Quote of The Day

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Faceless Angels

One Christmas four years ago, I received a little black faceless angel from a young man who dated my daughter. Although they hadn’t been together for a few years, he remembered how I assisted him on many occasions as he struggled through his homework. How I encouraged him to become a grip in the movie industry and how I never let him take the bus home late at night

Many evenings we sat around chatting. He revealed that his mother had been an alcoholic and emotionally unavailable while he was growing up. Having met the woman I realized she was the epitome of everything I despised in a negligent mother. My first encounter with her consisted of a continuous disparaging rant about all her sons’ negative attributes. I was dismayed that she couldn’t see all the wonderful qualities he possessed.

When I received the angel, from this loving young man, I was torn. I felt privileged and grateful that he respected me enough to bless me with an angel, and yet somehow I had an eerie feeling about the faceless angel. So in honor of him, I placed the “Angel of the Spirit" in my antique cabinet. Whenever I dusted, I thought of him.

The following Christmas I’d been struggling to make ends meet and still have a little something for Christmas presents too. I was surprised when I received a very extravagant, large, faceless, Caucasian angel from my niece and nephew. Knowing my fiscal status, my sister in law offered to return it, if it wasn’t suitable. I couldn’t possibly disappoint my niece, whose blue almond shaped eyes sparkled with excitement when I opened it.

My niece and I had just bonded in the previous months when I penned lyrics to a song, called A Million Tears; describing her feelings about the animosity between her parents during their divorce. Thrilled that an adult actually sensed how she felt, we shared a few of those million tears. That second faceless angel was made by the same Artist
as the first one.

Eventually I confessed to my sister-in-law, who is not the mother of my niece, that I have a real aversion to faceless angels. Explaining how I would keep this one in honor of my niece, but didn’t want to collect them. I placed the “Angel of the Heart” in my bedroom next to the picture of my deceased parents, my niece’s grandparents.

On my birthday in May, the following year, I unwrapped a gift from a girlfriend. I only see her a few times a year for birthdays. Instantly overwhelmed by those same anxious feelings, I stared ungratefully down at yet another faceless angel. Trying desperately to hide my disappointment without being a phony, I graciously thanked her, and quickly diverted the conversation away from the angel.

My friend and I reminisced; she commended me for teaching her years ago, how to search for bargains. Revealing that because of me, she is a careful shopper to this day. We spent countless days and nights together when our children were young and I have such fond memories of that. That third angel was just too disturbing for me. So I placed it under my sink in a box, I am ashamed to say that small “Angel of the Heart” stayed there for almost a year.

Last Christmas there was a gathering of the goddesses, with a wonderful group of six women. Outside of the group we are also intimate friends. Only five showed up for our festive dinner. My gift to share was silver plaque, inscribed with “Mothers are the angels of the earth”.

I had originally purchased the plaque for myself, because I loved the inscription. Still nestled away in a drawer I chose to use it for the gift exchange instead. During that time, three of the middle-aged women were somewhat distressed about motherhood. So I carefully wrapped up the plaque and prayed that it would be received by the woman most needing to hear those words.

We all place our names in a hat, the name we drew, determined the gift we would receive. During the first draw, one of the women extracted her own name. So we replaced all the slips of paper back in the hat and redrew. I received the same name that I garnered during the first pull. The woman, who received my gift, also pulled the same name twice. I was baffled when she ended up with the plaque. Turns out she was having a difficult time too and those words were exactly what she needed.

The goddesses attentively stared at me as I opened my gift last. My heart stopped, as I tried to hide my disappointment. How could this be I wondered, another faceless angel. This fourth angel was odd and really had me thinking. Both times I picked the same name. There was a slight loathing that these angels kept popping into my life. On the drive home I prayed, inquiring why I kept receiving these faceless angels. I asked god what I was supposed to learn.

With the bustle of Christmas I had completely forgotten the boxed angel tucked to the side, on a table. After some deep contemplation it occurred to me that I had been receiving a new faceless angel every year for the last four years. I was finally realizing their significance, when I received an envelope, with a bill, and a note explaining that I could return the angel to the store and purchase something I preferred.

I felt horribly embarrassed, because for too long I had dismissed the importance of these angels.Almost panicked, I gathered up all the angels and placed them with the large one from my niece on the shelf at the base of my bed. Each angel was bestowed to me by an extremely special person in my life. Having discovered what the angels represent, and knowing that they are sent from a higher power, through loving people I encounter. I can now appreciate that I have many faceless angels in my life, and at times I have been a faceless angel to others. When I see the angels grouped together at the foot of my bed, I feel a deep sense of love and pride as I now enjoy their unique beauty.

The dear friend who purchased the last angel is very spiritual by nature and was able to appreciate my awakening.

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