Monday, December 15, 2008

The Walk Down Ornament Alley Ends


Fourteen years ago I walked into my friend Karen's house and found that she had the exact same ornament that I had, placed at the exact location I place mine.  We both hang this bird with outstretched wings near the top of ours tree and we both count this ornament as one of our favorites.  Freaky.  Almost as freaky as the fact that our mothers share a birthday and we both joined Facebook within the same hour without ever discussing it with each other.

I've had my bird for about 26 years and it makes me so happy to look up and see it year after year, there gracing the tree, wings outstretched.  Both my boys know it is special to me so last year when we were taking down the tree and I dropped the ornament on the floor, shattering one of the wings, there was complete silence.  I must admit I teared up when I swept what remains I could see in the dustpan and asked Evan to throw it away.  He wanted to try and fix it, but I knew it was beyond repair and told him just to forget it and I went back to packing up the tree. He kept coming in searching the floor, picking up tiny pieces I had missed, going out to the other room, coming back to search some more and thirty minutes later, Evan called me out to the table where I found my bird, patched up with fabric glue (the only kind he could find).  

Now this ornament is more special and beautiful to me than ever before.  My boy took the time and effort to fix my angel bird and the cracks in the wing remind me of his love and persistence. I keep this bird out year-round now, placing it in a glassed-in bookcase when it is not on the tree. When I talk to students, beaten down with all their responsibilities,  about to give up and drop out of school, I remember this bird and I offer words of encouragement (and sometimes extended due dates for their papers).  I remember this bird when I talk to friends going through divorces or dealing with parents' illnesses.   Maybe I can't heal the entire broken wing, but my hope is I add a little glue they can use to find their own strength and courage.  

To all those who made the long walk down Ornament Alley with me, I thank you.  Here's hoping your wings are strong and take you where you want to go.  And if one of those wings ever breaks or weakens, I hope there is someone there to help mend it.  Is there any greater gift we can give another person than encouragement, faith, and love?  




4 comments:

Susan said...

Ok, that did it, the vision of Evan fixing that ornament -- and all that it means to you -- this entry made me cry. As a woman without children, it is moments like the one you describe here that make me know I have missed out on the most significant relationship of my life in not having a child. However, I must add that you add a significant amount of glue to my life, and I love you very much for it.

Susan said...

Please forgive the dangling modifier in that last comment, Betty. I had tears in my eyes and forgot to proofread.

Bossy Betty said...

Oh Susan, You can dangle your modifier on my blog anytime!

Your mothering spirit nourishes more people than you know....

Happy Homemaker said...

Another coincidence...the wing on my little dove was broken once, and glued back on!