Over the last several years, as soon as the leaves began to fall and the temperatures began to drop, my wife would invariably bring up the subject of moving to warmer climes. Nola is an artist and a stay at home mom and while she hates the snow and the cold, my career has been based in Toronto for twenty five years. That said, even if it were possible to up and move to a new city like Los Angeles (which has always been the prime candidate), the idea of a fresh start has never been that appealing to me. Not to mention the fact that I would need a visa to live and work in the United States — a visa that I didn’t have and wasn’t certain if I was even eligible for. In any event, these were just a few of the considerations that would need to be addressed before a move could be made. Did I mention that Nola suffers from winter depression (otherwise known as Seasonal Affective Disorder Syndrome or SADS)? Well, she does – so you can only imagine her disappointment every year when another winter season rolled around and she was still stuck in Toronto!

Well, twenty-one years of marriage later, could it really be possible that a move is about to happen?

As I wrote previously in “The Search for 11:11” and Synchronicity, I have now been unemployed for more than a year. And the longer this lack of employment continues, the weaker my ability to argue for staying in Toronto becomes. Meanwhile, because our kids are getting older, when the subject of moving surfaced (as usual) last fall, Nola and I suddenly realized that our two eldest children (Sarah, 20, and Emily, 18) were old enough to move out on their own — that is, if they didn’t want to move with us to California. It was a topic of discussion that needed to be raised, and as it turned out, it was a topic that seemed to raise more questions than it answered. Nevertheless, you now have a pretty good idea of the underlying circumstances that existed when several months ago I received an invitation to attend a business-related function in the city of angels — Los Angeles.

By March of this year, having already been unemployed for seven months, it didn’t take Nola and I long to realize we were sorely in need of a short getaway. Besides, after all those years of talking about moving, Nola had never actually been to Los Angeles. So a plan was hatched. And things quickly fell into place: flights, child care for Kaylin, dinner dates with friends in LA, a few business meetings. The only thing that wasn’t easily falling into place was the hotel. I couldn’t decide where to stay, and there were a few options that were floating until a professional acquaintance of mine named Bonnie happened to mention a modest rental property she owned in Santa Monica that was going to be sitting vacant during our visit. And so it came to pass that we ended up staying for free in a tastefully furnished studio apartment on Ocean Avenue with a spectacular unspoiled view of the Pacific Ocean. Amazing? Yes. Angelic intervention? Perhaps. But there’s more.

On the third day of our trip, having found ourselves with a day all to ourselves, we decided to take a drive along the coast in search of a neighborhood we might fancy living in. Well, hadn’t we been on the road for only five minutes (still on Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica) when a street sign suddenly caught my attention.

“Look honey,” I said, “Hollister Avenue.”

“I saw that,” Nola replied. “Why don’t you pull over and I’ll take a picture,” she said.

You see, both of our teenage daughters had recently found themselves part-time jobs at an American apparel chain that was new to Toronto called Hollister (youth-oriented California surf wear of all things). Unfortunately, there was a line of traffic behind us and nowhere to pull over. So we decided not to stop –- after all, how interesting would a picture of a street sign really be? Nevertheless, we were just discussing the idea of phoning the girls to tell them about the sign when we both saw that the very next street sign bore the exact same name as our surname — Hart — not exactly a common name! Well, you can imagine our amusement, particularly on the heels of the previous sign. Thus, we were just marveling at the two “coincidences” when the sight of the very next street sign caused us to gasp. You see, the very next street had the exact same name as Nola’s maiden name – Fraser — again, not a common name. How strange and wonderful to come across three so personally significant “signs” all in a row — especially given the purpose of our excursion. The experience was so powerful, it caused tears to well in our eyes as we both wondered aloud if the angels were confirming the feelings we had that that we were meant to move to Los Angeles.

The very next day, we took Bonnie to lunch as a small token of appreciation for the use of her apartment. Over an appetizer of fresh guacamole, and without the benefit of the back story you have all just read, we told Bonnie the story of the three signs. When the story was over, the first words out of Bonnie’s mouth were: “So when are you moving?” Nola and I both laughed. And before either of us were able to respond with words, Bonnie was suddenly struck with a thought. “This may sound like a crazy idea,” she said, “but my husband owns a five bedroom house only eleven blocks away from the place where you guys saw those three signs. It’s a beautiful rental right on 11th Street. It’s a short walk to the beach, there’s great schools in the area, and if you don’t mind me saying so, I think it would be perfect for you guys – although it might not be available until January. What do you think? Would you be interested?”

