The Earth Angel Book

“I’M NOT ALONE”

CHAPTER ONE

Angel to Angel

I wish you the whole earth and all the best of heaven!
May the greatest power of the Above and the Beneath watch over you and
Your loved ones wherever you are and whenever you need it.
May you always be a genuine you — gracious and beautiful inside and out,
May all your dreams and wishes come true, and may your life be filled with love, peace, happiness, and prosperity,
May you never take yourself and small things for granted,
May you never miss a chance to do good things for yourself and others,
for the wonderful earth and heaven we live in.
May the great God and the Lord of Buddha bless you all and yours.
Welcome to earth and heaven all angels..

IN THE BEGINNING THERE WAS YOU AND ME AND ONE GOOD INTENTION IN BETWEEN; NOTHING HAS CHANGED SINCE.

There is a saying in Thai: “You can’t cover a carcass of an elephant with a lotus leaf.” The Earth Angel book is my blackboard that I am posting all my truth on. I can’t hide what I went through (and I don’t intend to)! When I decided to write the Earth Angel book in the spring of 2003 and I started to collect autographs, well wishes, and prayers from my friends, family, strangers, and from people of all walks of life who I came in contact with everywhere I went, little did I realize that my travels would turn into a world tour. I soon found that the process would become mine for life (because I never want to stop), and that I would collect a thousand and more signatures. Of the thousand and four people I asked, one thousand said yes.

I started connecting the dots of my life and asking for autographs at the same time. I was being me and having fun with a new idea and the mission I had invented for myself. I also was being realistic about what I was doing.

“Hi, my name is Nuiy Adams. I’m writing a book about myself. The purpose of writing the book is to raise money to help poor people in my native village in Thailand. Would you like to donate your autograph, well wishes, and prayers for my project? I’ll make you famous by putting your autograph and wishes on my book’s cover because my book will be a best seller.”

The responses I got from most people were hugely positive and supportive. I’d always get a big smile out of most of everyone and sometimes I got a curious look from a stranger, but most everyone was more than happy to sign their name and donate their goodwill and prayers at my request. Out of almost one thousand requests for a beautiful piece of handwriting, only four people turned me down. Many offered hands-on help and materials. Many gave me their phone numbers, home addresses, and emails to stay in touch. Several of them said, “We need more people like you in this world.” Some even offered me money.

I was deeply touched by all the graceful people to whom I opened up to, but I couldn’t accept the money at the time, nor I could explain the whole story to them during their brief moment of contact. I was honestly looking for moral support and a good excuse to educate myself, to improve my speaking, reading, and writing skills in English, as well as to build my social skills. I wanted to earn the donations by telling my life stories in the book. I figured by doing this, not only would I be making an advantage out of a disadvantage, I would be writing my own book,  publishing it, and  marketing  it myself   because by the end of this endeavor, my English and my social skills would be improved. I could also be a fundraiser and earn money. I wanted to be able to provide myself everything else I needed to support the Earth Angel Project. I strongly believe in working for money!

I first asked my friends for autographs at the gym, then on the tennis court, and at home, wherever friends and families got together for dinner or social events. Often, I would go out of my way to the bars and grills, get a drink, dance and ask strangers on the dance floor and in the band for their wishes, prayers, and autographs. I asked people at the airport, on the airplane, on the train, and on buses. One time, leaving for Thailand and while waiting to board the flight from LAX, I found eighty Chinese Buddhist nuns on their way back to Taiwan waiting to take the same flight home. They gave me their autographs all in Chinese and a light green piece of jade carved in the shape of a hand with prayer beads and an image of a fine carved Buddha in a two inch box and its color is beige.

I met so many different and kind people on all of my travels! When I got to Thailand on a trip in November 2004, I met an Australian couple on the train and then some Japanese students. I now have very cute autographs with Japanese cartoons that they drew. On a plane to Houston, I spoke with Mary. We said hello while standing in line waiting to board the plane, and it turned out that when we got on the plane, our assigned seats were next to one another. Mary had never gotten married, and in the course of our conversation she gave me her 30-year-old Bible that had traveled around the world with her. I also met an interesting Swiss businessman at a massage parlor at Pattaya, Thailand, who donated his well wishes and prayers very warmly, along with his address.

In Pattaya I went to look for a hash house harrier group (a group of British trail runners) at the Scandinavian bar on the south beach. I ended up meeting with the owner, whose name is Eric, and his wife, Virginia. Eric and Virginia helped me traipse around the bar. They opened up two wine bottles, passed them around, and started collecting autographs of all the Norwegian men there (in their native language). They all wished me luck with the book and with the Earth Angel Project.

Besides all that, both Eric and Virginia were very generous donors and were also very active in local charity works. I just never knew what kind of people I would meet when I opened my mouth. People are not always who they seem to be in the social world. A few times I had invited the same religious people into my home. Sometimes we’d sit in my garden and talk, and they’d read me a Bible of God; they’d preached that God loves everybody unconditionally. I had mentioned my work with the Earth Angel Project. I then had asked for their autographs and blessings for my project and the poor children; they asked to postphone my request and said they’d do it next time. Whatever had happened, they never come back.

