Oh, What a Wonderful World

Earlier, I began to write on a topic totally different from what you are reading. As I was polishing my words, editing and spell checking, a random melody of What a Wonderful World, quietly began to play from an app recently pressed on my iPhone. A small speaker of silver encased in turquoise blue sat atop the crowded corner of my half-moon desk. Suddenly, my body halted in a burgundy swivel chair. Fingers of ten lifted up, freezing in position. I was utterly still while listening to lyrics strumming from a soothing Hawaiian ukulele. I hadn’t heard this song since last month when I chose it for Eileen’s, memorial service.  Eileen, my father’s wife of 142 days who passed away from cancer.

Things happen in life that we don’t often understand at the time. Later, something may trigger us to look back with fresh eyes, opening a window to a new meaning or purpose of such. This moment of clarity happened seconds ago which I will share with you now.

Last month while flying to Phoenix for Eileen’s service, a beautiful young woman with several long, dark braids and wearing a patterned paisley scarf tied around her head sat in the window seat next to me. During the three and a half hour-long flight, I closed my droopy eyes to catch a nap. Suddenly, something cold landed on my sleeveless arm. My eyes popped open. Near my wrist, a small plastic pellet, cold as ice rested comfortably. Taken aback, I flicked it off my arm with my index finger. The girl/woman had fallen asleep, her partially covered head rested against the airplane window with braids tossed this way and that. Her scarf was twisted, revealing a cap of white underneath.

Directly in the row ahead of us, a mother was busy juggling twins, a girl and a boy who jumped up and down when a smiling flight attendant appeared carrying a tray of sweets. One at a time, she served them soft, chocolate chip cookies. The commotion woke the young woman next to me who began to talk playfully with the children ahead of us.

“Mmmm, I bet those are really good cookies,” she exclaimed! “I have twins, too,” she added, smiling at the children’s mother. “Two little girls, six years old.” “How great! My kids just turned four,” the other mom, replied.

Naturally, I couldn’t help myself. “I have twin grand-babies” I added, leaning in to my seat-mate. “Two girls, like you. They’re just over a year old.” From that moment on we bonded, sharing family photographs while getting to know one another. Shortly before landing, she explained that her family lived in China, where her husband worked for a major New York investment firm. She added that she felt extremely guilty for leaving him there while she came to America (Phoenix) for cancer treatment. My heart stopped.

“No, this can’t be, I thought to myself. “She’s too young. I can’t bear to hear this. Not on this trip. Not now.”

“What do you think,” she asked. “Is there any better place for treatment?”

Gathering my composure, I took her hand and smiled with self-determination. “I think Phoenix has some of the best treatment options available,” I answered. “As good or better than anywhere in the world,” I added with enthusiasm.

“Do you really believe that?”

“Yes,” I answered, honestly, which I did. Looking directly into her eyes, I told her not to feel guilty, that she should concentrate on getting well. For the next few minutes, I gave her a pep talk of sorts, insisting that she put herself first and foremost. I asked her to concentrate on getting well for herself, as well as her family; to never stop thinking of those precious little girls who so needed their mama.

Just before landing, she asked, “What brings you to Phoenix?”

“Oh, just a brief visit with my father,” I answered, misty-eyed, smiling slightly.

*Below is a prayer I wrote that accompanied What a Wonderful World, at Eileen’s service. Today it has a new meaning for me, a new purpose. Surely, Eileen is an Angel….yes, the young mother’s Angel. Eileen sits beside her through each and every cancer treatment. Eileen dries her tears, eases her loneliness and eventually, will reunite her with family. And, yes, the young mother will be happy and healthy, living to raise her daughters into womanhood.

Oh, What a Wonderful World.

Angel Prayer-

Before the sun shall rise again, darkness descends upon the earth

And, though I do not see, nor hear, nor touch…

What lies beyond the ink of skies above

My faith surpasses any doubt of where I soon shall fly…

Be still all earthly pain, and hush my labored breaths

Blanket weary lids, and rest ‘till morning dawn…

View these beautiful Angel wings above favorite desert peaks

For He has grasped my hand in Heaven 

So full of joy it spills forth

With light and love…

Gaze with me as glory casts golden rays

For now and all eternity.



27 thoughts on “Oh, What a Wonderful World

  1. Pingback: Oh, What a Wonderful World | Annette Rochelle Aben

  2. This gave me goosebumps Kim. I immediately was captivated with this song that holds great meaning for me too. It reminds me of my father who passed 20 years ago. I don’t hear it often, but when I do, I feel his presence. Thanks for sharing your beautiful heart. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Kim,
    So good to catch up with you again and feel our lives have criss-crossed in so many ways since we first touched base. You poem was incredible and touched me so deeply. It was beautiful.
    I can also relate to your trip on the plane. My cousin’s twins must be about 5 months old now. They’re so cute, although I’ve mainly seen them on Facebook. Their Dad posted a clip of them “talking” to each when they were about six weeks old and their movements mirrored each other. Too cute! I now talk to identical twin people when I see them. Well, I probably did that before.
    I had a similar situation to your plane experience at the station last week. My daughter’s train was delayed for 40 minutes and I’d been talking a little to a woman while we were waiting and so I suggested we go and have a coffee. We were two strangers and yet the more we talked, the more we had in common to the point it was almost freaky. It was so meant to be. Yet, I was never meant to be there. I’d misunderstood my daughter on the phone and she was expecting me to pick her up from the station near her school instead.
    So while I had this fantastic and meant to be meeting, while letting my daughter down.
    I find this sort of thing quite perplexing. You try to be there for your kids and do the right thing but things literally get lost in the translation and you’re not there. I didn’t really beat myself up about this but her friend was with her and she went troppo. Somehow, being human doesn’t seem to cut the mustard.
    Take care!
    Love & Blessings,

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for reading, together with your compliment on my Angel poem. I believe you must have been ‘meant to be’ with the woman you met, Ro. You gave each other more than you know that day! Don’t feel guilty. Your daughter knows you love her. It was meant to be.


  4. I agree, Kim, there are not coincidences. This story rocked my soul and made my Heart so very still. Life at times is just so darn hard yet there are times like this God puts people together purposely so that encouragement and a shared Love can happen to strengthen and inspire. It is so shocking to know how many people in today’s world suffer from cancer and it seems the age is getting younger and younger. Your Angel prayer is magnificent and I am sure as I am sure that you will be praying for this young woman. God Bless you!!! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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