Seven months later, I’m still unemployed and my family is still living in Toronto. The first snow of the season is falling outside my office window as I sit here typing this story. We recently inquired about the status of Bonnie’s husband’s house, and we are still waiting to hear confirmation on its availability. Nevertheless, things are definitely progressing.

A few months ago, back in July, a friend of mine (who does the exact same work that I do) happened to mention in passing that he was very excited about having recently applied for a new type of US visa. It was apparently a long shot whether he would actually qualify, however, if he did, another large piece of the puzzle would have amazingly fallen into my lap. As it happened, my friend did get the visa and immediately forwarded me his lawyer’s contact information along with an example of all the paperwork required for the submission. Needless to say, I immediately applied. And, if all goes well, my family will have their visas later this month.

For my continuing story, please see this link.

(For my previous story, see this link.)

For eight more true stories about angelic intervention (courtesy of the 1111 angels board), please read on.

Posted: Tue Oct 03, 2006 10:29 pm Post subject: Hawaiian Angel (by Lady Phoenix 111)

Aloha Everyone,

Back in August of 1994, I was living alone with my two children on the island of Oahu in Hawaii. I was working as a nurse in a medical office with very low annual income and money was extremely tight even with the child support. I had purchased this old gas guzzler station wagon because I could not afford my previous car’s loan payment. I had to have a car because everything was downtown (school and work). Thank God it was Friday (payday), but I had not been able to cash my check. So we headed home as usual (after picking up kids from school).

While driving on H1 (one of Oahu’s major busy highways) I felt the car choking. I was driving in the fast lane with two small kids in the car and I was two exits away from my exit when suddenly the car just STALLED! I could not have been more scared at that time. I put my emergency signal on; there was no way for me to go anywhere. There were fast moving cars to my right; for God’s sake we were on a freeway (no way out)! I was so afraid of getting rear ended by a fast moving vehicle and I was thinking of all the possible scenarios, [not the least of which was] we could have died right there and then.

Suddenly, a limo pulls up right behind us and a lady limo driver carefully gets out of the limo and comes towards me. She was very pleasant, light brown hair, white shirt/black pants (company uniform), around late thirties and spoke my mother language (Farsi)! I was shocked because there are not a whole lot of Persians in Hawaii. She looked and saw that my gas tank (to my surprise) was on E!! She immediately went to her trunk, pulled out one of those auto pumps, pumped some gas out of her limo and put it mine while doing it calmly with a beautiful smile on her face. I did not know what to think; it did not seem real to me. I told her that I could not offer her money for her kindness but I wanted her name and company address so that I may be able to return the favor somehow. At first she refused but then she told me her name (name of the limo company was on her shirt pocket) and drove behind me until I got to my exit. WOW!

The surprising part of this story is that when I called the limo company the very next day to speak to the lady they said they have never had a limo driver by that name working for their company. When I spoke to the owner, he confirmed the information was correct and he added by telling me that he was 100% sure because they have NEVER had a female driver working for them. The owner of the limo company then added “Well, Sista (Hawaiian Slang), sounds like that was your Angel”.

Posted: Sun Aug 06, 2006 2:19 pm Post subject: Angel medallion (by Kit Kat)

This particular story isn’t about my being rescued by an angel, but it’s one I’m still trying to figure out to this day.

About ten years ago, my friend bought me a glass, hologram medallion with an angel on it. It was at one of those big, indoor yard sale type places with multiple vendors. There were only a couple of medallions left with angels on them. At the time he purchased it, he didn’t notice the slight flaw in the glass of the one he picked. It was a nick at the top that I could easily put my fingernail in. He offered to take it back and exchange it. I told him not to worry about it. It was there, but it wasn’t something that stood out. I could live with it. I put it away for a couple of days. A few days later I decided I was going to wear it when we were going out for breakfast. I picked up the medallion to put it on and discovered the nick in it was gone. There was no evidence of it ever having been cracked. It was completely flawless. It still is to this day. I did wear it and showed it to my friend when I saw him. He was just as shocked as I was, looking at it, turning it over, asking me questions, repeating “there was a crack in it.”

