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Someone's Angel - A Short Story by Carolyn Marshall

December 14th, 2017


I was going through some of the poems and short stories I have written over the years and came across this one. It's been about 24 years ago now since I had this experience. It seems like a simple one on the surface but it is ever-so powerful, especially in the times we now live. Do you have an opportunity to be "Someone's Angel" ...

Have you ever been in the right place at the right time to do something you would remember for the rest of your life? I have. It was more than 10 years ago, and it still haunts me today. I believe God gives us opportunities through our lives to be someone else’s “Angel”. We don’t always meet the task, though, as it was for me that day so many years ago.

It started out as a normal day. There were the usual chores on my “To-Do” list. One of those things was to get groceries for the next week. I made the trip to my regular store, got my cart, and began filling it. God had been good to me. I was able to shop without worrying about how much money was in my purse.

After being in the store only five minutes, I noticed an older couple. They appeared to be in their 80s, very thin, and dressed in an unkempt manner. This, in itself, was not what caught my attention. They were walking very close to one another, whispering as if they had a secret to keep from the rest of the world. “Mrs.” pushed the cart, and “Mr.” walked beside her with a shopping list in his hands.

Because of their secretiveness, I stayed a little behind them. Curiosity got the best of me. And, something was tugging at my heart. It was not quite clear to me at that time what I was concerned about.

Mr. and Mrs. moved slowly past the refrigerated section, stopping every few feet or so. They quietly discussed whether or not they would get each item they put in their cart. They would pick something up, and then put it back down. My heart strings were being pulled. I wondered if they had enough money to pay for the groceries and were being selective about the things they would purchase.

Then, Mrs. did something that gave me a sinking feeling in my stomach. She picked up a bottle of milk, studied it very carefully and placed it in her cart. Apparently, she had to decide which was more important, butter or milk, because the butter she had picked up earlier was placed back on the shelf.

Deep within, I was beginning to feel that my earlier suspicions about this couple not having enough money for food were true. It appeared they had to make choices on what they could and could not buy. Choices as to what food was most important to them. Because they were so thin, I began wondering whether they had enough to eat. Thoughts of how I would feel if my own mother were in her 80s and having to ration like that began racing through my mind.

How could I help these people? These could be people I knew and loved. Should I go up to them and offer them money? I didn’t want to offend them, and I didn’t know what to do. So, I did nothing. I thought of all kinds of scenarios that would allow me to help them. But, I did nothing.

Did I fail at an opportunity to be Mr. and Mrs.’ Angel? Maybe. They may not have needed my help. But, I will never know the answer to that question, because I didn’t follow my heart and reach out to them. Vivid details of how this couple looked, walked, and discussed their choices with each other play in my mind to this day. I know I will never forget that day.

The moral to this story is “listen to your heart”. Once you’ve missed the beat of the moment, you can never go back. God has sent many angels to me throughout my life. Without Him, I would never be able to make it. Take advantage of each opportunity you get to be one of God’s “Angels”. You never know when someone else will be in the right place at the right time when you need an Angel of your own.

© 2003

Spiral Notebooks Now Available

November 20th, 2017

Spiral Notebooks Now Available

Just in time for Christmas gift giving! We have a new product line to offer our images on now and I am very excited. Everyone loves a spiral notebook with a great image on it. You can use them for journaling, notes, lists, etc. My portfolio offers over 800 images to choose from, so there's something for everyone!

Spiral notebooks can be found under the "Stationery" category. Grab the image with your mouse and you can reposition it exactly as you'd like it on the front cover. You can also resize the image up or down using the slider on the page to make your notebook look the way you want it. Change the background cover, too, if you like!

Shop other products, too! Wall Art, Home Decor, Tech, Stationery, Lifestyle, Beach, Men's & Women's Apparel. Gifts of all kinds! Please be sure to contact me if you have any questions. I will be more than happy to help you make your perfect selection just the way you like it.

Limited Time Print Offer

June 6th, 2017

Limited Time Print Offer

Limited Time Promotion for Beach Sunset Canvas Print. It's a great image the setting sun peaking through sea oats waving in the foreground. This sunset photo was taken at Fort DeSoto Beach in Florida. Be sure to check out the rest of my portfolio. This special offer is good for the first 25 purchasers. Hurry! Promotion will expire on June 11, 2017 at 5 p.m.

Beach Sunset Canvas Print - Limited Time Offer

Thank God for Patriots

June 4th, 2015

Thank God for Patriots

Memorial Day just passed, Independence Day (4th of July) is just around the corner, and Veteran's day is just five months away. But, regardless of the celebrated holiday, love for our country should always be in our hearts.

One of the symbols we use to show our patriotism and pride in our country is the United States flag. Some call her "Old Glory". I'm old enough to remember when there were parades down town streets, or the flag went passing by, people stood - they saluted - they took their hats off - they put their hand on their heart - and they taught their children why they did all this.