Many times I had requested autographs at a function, such as the Culinary Festival, an art show, a Toastmaster’s meeting, the library or at a bookstore. I also had asked teachers, students, and others at Scottsdale Community College, where I had attended for one semester. I have a few autographs and prayers from Thai Buddhist monks and a priest from the Catholic Church. All autographs are in their original language, depending on where the signer came from. Many of them came with business cards and addresses, and people even wrote on scraps of paper and table napkins.

On another trip, I had gone to the most sacred temple in northeast Thailand to pray. The trip had been planned a year ahead of time. It happened to fall during the full moon. Buddhist monks gave me their autographs on that day of the tsunami, December 26, 2004, which coincidentally was my first day of work on the Earth Angel Project. I felt especially hopeful having their blessing on that particular day. I had taken food to a shelter in a nearby village to feed the ninety children with HIV/AIDS, including the ten volunteers there. That was my mission.

Many unfamiliar donors asked, “Why would you want my autograph? I’m nobody; I’m just an ordinary person; I’m not famous.” Sometimes an unsure stranger would say: “You are a writer, you are supposed to give us your autograph.” I would say, “Nobody’s autograph — that’s what I want because I’m nobody too. This is my first book I’m attempting to write, and I can’t sign it yet. When the book is published, I’ll sign my name among yours.”

During the summer of 2008, I spent some time with a young friend, Pierce, who donated his free time to help me gather up most of the autographs and then pasted them onto 8 1/2 x 11″ computer paper. Young Pierce also donated some used tennis rackets for me to take back to give to the children, and he had a plan that one day in the near future, he and his college friends would like to go visit the Earth Angel Project in Thailand and help introduce the school children to the game of tennis when the tennis court was built. He wanted to make connections with Thai people and learn our graceful culture and the village customs.

I then realized that my leisure collection had exceeded the tiny space, the cover size of the 7 x 9 inch book I had had in mind, and I realized that I could make a whole book out of all the autographs and well-wishes. Many times I had thought of stopping the collection process, but I couldn’t because when I had mentioned the Earth Angel Project, people had automatically turned around and had wanted to know more about what I was doing. It had been as if I was calling for attention, but I was only calling for angels and their blessings. I named my project after a song by a group called Train, “Calling All Angels.” Its lyrics touched my heart deeply. The song was a hit at the same time I stated to do my project in 2004.

The little, fun idea has become my obsession, and there is no sign suggesting that I should stop. However, I haven’t decided if I should use all the autographs to form a book by itself yet. One thing for sure, I will find an appropriate spot to put them inside the book. I will keep all the originals and preserve them in my own library or a small museum that I plan to build on the project grounds in Ban Yor. I hope one day all the autograph signers (or all angels) will swoop down to earth and come to visit the Earth Angel Project, and donate the time and the money to where it is needed the most. You’ll see your own autographs and be blessed by your own blessings, and will find all of your good intentions in a good home.

I would also like to use the autographs to form some kind of art and sell the art for income to support the project. In the meantime, the Earth Angel book is still being written, and I’m diligently working on it. From the beginning, the project has been my first priority; the book was a second one. Many of the projects on the grounds in Ban Yor have been completed or are in progress. My dreams are becoming a reality. The foundations of the project are now in place. Now it is 2009 and I have decided that the book will become an E-book. With the economic downturn, that makes more sense to me. I have no excuses for not getting the book done, economic downturns or not. I’ll just keep plugging away at it until it gets done.

It has taken me five long years to come to the point where I can ask myself this question: “How has your life been in the last five years?” I have turned my life around by 360 degrees in that time! What about yours? I’m very sure that all of you have many stories to tell, and I do, too!

Since I last saw everyone, I went through some heartaches with a few unexpected, yet common life obstacles. I did not expect to be talking about a divorce with you, or any of my other misfortunes in this book, because I didn’t know they were going to happen. Since the book is about the story of my life, if I didn’t write about it, I’d be a traitor to myself. The world is so full of uncertainty and surprises. I often realize that the doing in life is very important. It doesn’t make any sense to sit around and think too much because life is all in the doing of things. It’s like playing tennis: many times I had to face the toughest shots from a stronger opponent and was able to return them, and I’d think I’d have everything sewn up and start to relax, only to find there was always a hidden surprise that jumped out of my stronger opponent’s racket and got me. In the game of tennis, I always have to expect the unexpected. Life is not a game but it’s similar to tennis. I don’t play games with my life. I like to stay aware. I always prepare to face the worst and hope for the best.

The worst happened when I lost one of my beautiful and wonderfully talented sons to mental illness at the beginning of 2003 after he graduated from high school and moved to the dorm of ASU for only one semester. At the end of 2005, I was struck again by tragedy when I lost a twenty-five-year-old marriage. Tom is a good man, the father of my two sons, and I still love him with all my heart. However, our marriage had arrived at a dead end. Although the divorce was an understanding and gentle one, that didn’t take away the fact that my home for half of my life was broken. I had thought we would be married forever. I was the one who asked for it because I wanted change. It still hurt, and I’m healed. I did it with love.

