who haven't seen him explain the sight of him away with just seeing things and those who have seen him want to believe that their fallen heroes have the eternal protection of a personal Guardian Angel."

"Well, when I saw him, he didn't have wings. He just looked like a man, albeit a beautiful man," said Christine in a voice that was full of doubt and suspicion that her friend was just pulling her leg.

"I suspect he comes to you in the way you imagine what he looks like. I suspect, Angel is your idea of a dream man. I suspect he looks a little like Rob."

"Now that you mention it, except for the blonde hair, he did look a little like Rob," said Christine wrestling with all that Jennifer had told her. "Then, why didn't I see his wings, when everyone said that he had wings."

"Maybe because he talked to you, he hid his wings," said Jennifer with a shrug of her shoulders. "I don't know."

"I don't understand. Why me? Why now?"

"Maybe because you lost Kisses and asked for God's help. Maybe because you prayed for God to send you an Angel to make it through your day. Maybe because you prayed to God to send Rob to Heaven. Maybe, before he died, Rob prayed to God for an Angel to protect you but, whatever the reason, by being so chosen and so protected, you've been blessed."

Christine returned to the memorial to keep her date with Angel. Giving her a personal, guided tour, he took the time to show her the grounds and told her many personal things about all those who had died there that day, things that only their relatives would know. Every day that she was in New York visiting her friend, Jennifer, Christine returned to the 9/11 memorial alone to sit with Angel by the South Tower memorial fountain and in sight of her husband's plaque.

For those who saw her sitting there alone, she looked so much like a grieving widow talking to herself and/or to her dead husband and she was but, with Angel acting as her moderator to communicate from the world of the living to the world of the dead. She talked to Rob through Angel. Angel gave her the comfort she so needed to finally get on with her life.

9/11, we will never forget.


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