Over time, some have gotten too "busy" or too "politically correct" to remember to do these things. They do it sometimes when it is convenient. We need to remember that our freedom is not a "sometime", "convenient" or "politically correct" kind of thing. Were it not for men and women willing to put their lives "on hold", or pay the ultimate sacrifice of losing their lives for their country, freedom would be something we would have to look up in the dictionary to see what it meant. We would not be living it today.

I wanted to take this time now to say "thank you" to all those who have served and those who are still serving in the name of freedom for ME. A few years ago, I wrote a poem that I'd like to share with you.

Thank God for Patriots (Carolyn Marshall 10/14/04)

So you say you love your country
And are grateful that youre free.
Its reflected in the mirror
Of your life that others see.

Do you proudly wave Old Glory,
Show respect as it goes by?
Does it make your heart beat faster,
Do its colors make you cry?

Do you sing the National Anthem
With the reverence it deserves?
Do you teach by your example,
What will children from you learn?

Do you give support to soldiers,
Thank them for their sacrifice?
Do they know that you stand by them
When they pay our Freedoms price?

If you truly love your country,
When you say your prayers at night,
Thank the Lord He gave us Patriots
Not afraid to fight the fight.

A Walk With The Last Patrol

June 4th, 2015

A Walk With The Last Patrol

Twelve men are kneeling and huddled in a circle. The camouflage, green and tiger stripe uniforms; faces painted brown, green, and black; and weapons strategically strapped over shoulders makes you think you are in a war zone. These are all Vietnam veterans, but this is not Vietnam. They are called The Last Patrol, and are here on a mission. This group of Vietnam and Vietnam-era veterans performs a "Ceremony of Remembrance" all around the country. Their mission is to keep us from forgetting. They honor and remember their fallen brothers and sisters from all past wars and conflicts and those brave men and women who are wearing our country's uniform still fighting for the liberties that we enjoy every day. The first time I experienced The Last Patrol was September 16, 1994, in Fort Myers, Florida. Ted Marshall, my husband, is a Vietnam veteran who served in the United States Air Force as a K-9 handler from 1970 to 1974. We were there that beautiful autumn day for the National POW/MIA Remembrance celebration. It was an especially somber event as The Moving Wall was also there. The Moving Wall is a traveling replica of the Vietnam Veterans National Memorial which is located in Washington, D.C., and it is etched with more than 58,000 names of those who gave their lives for our country in Vietnam.

Several members of the local chapter of Vietnam veterans knew Ted had not seen The Last Patrol's ceremony, and they anticipated his reaction. With a brother on each side of him, Ted stood in the front line of the crowd eagerly waiting for the program to begin. My husband was in good hands, so I positioned myself with my camera to get the best shots of The Last Patrol.

The loudspeakers blared, and we were propelled back in time to the 60s and 70s with music from that era, stirring words from President Johnson, and battle noise. The whoosh of the helicopters could be heard in the background. Then, The Last Patrol appeared through a haze of smoke. But those who had been in a war zone were now taking that walk again with most of their senses - they were seeing it, hearing it, and smelling it.

My heart broke when I looked over and saw Ted. His veteran brothers were holding him up. He was there again - in Vietnam - and his legs couldn't support him. The pent-up emotions from all those years of suppression were coming to the surface. He was drenched in sweat, his face was stone white, and the tears he'd held for so long were finally falling.

As the narrator continued to speak, The Last Patrol went through the motions of what could have been the last foot patrol as they were beginning to pull out of Vietnam. Suddenly, the men were all standing around a helmet on top of a rifle sticking in the ground. Taps were played, and each Patrol member stood, saluting proudly to give last respects to a fallen comrade. The Patrol concluded the commemoration with a brief introduction of their members, and then they all walked into the crowd to say "Welcome Home." I stood back and watched Ted as he embraced the brothers who had finally brought him home from his private place of pain. It was the place that only another veteran knows - or understands. It didn't surprise me when I learned shortly afterwards that he had been asked to join The Last Patrol with his K-9 partner, our German Shepherd, K.C.

My observation of the crowd that day and, more importantly, my husband, motivated me to take a look at my own patriotism. Through my early adult years, I lived a self-induced, "patriotically-sheltered" life. There were wars and conflicts being fought, but I remained distant. I guess I had convinced myself that since nothing ever happens on our soil, I was safe. I ignored the news because it was "too depressing." Unfortunately, that's still the mindset of so many people today - even after September 11, 2001.

My journey into the reality of what Freedom really means but, more importantly, what it costs, began September 16, 1994. Every time The Last Patrol performed, I went with them as their photographer. My eyes and heart were opened to the suffering and sacrifice of veterans and their families. Through tears, smiles, and embraces, they shared their "secrets" without uttering a word.