I’m convinced that this was a matter of accepting something flawed and having it fixed for me because it was unconditional acceptance. I thank the angels responsible for that. When I tell this story to others, they’re always intrigued at how it might have happened. Even when I think about it now it’s hard to believe, but the proof is still hanging over my bed.

Posted: Sun Aug 06, 2006 4:54 pm (By Petra Wilson)

Cheers for that KitKat, I have had something quite similar, shall I go on?? Are you sure??

When I got my present 2nd-hand car, the salesman pointed out the small teeny crack in the windscreen, but said it wouldn’t bother. I remember always noticing it and thinking about changing it. Well, yeeaaahh! You guessed correctly…some time later it had vanished. Gone completely. Not a dickybird of it in sight. I only noticed when, after months of driving around with a dangerously filthy windscreen, I cleaned it and it was flawless! (Right now, however, it’s covered in muck and cat’s paw prints, haha. Just how I like it!)

Posted: Fri Jul 28, 2006 10:57 am Post subject: Tyler Jamieson’s Angels (by Geoff)

On Wednesday July 26th, 2006, in the Sydney suburb of Kingswood, three year old Tyler Jamieson found out about angels. His family home caught fire. Dad struggled to get three of his four young children out the house, while mom climbed out the roof. But Tyler was caught somewhere on the first floor. His chances of surviving were very slim.

Dropping his kid at school was a fireman, Carlos Henry. He spotted the fire first. Faith Daubney was also dropping her kids off at school. She’s a nurse. Then the squad car drove past, with two cops in it, even though no alarm had yet been raised. Finally, yet another cop turned up — all these angels summonsed by something other than the official system. Carlos the Fireman got the unconscious kid out, and the nurse and a policeman performed CPR to revive him. Must be a special kid? Dad was in a bad way himself and had to receive oxygen on site, and later was treated in hospital for smoke inhalation.

Posted: Tue May 30, 2006 6:23 pm Post subject: The man on the bicycle (by Galaxie)

When I visited my husband in the hospital, he had already been there for three days and still not received his usual medication — so he was suffering from withdrawal. I immediately went home to collect his medicine, but on the way back the car broke down. A man stopped to help and hearing my story phoned for his wife to come and drive me to the hospital, knowing I couldn’t accept a ride with a male stranger.

After I delivered the drugs to my husband, I phoned Auto Assistance (AA) to pick me up and take me back to my car and fix it. As it was cold and dark and late, I was told to wait in the hospital A&E, but as I sat there and waited, I saw the AA car drive right past. I panicked and ran after it but it quickly disappeared into the night.

I suddenly felt terribly alone and scared. My husband was in the hospital, my car was miles away broken down, my phone battery was drained and I had no cash. And that’s when I saw a strange light coming towards me. As it came closer, I could see it was a man on a bicycle. He came right up to me and asked if I was alright. I said I was and I turned to go back to the hospital making the excuse that I would phone from there for help. I really was suspicious of this man dressed in black riding around the hospital grounds at night on a bicycle. I had no money to phone but he didn’t know that.

As I walked, he pedaled beside me saying he often helped people in the hospital. I mentioned how the AA man had driven past without stopping and he said he would go and get him. “Wait there so he will see you,” he said. And within a few minutes he returned, traveling in a different direction from which he set off. He stopped across the way and waved as the AA man followed him round the corner, stopping behind him.

Thankfully, as I got in the AA man’s car I mentioned how lucky I was that the man on the bicycle had led him to me. But the driver said he hadn’t seen anyone and didn’t know what I was talking about. According to him, he had gone to the wrong place and then just decided to double back and look for me. As far as I know, nobody else has ever heard of or seen the man on the bicycle.

Posted: Tue Mar 07, 2006 5:57 am Post subject: Miracle it was (by Mayda)

It was some 5 years ago. My daughter was then 4 years old. It was winter. We live in North Cyprus and because the winters are short, we use butane gas heaters which are practical. These heaters give out heat through a controlled flame. If someone gets too close, he/she will get burnt.