I also lost my very first writing to a computer virus at the same time as my divorce. In the fall of 2007, after spending six months working on the project in Thailand, I came back to Arizona. I found my house had been broken into, and I had more computer problems — my brand new desktop computer had been stolen. The burglars had tried to steal my Toyota Highlander and when they were unable to do that, they smashed its windows, but the neighbors saw that and called the police.

The vandals spray-painted graffiti all over the white walls of the door to the garage and the staircase in my living room. As I repainted the door and the walls with Pearl White, I had time to think about all the different shades of gray in our lives. While I didn’t want to focus on the negativity, I did feel the reality of it, and what is life if you try to paint a Pollyanna-like picture of it all the time? I had been blessed with many riches and was very generous in sharing them with everyone. I had thought that if I did good for others, good would always come to me. The present reality proved that that was not always true.

It was a miracle that I survived to tell the truth. What has saved me from going insane were a few good friends who seem to always be there when I need them and all the well wishes, blessings, and prayers. They have held my hand and rescued my heart and spirit while I went through some hard times, and tried to care and cope with my mentally ill son. Whenever I felt despair, and when no one was there to talk to, I would pull out all of the autographs with their encouraging words and wisdom, love and caring spirits. Quite often I would curl up in a comfortable corner or on the couch and read them one by one with my pure heart and soul open, just to reassure myself that I was not alone in this world.

While I was on my world tours from Arizona to Thailand and back, I carried all the original signatures and well wishes with me. Every time while reading the autographs, the many enthusiastic faces of the signers would vividly appear in front of me. The sight of all of them would spark many good memories and oftentimes take me back to the harmonious, energetic scenes where we met, to the time when I asked for the handprints and blessings from the heart.

In 2004, Dr. Depak Chopra, another person who inspired my heart, came to the Unity Church in north Phoenix. His book, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, had inspired me. Meeting him in person and receiving his autograph and blessing encouraged me even more in the creation of the Earth Angel Project and the Earth Angel book. He graciously took time to read my note to him telling him about how he inspired me, and although there were many people waiting in line, he kindly placed his personal autograph in with the thousand others I had been so generously given.

One particular face I remember was that of an athletic trainer at a fitness club in Houston. A total stranger, his name is Joseph. He hadn’t wanted to give me his autograph. I was walking out of the gym and he was passing on his way in. We stopped at the door. I had asked him for an autograph and a blessing, and had explained to him what I intended to do with the gift. He had stopped from entering the gym and had questioned me about my beliefs.

After a few minutes of standing there and listening to his preaching, I had informed him just because I was born in Buddhism and still practiced it, that didn’t mean I didn’t believe in God. Then he had asked me, “Where is God now?” I had pointed to my heart; he pulled me aside next to the modern building, laid his hands on my shoulder and started to pray. He blessed me profoundly with God’s words. It was a simple, ancient, and healing act. He told me at the end of the blessing that he was a novice of a minister from a church in Houston. He was a tall, slender man in his thirties. He didn’t look anything like a minister. I was surprised when he told me his real profession; I didn’t ask him which denomination he believed in as he signed Mary’s Bible.

After a few minutes of standing there and listening to his preaching, I had informed him just because I was born in Buddhism and still practiced it, that didn’t mean I didn’t believe in God. Then he had asked me, “Where is God now?” I had pointed to my heart; he pulled me aside next to the modern building, laid his hands on my shoulder and started to pray. He blessed me profoundly with God’s words. It was a simple, ancient, and healing act. He told me at the end of the blessing that he was a novice of a minister from a church in Houston. He was a tall, slender man in his thirties. He didn’t look anything like a minister. I was surprised when he told me his real profession; I didn’t ask him which denomination he believed in as he signed Mary’s Bible.

Sometimes I would laugh by myself when I thought of a few young people and their innocence. Life for them was so full of freshness and ego! When I asked them for their autographs and prayers and told them what I was going to do, they genuinely and vigorously gave me their blessing and signed their names. I hold those memories closest to my heart, and I believe it was those happy moments that saved me when I was down. I appreciate the precious gifts of kindness from everyone. I still believe I’m the first one to receive the miracle. Thank you for coming into my life!

The words from my heart to yours are this: no matter what condition you are in, please don’t give up and do realize that we all share the human condition, whether those circumstances are good or bad, big or small. Bad things happen to anyone as well as good things. Life has its ups and downs. Everyone has problems. We are all imperfect people in an imperfect world. No matter how good a person you are, just know that the world is known as an unfair one. I pray that you all come through and survive the difficulties of the inevitable and all the problems – may you rise above it all. Keep believing in yourself and the good memories because they can save you when life isn’t going the way you want it to.

© Copyright 2009 All Rights Reserved – Saisamorn Nuiy Adams