Tuesday, December 13, 2016


This Christmas season I am finally going through "the boxes", the ones which were damaged a few years ago when my father's basement flooded. For the past two years, I've opened them, smelled the damp, musty, mildew smell and put them away for another year. Tonight I started to go through them and discovered that all was not lost. There were some video tapes beyond hope but no great loss based on the titles, two table top white Christmas trees that are not so white but still quite salvageable and beautiful when lit (the lights are red so it doesn't matter that the trees are a little brown) and the transformer for a fiber optic angel I had never seen lit. To my surprise, not only did it work, but it is animated. Suddenly with a bit of grinding the wings began to beat, slowly, majestically, for the first time in my memory. I felt like an archeologist uncovering gifts left from my mother, some of her treasures which even after all these years beyond her death held secrets to be unearthed. I sat mesmerized by that angel, feeling my mother's presence so close, until she could flap her wings no more. I turned her off, let her cool down and when next I turned her on again, she began her seraphim dance once more. Like so many things we treasure, like the memories we hold dear, we will have to enjoy our angel sparingly so as to preserve her for what I hope to be years. We cannot hold too tight or she may yet go silent. My father watching me just smiled and said, “So like your mother.” And now I feel as though I have made whole something that was lost. Her angel. My heart.

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