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The Carriage Driver 4 - Mariah Fenton Gladis


Three angels scurried about in Griffin’s kitchen. The coffee was ready. They had finished their work in the stable. Nuelle was scrubbed and the carriage readied. Griffin’s shoes were polished and his jacket brushed smooth.

When Griffin arrived, he surveyed the room and scratched the back of his neck. He was not used to this service. He thought something big must be happening today. He had always felt his job important. But today, with all the help that was sent, it gave him the feeling that he was about to meet a dignitary. “Good morning. To what do I owe this nice surprise?”

“You don’t know?” One of the angels asked. Then added, “Someone very special is about to arrive.” She giggled, a giggle reserved for angels and school girls.

He thought to himself, ‘They are all special.’ He drank some coffee and ate the breakfast that was served. The angels were truly excited.

The carriage was readied. Griffin looked at the name in the book, but did not recognize her. He climbed aboard and was transported to Pennsylvania. From his seat in the carriage he saw her. She was doing a swirling dance. Her arms flowed through the air. She was light on her feet. She did a pirouette, in the spotlight of her smile. Her red hair glowed. She touched her nose, her chin, her eyelids. She was liberated. She had returned to her youth, vibrant and graceful.

Nuelle watched in wonder at this beautiful creature before her.

Mariah stopped when she saw Nuelle. “I dreamed about you. I have had several dreams about you. You are more majestic than in my dreams.” She went and touched Nuelle’s cheek.

Griffin stepped down. “We are your escorts. We will take you wherever you want to go.”

She let that sink in for a half minute. “Wherever, I want to go?” She paused, “I spent my whole life charging ahead. I went to school, trained myself to help others. Just as I was set to launch my life mission I was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis called ALS and also called Lou Gehrig's disease. After diagnosis, the doctors gave me two years, but they did not know who I was. I survived for thirty-seven years. One of the secrets of my strength is how much helping others builds one's own fortitude.”

Griffin came to attention and gave a sharp salute. He learned that lesson long ago on a quiet lane through a peaceful glade. Helping others became his calling.

Mariah gave Griffin a funny look. Then smiled. “So many people carry with them bruised and battered souls. Circumstances derail their hopes or dreams. A loved one is called, leaving them by themselves. There are so many that become shaky when left to fend for themselves. They are unprepared for a sudden sickness. Devastation ravages their existence.” She looked at Griffin to see if he was listening, or that he could relate to what she was saying. It was obvious from the look on his face that he held a deep admiration for what her journey meant to her and to those that she stood beside.

“From time to time a tornado sweeps through an area and destroys things in its path, yet right across the street nothing happens that affects life, limb or property. Life is like that. You cannot tell just by looking who is damaged. My clients came to me to show them a corridor back. As they drew strength from me, I drew strength from them.” She paused again, “I hope my voice sounds OK. The disease affected my speech, along with the toll it took on my body. My husband became my voice.”

You have led an exemplary life. Those that know you call you their friend. You helped many stabilize and regain their footing in life. Nothing beats service to mankind as a calling.”

She had only spoken to Griffin for a few minutes, she already liked him immensely. She cocked her head to one side, “So, am I an angel now?”

“Yes, in a manner of speaking, you are,” Griffin reassured her.

“Then I know exactly what I want to do now. I have a group that I was helping when this transition happened. I want to visit each of them and perhaps expedite the miracle of their healing. There are only a few of them. Each is worth the effort. Do you think we can make that happen?”

Griffin extended his hand. “Climb in, let’s get started.”

For three days Nuelle followed Mariah’s directions. As an angel Mariah could easily see where her clients’ weak links were and with her new found powers of healing could easily strengthen those links for her remaining clients. When she climbed back aboard the carriage, after initiating the quick restoration of her last clients' core, she gave Griffin a bear hug. “Thank you, thank you, thank you.”

“While we were busy wrapping up this part of your journey, we have received a message that a reception has been planned in your honor.”

“A reception? Is that customary? You wouldn’t think someone who practiced psychotherapy would get this attention.”

“Not everyone, but meritorious work gets noticed.”

Nuelle was walking proudly through the streets.

Mariah contemplated the comment. “Just who will be there?”

“I did not receive a guest list. Just word that a reception was formed while we finished up the work you had begun. Though it is my understanding that everyone that you helped, who has transitioned, will be there to greet you.”

“Everyone.” Mariah leaned back against the seat as Nuelle began the first steps of her new journey.


Mariah blazed a trail of her own making. She carried her medical diagnosis on her back. It made her stronger. Her assertion is that the ailment allowed her to dive deep into her own soul which allowed her to know the depths of the other souls that sought her assistance. She shared thousands of people’s odysseys as they navigated their way to healing together. She referred to this as the Exact Moments of Healing. Emphasis was placed on the need to relive these moments from which we needed rescuing. To reshape them. To take control of them. To rebuild them into a structure of our own design.

