My guardian angels

One of the things I inherited from my mom was several Willow Tree angels. She wasn’t much of a collector, but friends had given these little angels to her over the course of her cancer battle.

You’re probably familiar with these little creatures. They look like they’re made of wood, but it’s probably some synthetic material instead (they are made in China, after all). They’re simple and heartfelt, and each one has a theme. Apparently you can get a Willow Tree angel for all manner of life events, from birthdays to anniversaries to new babies.

There are also symbolic Willow Tree angels, and people tend to give them based on this. For example, the ones my mom had received were Angel of the Heart, Angel of Hope, and Guardian Angel.

I’ve had them on one of the shelves in my kitchen over the desk, next to a stack of cookbooks. Several times I’ve almost knocked them over while reaching for a cookbook, and every time I remind myself to be careful and not go crashing around like a bull in a china shop, or like an overworked housewife around a bunch of fragile angel figurines. At least one of these angels has taken a tumble over the years and needed to go to Ed’s repair shop, where he has a vast assortment of glue and both the time and the patience to fix a broken wing.

Imagine my horror when I once again reached for a cookbook in a big hurry and knocked 3 of the 4 angels clean off the shelf. Before I could even react, there was a tumble of bodies and a heads, literally, were rolling across my kitchen desk. 

It looked like an angel crime scene.

I’m rather superstitious, although I don’t like to admit it but now it’s out there. There’s a black cat that I see in the parking lot of the club a lot, and twice I’ve reversed my route to avoid driving by it. The other day I spilled some salt while refilling the shaker and threw it over my left shoulder, instead of scooping it off the counter and throwing it in the sink. You will never, ever, ever catch me walking under a ladder. No way. Not even on a dare. A few weeks ago while driving down Austin Parkway, I saw about 10 vultures stretched across the street, feasting on something. The sight of all those ghastly birds freaked me out and made me wonder, if crossing a black cat is bad luck, what in the world would happen to the poor soul who crossed all those vultures? You’d have thought the Grim Reaper was sitting on my doorstep, awaiting my arrival. Thankfully those birds were on the other side of the divided road, so I didn’t have to turn around and find another route home.

So when the angles came tumbling off the shelf, I panicked. It took me a few minutes to find all the pieces, and sadly I still can’t find one head. I wouldn’t be surprised if one of my dogs found it and thought it was a tasty treat. Hope the paint is lead-free.

I can almost hear my mom tsk-tsking me from the Great Beyond, shaking her head and wondering why her wild-child daughter is always in such a hurry, or why that girl never learned to take better care of her things, or why she insisted on hopping on top of the desk to reach the cookbooks, instead of going to get the step-stool.

If I had used slowed down, been more careful and used the step-stool, I likely would have been able to avoid the gruesome angel carnage. But I probably wouldn’t have even taken notice of the little angels. I certainly wouldn’t have noticed that the one remaining angel, pictured at the top of this post, is named the Angel of Healing. But I will stop and savor the fact that out of my mom’s angels, that’s the one I need the most.

7 Comments on “My guardian angels”

  1. Kayte says:

    What a great piece.

  2. terri says:

    Love this Nanc! I believe God needs us to slow down sometimes so we can see he loves and cares for us! That angel (both on the shelf and in heaven) are watching over you!

  3. Ed says:

    The workshop is open, send the pieces my way. They will work better than ever once they’re repaired. After all, it’s our experiences and imperfections, the little nicks and dings, that give us character and make us interesting. What good would a guardian angel be that doesn’t know what it’s like to need a little protection?

  4. SusanP says:

    Oh how I miss hearing your mom’s laugh … she could light up a room. I have a feeling that ALL of the angels are laughing today at your unfortunate ‘incident’ and looking at each other in a ‘knowing’ way that indeed, the Angel of Healing is still ‘at her post’. Hugs from chilly E. 53rd Street.
    Love you,

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