‘It’s OK. There are angels in here’
“Chicken Soup for the Soul: Touched by an Angel,” is available at amazon.com and will be carried by the Garfield County branch libraries.
RIFLE — Elizabeth Veldboom was 5 years old when she saw two angels on each side of her younger sister’s crib. And her story has been included in the newly released “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Touched by an Angel,” which includes more than 100 stories of people who have had “angel” experiences.
The Veldboom story, called “Breath of the Heavenly,” is about Elizabeth’s younger sister, Rachel, who had been diagnosed with respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, a dangerous respiratory illness, that required her to be in an oxygen tent and use a nebulizer as an infant.
“The disease, for babies, can be deadly,” Elizabeth said.
Elizabeth’s mom, Robin, had suffered two miscarriages and two infant deaths after open-heart surgeries — the loss of four babies in four years. She and her husband, Terry, adopted three girls — Alice, the oldest, then Elizabeth and Rachel. Robin and Terry were devastated at the news of Rachel’s illness.
After the diagnosis, Robin was barely able to sleep and kept coming in to check on Rachel in the room she shared with Elizabeth. At one point, Robin found Elizabeth sitting straight up in bed. Elizabeth told her mother she saw two angels on either side of Rachel’s crib.
“Mommy, it’s OK. There are angels in here!” Elizabeth said.
According to the story, the next morning, Robin asked Elizabeth for more details about what she saw and what the angels looked like.
“Well, they had big feet,” Elizabeth fold her mom. “And big wings.”
Even now, she describes them as “forms of light” that had a presence.
“They weren’t ghostly, they were like shadows in reverse,” she described. “They didn’t say anything, but I knew why they were there.”
Elizabeth also relayed that the angels had wanted her to tell her mom that they were there to take care of Rachel.
In a recent interview with Janine Rose, manager of the Rifle Branch Library, Elizabeth said she has been writing since she was 8 years old, but not professionally until she was 18. She is now 23.
A graduate of The Garden School — a Christian school in New Castle — Elizabeth describes herself as a “small-town girl in love with the cadence of words and the heartbeat of her Savior.”
She is also a graduate of Jerry B. Jenkins’ Christian Writers Guild and has been previously published by Susie Magazine and CBN.com. Since graduating from the Garden School, she has also taught there.
Robin Veldboom is a photographer and mother to three girls and a grandmother of two grandchildren. She is a native of Colorado and has been married to Terry for 34 years.
Elizabeth heard about the call for submissions to the Chicken Soup for the Soul’s “Touched by an Angel” book and asked her mother if she could write about her mom’s experience. Robin agreed, and Elizabeth collaborated with her, ghostwriting the story from her mother’s point of view.
“There were about 4,000 to 5,000 submissions to the book,” Elizabeth said. “The writing didn’t take a lot of time, but I had to rewrite it and it was about a year from the time I submitted it. But the best writer is a rewriter.”
Elizabeth is excited about the book and her future as a writer.
“I just feel incredibly blessed,” she said.
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