The February issue of Mature Lifestyles included a “Touched by An Angel” contest in which we asked readers to share experiences from their own lives about when they were “touched by an angel.”

Following are some of the particularly inspiring winning entries:


Michael, an inspiration in life, death

The angel in my life is my 19-year-old son who died last July 2009 at the age of 18. Michael was the passenger in a car driven by a drunk driver. Michael inspired so many youth with his personality while on earth and many more since he passed away.

Michael always had a smile even during his struggles in life with learning difficulties in school, prior drug and alcohol problems. He remained positive and optimistic toward his future. He had been an extremely giving person as told to me by hundreds of his friends.

Michael donated his organs to those on a waiting list since he had a rare blood type. Five people are alive today as a result of Michael’s loving and giving nature.

I have received messages from a friend that while Michael was alive, Michael gave this young boy a coat since the boy was cold. Another friend told me how she received a huge hug from Michael when she was down. These examples and many more are reasons I feel Michael is my angel.

Karen Behl
St. Eugene Parish, Fox Point

Angel is sister she never had

I met my angel when we were in college. At that time I didn’t know she was my angel but just a great friend. Neither of us has a sister so we often said we were like sisters.

As life went on, however, and difficulty arose in my life, she was still always there for me. She has the ability to know when to call me and can always make me laugh about things. Often she has shown up unexpectedly when I needed help the most.

Her easy way of looking at life and making difficulties melt away, brings tears to my eyes even now. I can still recall her standing in my parents’ basement, after they had a house fire, and so easily taking care of things with a smile on her face. Deb introduced me to my husband, she was my maid of honor at my wedding, and we are godmother to each other’s first born. So you can see the bond is strong.

That is mainly because of Deb – her strong faith and positive outlook on life draws many people to her. She has been my angel for the 37 years I have known her and now as she enters a difficult time in her life, with her aging parents, I hope I can be her angel.

Loretta Lechner
St. Joseph Parish, Waupun

Angels make emergency room appearance

When I worked as a librarian at St. Paul School, I was suddenly hit with horrible pains in my side. One of the teachers took me home and asked if I needed help. I said, “No” and went inside where I almost passed out.

I called my husband to ask him to come home. I also called my mom and dad because my husband worked very far away. I got to the hospital with severe pain. Through ultrasound, we learned I had a cyst on my ovary and it was gangrenous.

The doctor told me that if he accidently spilled just a little of the material, I would die. As I lay in the emergency room, my Grandpa Adam, and my Aunt Audrea, two people I really loved, appeared. Both were dead, but came to me as a vision. After that, I went through surgery and everything turned out fine. This experience changed me to become more faith-filled.

Susan K. Lewandowski
St. Paul Parish, Milwaukee
Administrative assistant at, St. Thomas Aquinas Academy, Milwaukee

Manford to the rescue – more than once

It happened in second grade at Holy Angels Grade School in Milwaukee. Our teacher was a religious sister and she was preparing us for our first holy Communion. She asked us to name our guardian angel and told us that our angel has been assigned by God for as long as we are on this earth.

As a second grade boy, I thought, maybe, I might have an angel … so I named him Manford. I knew it was a crazy name, but I thought, what the heck, if he is going to be my angel, let us have a little fun in life.

The year was 1947. My friend Jerry and I walked along the Milwaukee River in Estabrook Park. It was wintertime and ice was still on parts of the river. Jerry ventured too far out onto the ice and went through and disappeared. As he came up, I handed him a long, sturdy stick and pulled him out. We were both wet and cold and walked to a store on Green Bay and Hampton avenues. The owner phoned my home. Why did I walk with that stick? Something I had learned in Cub Scouts? Was Manford, my guardian angel, telling me to walk with a stick that day?

Swimming at Gordon Park was always fun. Usually we rode our bikes to the park. There was a railroad freight line that went in the same direction. Sometimes, we hopped onto the moving freight car  that had a metal ladder. This one time, one of my hands slipped off the ladder as I ran alongside the freight car and my legs went under toward the freight car wheels. A hand came over my shoulder and grabbed my belt and lifted me up so I could grip the ladder. Did Manford have a role in this rescue too?

Donald Graf
St. Mary Parish, West Bend

(Editor’s note: Along with his entry, Graf submitted a copy of a clipping from the Milwaukee Journal (1947) headlined, “Boy who carries stick once more rescues friend.” It described the incident when Graf was 12 and noted that he rescued his friend, Jerry Anderson, 10. The article also noted that “last March, Donald pulled his brother, Richard, 9, from the river under the same circumstances. He learned to carry a stick while a member of Cub Pack 410 of Holy Angels School.”)

Angel wearing a habit spreads compassion

In 1999, as a new doctor serving rounds at St. Catherine Catholic Hospital near Kenosha, my cousin David had been called in by a patient’s family to be at their mother’s side. David took a sincere interest in all his patients, and this family knew their mother would appreciate his presence at her side during her final hours.

He held her hand in comfort as she slipped away in the early hours of that morning. This was David’s first experience with the death of a patient. He gave his immediate condolences to the family, and excused himself to the hallway to sit and gather his thoughts. He felt so helpless in saving that patient’s life.

As he sat at the end of the hallway, he heard the steady footsteps of hard-soled dress shoes walking toward him. As the steps came closer he looked up to see an elderly nun wearing her habit approaching him with a gentle look of concern.

She sat with him, saying it will be all right.

She said, “Take comfort for she is in heaven.”

David thanked her for kind words, wiped the tears from his eyes, and left to go home for some rest.

About a year later, David was called to the house near the hospital where the order of nuns lived. He asked the head nun if he could again meet and thank the nun who had been so kind in comforting him in the hospital late that night. The nun in charge was surprised to hear about his experience, saying there had been no nuns in that hospital for the past 20 years.

Dan Mikulecky