Guardian angels watch many things

Published 2:46 pm Friday, December 10, 2010

Editor’s note: Comedienne Pam Stone writes her column for The Tryon Daily Bulletin twice each month from her office at her home in Gowensville. Want a chance to respond to this column? Go to Pam’s blog at
A shining light in our community was laid to rest just before Thanksgiving.
Harriet Gibson, a simple, unassuming woman of strong faith and moral fiber led a quiet life of devoted service to her fellow man.
I won’t give you the list of everything she either founded or in some way volunteered as, frankly, I don’t have the column space. It was her inspiring 25-year legacy with Mobile Meals and her phone call to me that impelled my taking over a route once a month.
“Now Pam,” Harriet had said to me in her no-nonsense tone. “You had said you might be able to do a route. If you’re absolutely sure then I could certainly use you, but it is a commitment and you’ll need to make sure you can do it the first Monday of every month.”
I assured Harriet I could handle the route. After all, what is one day per month to put aside and deliver what is probably the only hot meal an awful lot of folks will receive that day, not to mention perhaps the only human interaction as well?
Having once driven a route for my church, truly I enjoyed the drive through the countryside and became very attached to the people I met, as well as the multitude of dogs that often tackled me as I climbed out of my SUV.
Attending Harriet’s memorial service, thanks was given to all who had taken over her selfless work regarding Mobile Meals, along with the plea for us to continue as it had meant so much to her.
So, as I marked down in my calendar that Dec.6 was my day for the route, it was with a pervading sense of sweetness that I was somehow still connected to my beloved neighbor. As we all know, a person may pass from this earth, but the relationship continues.
And then the unthinkable happened. I forgot.
How this happened is beyond me. The very night before I had remarked to Paul, “I’ll need to run to the feed store and do errands later in the day because I’ve got ‘meals’ first thing.”
Then my mother telephoned and was in dire need of items forgotten at the grocery store and my brain just fell slap out of my head as I drove over to bring her the necessary goods.
It wasn’t until I was working a horse in the mid-afternoon that my heart leapt to my throat.
“Oh, dear God,” I croaked, and ran to the house to call Marion, who, with husband Norm, heads up our local chapter.
After apologizing profusely and offering to do whatever it took to get the meals to those folks, Marion, in her soft, sweet, voice, chuckled softly and said, “Pam, God is good. It’s all taken care of.
Believe it or not, I said to Norm the night before, ‘let’s go meet our drivers where they pick up their meals and say hello.’ When we saw that your meals hadn’t been picked up, we waited for a spell and then did the route ourselves. It was no trouble and God was looking out for everyone.”
Nearly in tears of relief, I thanked her over and over and blubbed out all the things we all feel we must say when things like this occur. “I can’t tell you how grateful I am … It’ll never, ever, happen again” and “I don’t know how I could have been so stupid!”
Most of us think of guardian angels as enigmatic, winged, beings with Teutonic features and flowing golden hair, attired in shining robes of white.
Let me tell you; mine was a formidable woman in her eighth decade, short of stature but long on grace who, in her distinctive, southern drawl was shaking her finger at me and saying with mock sternness, “Now, Pam, I told you, you needed to be absolutely sure you could do this!”
God bless you, Harriet.

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