This I Believe

Alexander - Traverse City, Michigan
Entered on May 21, 2007

Guardian Angel

I grew up in a Catholic school system my entire life. Like any other school, it had its pros and cons, but one of the benefits was getting an in-depth education about my Catholic faith. I learned all about the Catholic beliefs early on in elementary school, and one that has always captured my curiosity was the belief in guardian angels. In the second grade, I learned that a guardian angel is “an angel who is believed to have a special affection for a particular individual and offers that person special protection and care”.

After that lesson, I had always claimed to believe in guardian angels, because after all, it was a Catholic belief and I wanted to be a Catholic. Yet in the back of my mind, I had my doubts. A guardian angel sounded like a wonderful thing to have and I desperately wanted one. I prayed every night to who ever was out there in hopes that someone was listening and would answer my personal prayers.

I did this for years until one day my life was changed forever. It was my sophomore year of high school and I was just getting done with cross country practice when I overheard that one of my dear friends, Katie Heintz, was diagnosed with leukemia. Her sister rushed into the gym, for Katie was just getting ready for basketball practice, and delivered the tragic news. After much commotion between the two sisters, and sobbing amongst the basketball players, they left together to head downstate to begin treatment immediately.

I prayed harder then I ever had that night, and every night after that until her untimely death. She fought that deadly disease courageously for nearly a year until the end of summer going into our junior year. I was incredibly devastated for I was so certain that she was going to come out on top. Part of my belief in her recovery was derived from her own belief that she was going to make it through and that everything was going to be all right. She had such an amazing amount of strength and faith.

I was so upset with God for letting Katie die that I refused to pray to Him. Instead, I started to pray to Katie. I would ask for her help with friends or on tests and I would ask for her protection of my family’s health and my brother during his football games. The more I prayed to Katie, the better I would feel. Through these prayers, I found my peace with God again, and I began to include Him in my nightly prayers again. However, I still pray to Katie for whatever I need help with and I truly believe that she answers my prayers and watches over me. I can now say, without a doubt in my mind, that I believe in guardian angels.