My mother collected angels. She found and brought them home from all over. Now that she has passed, I have been trying to decide what to do with them.
Some at least I will keep: the brass candle holders she bought in Mexico, and definitely the musical one that chimes Hark the Herald Angels Sing when you wind it.
I was not healthy as a child, asthma that kept me indoors for weeks, whole months of school missed, severe bouts of pneumonia. During these, according to my father, there were times when he did not think I would make it. I don’t remember that.
But I do remember my mother sitting with me through the night, night after night, as I struggled to breathe, vaporizer on full blast, cooling my fever and reading to me to keep me calm and entertained. Most clearly I remember her reading Winnie the Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner, doing all the voices perfectly: sincere Pooh, gloomy Eeyore, frantic Piglet, confident Owl, and a Christopher Robin that sounded a bit like me. I still hear her voice when I read them. And I still read them to hear her voice.
So some of the angels I think I will let go, in the hope that they may carry into the world the gifts that she gave me. The gift of presence. The gift of care. The gift of example. The gift of knowing every day that you are loved. If anyone can carry these gifts, it will be my mother’s angels.