Bela Angel

Well, it seems that I’m on a “Book Tour”.  Over my career, I visited 45 schools in our board, to work with visually impaired students.  I decided a few weeks ago to drop into a lot of them, to see who would like a copy of Jody’s book.  So many people are saying yes, and even if the answer is no, it’s wonderful to see old friends again.

Months ago, I was trying to decide how many books to have printed.  The number “500” bubbled to the surface, to be immediately squashed by my small mind: “Oh, Bruce.  You’re going to end up with 480 books in the basement.”  As of tonight, I’ve given away 432, and last week I ordered another 500.  I’m so happy that people are touched by our story.

Today I was at St. Vincent de Paul School in Strathroy, Ontario.  As I was talking to a teacher in the hallway, a young girl came up to me smiling and said, “You gave me your ring.”  I’ll call her Bela.  Three years ago I was working with a low vision child in a Junior Kindergarten class.  A student I didn’t know (Bela) approached me and said, “I like your ring.”  (It’s a large gold band with a red garnet … a gift from my lovely wife Jodiette.)  I didn’t think.  I just did.  I twisted the ring off my right pinky finger and put it in Bela’s hand.  I smiled.  And then I walked back to my student.  A few minutes later I glanced over at Bela, and she was cupping my ring in her open palm … just looking at it.  A bit later I took it back.

That was then.  This is now.  Bela in the hallway, now a Grade 2 student.  I did what any normal human being would have done: I twisted off Jody’s ring and put it in Bela’s hand.  Big smile from her.  Later in the classroom, she said, “I hope I see you again.  I want a hug.”  So we hugged.  I know I’m not supposed to, but gosh, there was a human being in front of me.

At the end of the period, as the kids were leaving the room, Bela looked back at me, smiled, and spoke a sentence with the word “God” in it.  I wish I could remember exactly what she said.  My guess?  “God loves you.”  And she was gone.


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