Not just another angel…

Do you collect anything? I’m not sure if people still do that. One of our sons collects fishing gear but that’s not what I’m referring to. When I was young, I remember my mom’s spoon collection. Decorative spoons from places we visited were displayed in a case. She also collected angels. We would try to find unique or meaningful angels. One of my favorite ornaments (aside from ones my kids made) is an angel from her that says “I made a wish and you came true.” My maternal grandmother crocheted an angel tree topper and it sits on top of our tree every Christmas. She lived to be 95 and it’s a great reminder each year.

I went to Israel when I was in high school. We saw a bunch of camels there, and I brought some camel figurines home as a memento. Since the only camels in North Dakota live in zoos, they were fascinating to me. Shortly after that trip, I started collecting camels. I got tired of dusting them and scaled them down, especially during our moves.

My mother-in-law used to collect bells and angels. I’m not sure of the story behind the bells. My husband thought it might be related to the movie, It’s a Wonderful Life, “Every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings.” She had a variety of angel figurines too. I’m not sure which ones were the most meaningful to her. I didn’t get a chance to ask. She passed away in September, just shy of her 71st birthday. She had stage 4 metastatic breast cancer. She first had breast cancer shortly after we were married. It returned last year. When people remember her, it’s often for the way she spoke her mind. It’s also for how strong & tough she was. My husband and I started dating in 1993, so I knew her for 25 years. We are probably more similar than I’ll admit out loud. We both love my husband & my boys, we both had breast cancer, we both speak our minds and we are both tough/strong women. This angel will be given to my father-in-law to place at her gravesite until a headstone is ready. It was hand made by a guy in Fargo,ND – Eli Harvala. It’s not “just another angel.” It’s one that will rust & tarnish with time, a reminder that none of us are perfect. We start out as babies, all shiny and new, and the storms of life alter our appearance. The comforting thing, to me, is that her spirit will live on – free from pain, free from worry. Her spirit is shiny and new.

If you are new to my blog, I frequently end with, “peace be with you on your journey of enough.” To me, peace is an amazing feeling… one I know my mother-in-law is experiencing now, but one we can experience on earth too.

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