Beliefnet
Eighteen-year-old Edith Gomez had been visiting family members in Ixtapa, Mexico, and was heading back to her home in Dallas, Texas, with just a little bit of money in her purse. She had to stop in Monterrey, Mexico, to go through customs and catch her plane to the United States, and when she got there, she realized that the airport charged travelers a "user" fee of ten dollars, payable only in cash. Travelers could use either American or Mexican currency, but Edith didn't have enough in either denomination. However, airport personnel were firm. No user fee, no permission for Edith to board her plane. In tears, Edith placed a collect phone call to her mother, Gloria, in Dallas. "What should I do?" she wept. "I don't know anyone at the airport, and the plane is due to leave soon."

"Your Aunt Maria lives just outside Monterrey," Gloria reminded her. "I'll call her now, and see if she can get to the airport with money for you." Relieved, Edith hung up and tried to calm down.

Gloria phoned her sister Maria, and was happy to find her home. She explained the problem, and Maria immediately left for the airport. But the timing was against her, Gloria knew, given the traffic and the impending flight.

Then Gloria had another idea. Although her own mother had been dead for many years, Gloria often asked her to watch over their large extended family from her heavenly vantage point, and keep everyone safe. Her mother, Edith's grandmother, had died when Edith was tiny, and the two had never known each other in this life. But Edith's grandmother certainly was aware of her. "You know what Edith needs," Gloria said now to Grandma. "Please ask God to see that she gets it."

Within minutes, the telephone rang. It was Edith and she sounded fine. "Mom, forget everything I told you--I can pay the user fee, and I'm flying home."

"What happened?" Gloria asked. Aunt Maria could never have reached the airport so quickly.

Edith explained. After talking with her mother, she had gone to the ladies' room to try and pull herself together. Suddenly the door opened. "Edith?" an unfamiliar woman put her head in. "There's someone here who's looking for you." Her aunt from Monterrey? No, it was way too soon....

Perplexed, Edith went out into the hallway. The woman who had just summoned her was nowhere to be seen. Instead, an elderly lady stood there, smiling at her in recognition and holding out a ten-dollar bill. "Edith, here's the money you need."

"Why, thank you," Edith said, astonished. She had never seen the woman before. She fumbled for her purse. "Here, let me write you a check for it."

"That's not necessary," the grey-haired lady said, turning away.

"But..." Edith watched the woman walk down the hallway toward the same flight she was taking. Maybe they would have a chance to talk later. Right now Edith needed to phone her mother, pay her user fee and check in.

Edith boarded the plane just as its doors were closing. As she took her seat, she noticed that the grey-haired lady was sitting right behind her. Edith smiled at her, then leaned back, exhausted. It had been a tense and tricky situation, but fortunately this kind Samaritan had come to her rescue. Only..how had the woman known of Edith's predicament? Or her name? And the other lady who had summoned her from the bathroom--how had she known Edith's name? It was all very curious. But Edith reached for her checkbook, and wrote a check for ten dollars. However her rescue had occurred, the lady deserved to be reimbursed.

When the plane touched down in Dallas, Edith waited until the people in front of her had gone down the aisle, then stood to slip the check to the woman before she left.

But there was no one sitting in the seat behind Edith, and no elderly lady among the passengers still waiting to disembark. "She couldn't have left the plane without passing my seat," Edith says. "And no one changed seats during the flight. I would have noticed."

The family has wondered about the woman ever since. Was she, in fact, the grandmother that Edith had never known? Or was she an angel sent by the Lord to care for a distraught and worried girl? The family is sure they will find the answer one day. Until then, they live in peace, knowing heaven is watching.

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