I have learned a very important lesson from my walk with The Last Patrol over these many years. Unless a person is put in harm's way, as all our veterans were and are today; and unless that person lives the life the veteran has to live during his or her time of conflict and after returning home ... that person will NEVER begin to understand how the veteran's life is truly affected.

I wasn't there in Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq - or any war. I will never be able to fully comprehend the price that was paid for my freedom or be able to repay the debt I owe. What I can do is love and support those who have taken my place in Freedom's line by going down War's road for me. I can stand tall when the flag of our country is displayed and show respect for what the stars and stripes represent. I can do my part to make sure that the sacrifices made on this country's behalf are never forgotten.

K9 War Dog Memorial

April 26th, 2013

K9 War Dog Memorial

As the wife of a Vietnam veteran Dogman (432nd SPS K9), I have a huge place in my heart for the K9s. Many years back, I met Johnny Mayo (also Vietnam Dog Handler). Johnny has been working diligently the last several years to have a war dog monument built to honor the service of over 40,000 military working dogs.

All of his hard work is now paying off, and the work is in progress. The South Carolina War Dog Monument (SCWDM) will honor the service, sacrifice and loyalty of our nations military working dogs serving since World War II to present. The SCWDM will be a world-class memorial placed on the center of the plaza in front of the South Carolina Vietnam Memorial in Columbias Veterans Memorial Park.

The project will be built in two phases. Phase I will be a 13-foot wide granite base with larger-than-life bronze statues of dog handler and German Shepherd. Phase 2 will include the three remaining primary dog breeds who served with our troops since World War II (Doberman Pinscher, Labrador Retriever and Belgian Malinois Shepherd).

Right now, my husband and I are at the annual Vietnam And All Veterans Reunion in Melbourne, Florida. It is the largest veterans reunion in the country, and we have attended it for 20 years. Some of you may be familiar with my image called War Dogs Sacrifice (image above). The display in the image was created by Johnny. He started it several years ago with just a few of the plaques and a very simple display. Over the years, it grew to what is shown in my image. I saw the display again today, and it has grown even larger, adding the current information on the new monument.

I would like to do my part to help the War Dog Monument effort. So I told Johnny today that I will contribute all proceeds that I receive on the sales of the image War Dogs Sacrifice from 4/26/13 through 5/5/13 to the project. Here is the link to purchase the image: War Dogs Sacrifice

You can also help with your purchase of the image and by forwarding this information on to others you know who would like to see a monument such as this be built to honor our K9 veterans and working dogs.

If you would like more information on the monument. you can visit the website at: South Carolina War Dog Monument

On behalf of the K9 Corps, I say a big thank you!

Fathers Day Sale

June 13th, 2012

Fathers Day Sale

Father's Day is just around the corner. From now through 6/17/12 at 11:59p.m. (EST) choose ANY image from my portfolio (print, mounted, framed, or greeting card) and receive 15% off! Please note this discount is off my markup price only and not the entire retail amount. Discount will be reflected when you add item to your cart. USE DISCOUNT CODE DTEHEN.

Memorial Day - Limited Time Promotion

May 25th, 2012

Memorial Day - Limited Time Promotion

Memorial Day is just around the corner. We should be celebrating our veterans and troops every day of the year and thanking them for the sacrifices they and their families make on our behalf for the freedoms we enjoy today. In honor of our veterans, I am offering a LIMITED TIME promotion (link below) of a 20x16 stretched canvas wrap. Only 25 are available, and the offer expires on 5/30/12. Scripture John 15:13 is quoted: "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." Around the border of the image are listed all of the conflicts and wars our country has been involved in from the American Revolution through our current time. Great gift for honoring our troops. Please feel free to share this link with your friends and family.

Veterans At Vietnam Wall - Limited Time Offer

My First Art Show

March 2nd, 2012

My First Art Show

Well, I stepped out into new territory this week. I entered my first art show - the 6th Annual Celebration of the Arts in Largo, Florida. The show will run from March 2 - 4. I didn't win anything this time, but the experience was wonderful. Met a few of the ladies I know from Fine Art America, and exchanged great information. Up until now, most of what I have done in the photography world has been online. So now I will be venturing out in the world of art shows and competitions. I really appreciate all of you who have supported my work through your comments, votes, encouragement and purchases. If you live in the Pinellas County, Florida, area, you can get more information on this art show at

New Promotion - Limited Time and Print Offer

August 17th, 2011

New Promotion - Limited Time and Print Offer

As a way to share with you and promote some of my photography and art, periodically I will be running a limited-time offer for a fantastic deal. My first promotion is for my image called Jet At Sunset. It's a great image of a jet with the terminal and front of the aircraft reflecting in the nose cone. Be sure to check out the rest of my portfolio. This special offer is good for the first 10 purchasers. Hurry! Promotion will expire on August 25, 2011 at 5 p.m.

Jet At Sunset - Limited Time Offer