Angels

March 6, 2011
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Sam had always been obsessed with angels. Every Halloween she had dressed as one. The walls of her bedroom were sprinkled with tiny, glittering angel stickers, and they hung from her ceiling. Her mother never understood why Sam was infatuated, but she always played as the beautiful angel in Sam’s stories. Sam always wished she would see an angel and she prayed every night that one would visit her. Her wish never did come true, but she was still hooked on angels. Even when she grew up and she told herself that it was childish, her heart secretly yearned to see the heavenly figures. It was only till she was 16 years old that the wish flew from her heart.

On the summer of her 16th year, Sam visited the funeral home for the first time. Cancer had stripped Sam of the one thing she loved most. It had been slow at first. In the beginning, Sam’s mom had only needed to rest after a strenuous activity. It limited the list of things Sam could do with her mom, but Sam had not minded that much. She still had hope and she still thought that her mom would get better like all those cancer victims on TV. Then, as the dreadful disease spread through her body, she became very pale and lost all of her strength. She couldn’t even carry herself to the restroom. Her rosy cheeks lost their sun-warmed color, and her eyes lost their bright blue twinkle. Sam could hardly look at her mom without dread spreading across her body and squeezing until she became short of breathe. Even though her mom hated it, Sam began treating her like a rare flower. Then finally, the day came where the precious bloom that Sam had so loved, wilted and faded away.

As Sam trudged down the gravel walkway of the park where she had taken herself, she cried. She cried for the one woman she had loved and she cried for the fear and ache that came with death. Never before had she felt this emptiness. Her heart spoke of the longing to join her mother. It could not bear the pain and suffering that joined separation. Tears flowed in endless rivulets down her cheeks, so fast and plentiful that Sam could hardly see where she stepped.

Drawing a rather large pocketknife she always carried with her, Sam pointed it to her heart. Thoughts of her mother filled her mind as she prepared herself for death. With a trembling hand, she brought the knife up and swung it down. Squeezing her eyes shut, she waited for the sharp bite of the knife upon her skin. But it never came.

Slowly, Sam opened her eyes and was astonished with what she beheld. There before her, knelt her mother, her hand preventing the knife from reaching its target. As Sam stood there dumbfounded, joy spread through her body and seeped into her bones. A trembling hand dropped the knife, and gently reached up to stroke her mother’s soft hair. It was no longer limp and her face was once again healthy and beautiful. This woman was not the one that had once lain in bed as helpless as a newborn baby. She was clothed in an ethereal robe that was whiter than snow and she glowed as if lit from within.

“Sam, I am not here to stay, but I am here to tell you something.” Her voice was rich and as warm as honey, she sounded like an angel. Then, with a start, Sam realized that was just what she was. Her mother hadn’t come back from the dead, she was here from heaven. A shudder shook her body as she realized her wish had come true. How ironic life can be. A tear trickled down her cheek and fell to the ground.

Sam felt a soft hand reach up and wipe the tear from her cheek. The hand reached down and took her own hand in it. The smell of honeysuckle enveloped Sam. “Dear child,” whispered her mother, the angel, “Do not grieve for things lost, but rejoice for things that shall come. I came to tell you that if you are only patient, you will be with me again, and someone better.” She tucked a loose hair behind Sam’s ear, and lifted her chin. Sam was dazzled by her beauty, so pure and true. “Be patient my love.” Reached out to just touch her mother one last time, Sam’s hand fell against empty space. She was gone.

Seventy years came and went, and Sam still waited. Even with eyes that had stopped seeing the light of day and ears that long ago stopped hearing, Sam could still see her angelic mother and hear her tender voice telling Sam to be forbearing. And Sam had been patient. She had found out that waiting wasn’t so hard when you were surrounded by people you love. Sam had married her childhood friend Elliot, and they had raised four wonderful sons. But the longing for her mother, and now Elliot, still filled her heart.

Sitting alone, in a creaking, old rocking chair that Elliot had built, Sam wondered when her patience would be rewarded. Then with a single blink of an eye, she knew. It was her time.

Gently, the chair stopped creaking and Sam’s breathe slowed. She felt her soul calmly leak out of her body, searching. Searching for her mother, Elliot, and the things that awaited her. Suddenly, she could see and hear once again. Looking down, Sam found she was in a white robe and the ravages of time had faded from her skin. Light filled the room and a feeling of uncontrollable elation saturated her heart as she heard the sound of her mother and Elliot. But they weren’t the only ones reaching for her, there were others.

The angels had come.





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