Well, my daughter, who then had (still has) long hair was playing in the sitting room where the heater was placed to keep us warm. She wasn’t close to the heater but, suddenly she started hopping and dancing. I saw her get too close the heater and before I got the chance to shout a warning she started falling towards the heater. She was falling backwards. Her hair would be the first of her to touch the fire. The warning shout never came out. I knew it was too late.

Just then, a miracle occurred. I saw everything. So did my husband. My daughter, who was falling backwards head first into the fire of the heater, was thrown, by an invisible force, towards the opposite direction. Instead of falling backwards, she fell on her hands and a safe distance away from the heater. That was incredible. If I hadn’t seen it happen with my own two eyes, I would never believe it. I had seen her fall backwards. I saw the invisible hand/power push her the other direction. I saw what happened. There were no illusions. My husband saw it too. It was a miracle. If she had fallen towards the heater, her hair would have sizzled. Not to mention that she might have remained under the overturned heater. It all happened so fast. I started seeing 11:11s shortly after that incident. I have no reason not to believe in angels.

Posted: Wed Mar 01, 2006 11:43 pm Post subject: Most Horribly Awesome Experience (by JJJ)

I have gone back and forth in my mind on exactly what this was but an ‘angel’ is as good an explanation as any.

When my step-son was 7 (about 10 years ago), we went on sort of a spur-of-the-moment trip to the lake… myself, my husband, a friend, and Jonathan (step-son). We didn’t have his life-jacket with us and he didn’t know how to swim but we were at the swimming area and he was pleading to get in so I told him that he could wade up to his knees.

I walked him down to the water, turned around and walked back to the car. I couldn’t have stood there more than a minute or two at the most when the most horrible panic took me. I started frantically asking my husband and friend where Jonathan was… as I looked across the water, I could not see him. I ran down to the waters edge and looked, still I could not see him. I was about to ask a woman if she had seen a boy by his description when ‘something’ took over my body. You cannot see a foot under the water at this particular lake… it is very dark. My body (with me sitting in the back of my head) ran to a particular point in the area, reached down and blindly pulled him up under his arms…. without even thinking I expelled water from his lungs (like the Heimlich) as I ran him back to the waters edge where someone else took over… he was blue and unconscious but he was breathing and alive.

I’ve gone back and forth on whether this could have been his spirit, his guardian, etc… whatever it was, it was a miracle.

Posted: Thu Oct 06, 2005 10:28 am Post subject: Angel on the Highway (by Petra Wilson)

Last year I went to stay with my sister who was living in Cyprus at the time. It was November and I was amazed at the difference in temperature. Anyway…

Denise (my sister) had only recently passed her driving test and she was very nervous and anxious about driving in a foreign country. However, we planned a day shopping and sight-seeing in Larnaca. All was well, until we had to return to Nicosia. I could tell she was very nervous about driving again, so I offered to drive, even though I was a tad nervous too and I wasn’t insured to drive her car. She readily agreed and after buckling up I said out loud:

“Right, ready to pray to our angel? Think we’ll need their assistance on this trip!”

Denise gave me her usual, oh-here-she-goes-again look, but I insisted. So, together we did a quick prayer and off we went. Everything was fine till we got to Nicosia. I hadn’t a clue where I was going, and after 10 minutes I realized Denise didn’t either.

“But you live here!” I cried. “Surely you must have a clue?”

“I don’t”, she wailed, then: “Say thanks to your angel from me won’t you!”

Just then a purple car over-took us and stayed in front of us. I noticed immediately the word Seraphim on the boot. “Look Denise, look! We’ll follow this car in front!” I exclaimed.

“And why on earth would we do that???” She cried.

“It says Seraphim, that means angel doesn’t it?” I said.

“Now I know for certain you are crazy!” was her retort.

But I followed the car for about 15 minutes on the mad 4-lane highway, when it left, I did too, amidst protests from Denise. However, a few minutes later Denise squealed with relief and delight:

“Oh my God! We’re there, turn left here!”

I did and laughing together we both yelled out of the window: “Thanks!”

In very high spirits Denise told her husband and he smiled a little patronizingly and commented:

“You can tell you’ve been with your nutty sister all day”.

He’s lovely really. I laughed though because I knew.

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