Gestalt therapy strives to address the damage done by an experience by replacing the negative experience with a healing experience.


Stand By Me, Ben E King, 1961

Eric Clapton - Tears In Heaven

© 2018 mckbirdbks


mckbirdbks (author) from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on July 22, 2018:

Hello Martie - I believe you are right. We are remembered by those we have touched and Mariah seemed to have touched many. Sweet of you to offer condolences here.

Thanks for your kind comment. Angels escorting angels, sounds right to me.

Martie Coetser from South Africa on July 21, 2018:

Dear Mike

Mariah Fenton Gladis was an extraordinary woman. She will live on in the hearts of many.

My deepest condolences to her husband and family.

This is also an extraordinary and well-written chapter, as Mariah is the first to be escorted to heaven by three angels.

mckbirdbks (author) from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on July 20, 2018:

Hello Genna - I am sometimes surprised at just how strong a person can be. Adversity must fortify resolve because Mariah's resolve moved mountains. She shouldered the pain for many.

Thank you for such a kind comment.

Genna East from Massachusetts, USA on July 20, 2018:

What a marvelous lady -- an inspiration to us all. My immediate thought was one I suspect is shared by many...I wish I had known this wonderful woman. I agree with you, Mike: "A giant had walked among us." Beauty in all its forms thrives in this lovely tribute.

mckbirdbks (author) from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on July 20, 2018:

Hello Peg - Some people were meant to go out and blaze new trails. Mariah seems to have been one of those people. What is interesting to me is just how many people she was able to help, when by all appearances she could not take care of herself. A giant walked among us.

I enjoyed the two musical selections.

Peg Cole from North Dallas, Texas on July 20, 2018:

This beautiful and fitting tribute is both heartwarming and meaningful. Her life is a beacon of hope for all those afflicted by distress and disease. She is a shining example of forging on through troubled times and making the best of the situation in order to help others. I remember learning about her from our mutual friend. Love your choice of music, too.

mckbirdbks (author) from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on July 19, 2018:

Hello Paula – What a kind comment. This series has always been about ‘what is a good life’ and then further, ‘what is the reward.’ I am glad you liked this story. If any of my stories help anyone, then the time spent will have been worth it.

Suzie from Carson City on July 19, 2018:

Mike.....Your Carriage Driver Series inspires me. Each individual tribute to someone who has passed is fascinating and comforting as well. Just as this final ride for Mariah can soften the harsh sadness of her loved ones, you find a gentle way to guide those loved ones into a sense of peace. I can only imagine how this has filled our dear Maria with this peace. Hugs, Paula

mckbirdbks (author) from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on July 19, 2018:

Hello Bill - Never a problem about the timing. Enjoy your Farmer's Market days. That must be a great place to find stories unfolding.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on July 19, 2018:

I'm sorry I'm so late, Mike. Market Day on Wednesdays mean I'm always trailing behind. Maybe I'll catch up after September. Anyway, thoroughly enjoyed as always.

mckbirdbks (author) from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on July 19, 2018:

Hello Shuana – Sometimes we witness the miracle. It is good to know that there are selfless people in the world. They can make a living, raise their family and still everyday reach out and help those in the midst of their personal hurricane. Those people bolster the word noble.

mckbirdbks (author) from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on July 19, 2018:

Hello mar – I am glad that you used the word nurturing in your comment. That sums up her style well. The role playing aspect of Gestalt Therapy carries a certain appeal. The ‘what would you say’ to the person that injured you sounds like it could be therapeutic. It is like we all know what we should have said two days after a confrontation took place. You are welcome.

mckbirdbks (author) from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on July 19, 2018:

Hello Verlie – It seems that even prior to Mariah’s diagnosis, she began her personal journey to help others. Many people have trouble healing from all the pain that came their way. When we run across a person that lifts her own pain, then goes in search of others to help then it is time to stop and take notice. We experience wave after wave of experiences to digest. She gripped her clients and pulled them through.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on July 19, 2018:

Mike, this episode is dear to my heart, as it is yours. Mariah helped a mutually dear friend of ours heal emotional pain and dark memories that she'd carried for years.

Thank you for this tribute. I know our friend is grateful as well.

Maria Jordan from Jeffersonville PA on July 19, 2018:

Dear Mike,

This is one special carriage ride for one special lady.

You captured the nurturing, healing and beautiful heart that Mariah showed in her every action.

I do feel her encouraging presence in my heart. I believe I always will.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart - I will be sharing far and wide, just like the ripple effect that Mariah had over the years.

Hugs, mar

Verlie Burroughs from Canada on July 18, 2018:

Mike this is beautiful! I believe you have covered every facet of this angel lady's legacy, in such a lovely caring way. Emotions stirred with this write. Mariah Fenton Gladis, her life a testament to what love can do to strengthen us.

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