Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Walk Down Ornament Alley Ends


Sixteen 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 29 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?

44 comments:

June said...

That's a pretty great parable.
Thank you for it.

Oh Sew Good said...

Call me distracted and yet I'm curious as to whether your friend's ornament dropped too. Wouldn't that be really freaky if it did? :)

Nat said...

Beautiful post and message, thanks Betty :-)

Happy Christmas to you and yours!

Peggy K said...

Betty, if I haven't said this before, I'm saying it now. I love your messages! More often than not, they either move me to tears or to belly laughs. Thank you!
And Merry Christmas!

Seams Inspired said...

This is the best ornament yet! Thanks so much for sharing. I've enjoyed the walk down Ornament Alley. :o)

Merry CHRISTmas, my sweet bloggy friend! :o)

Cricket said...

This series was beautiful. Though I didn't comment on each one, I did read them all, and felt my life change for the better ;-)

Fabric glue, I think, would be an acceptable substitute for ceramic glue, strangely enough, since both are designed to work on highly porous material. A lucky twist, that.

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas and every blessing in the year to come.

Jane said...

This is a really beautiful post - very well stated! I hope that your Christmas is truly wonderful!

Jane

Pat said...

I loved your walk down Ornament Alley. Ornaments mean so much to me, too. How wonderful that your son painstakingly put this one back together again. It would be extra special to me, too. This is a beautiful post. I got all teary eyed.

Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Gigi said...

Beautiful, Betty! Just beautiful.

Kazzy said...

Oh, how sweet! I get kinda sentimental about certain things too. There were some tears shed when one of my grandma's dishes met its demise.

Brian said...

We loved your ornament tours! Memories everywhere!

Out on the prairie said...

You might be surprised that there are people who could redo that and makeit hard to notice. Hey what is all the money good for anyway?It would be hard to find another unless it is stamped with a name.

Daisy said...

What a treasure that ornament is, Betty. Lovely and meaningful post.

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas! :-)

Kathie @ Just a Happy Housewife said...

I teared up reading this Betty. What a sweet boy!

Have a wonderful Christmas :-)

Hilary said...

Such a wonderful post filled with tender sentiment and love. You sure have perfected the art of paying it forward.

Old Kitty said...

You have the bestest sons ever!! How absolutely wonderful for sweet Evan to do this for you!! And look at your gorgeous little bird - it's all mended and pretty and still hanging on your tree looking fab!!!

HAVE A BRILLIANT CHRISTMAS, BB and wonderful family!!!! May all broken wings be mended with such care and love!

Take care
x

Ren- Lady Of The Arts said...

Oh Betty- what a beautiful story- thank you for sharing it- I am so glad I read your post this morning!

Ami said...

Lovely. Thank you.

But of course it's making me feel bad all over again that I threw away the foil star that was on our first Christmas tree... the year before our son said, "When I move out, I really want to have that star for my tree..."

Merry Christmas!!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

now that is sweet - and speaks only of love.

Tabor said...

What a perfect Christmas story!!

Pat Tillett said...

Fantastic and moving story Betty!
I hope you and your family have a great Christmas and New Years!

gayle said...

I love this story about your special ornament! There are so many reasons why it's special to you. I know this is a story that will go on and on!

Baby Sister said...

This is such a sweet story. :) Thank you for sharing!!

Cheeseboy said...

That is sad! You could have tried to glue it together, but it probably would have looked like that glued together leg in the window of A Christmas Story. Great story... freaky about you and your friend.

GreatGranny said...

A heart warming story and to me focuses on a loving Son.

Ann said...

The ornament, the story and what your son did just ooze love and thoughtfulness.
A very Merry Christmas to you and yours

Jingle said...

Hope you well, season's greetings!

Awards 4 U, Merry Christmas, Thanks 4 Being My Friend!

and


Awards 4 U, Stay Blessed

Toyin O. said...

Great post and no, there are no greater gifts we can give each other than those things you mentioned. Merry Christmas.

Catherine said...

Have a wonderful Christmas Betty and warmest holiday wishes to you and your family!
xo Catherine

Sarah said...

He's such a thoughtful and sweet kid. You and Karen must be twins separated at birth!

Coloring Outside the Lines said...

Merry Christmas! I have enjoyed the tour!

SquirrelQueen said...

What a lovely collection of ornaments Betty. I really like the paper heart from your son.

The little bird is even more beautiful with her mended wing, there is a lot of love there.

Wishing you and your family a very
Merry Christmas!

Joanna Jenkins said...

Your patched-up ornament put a big smile on my face. Thank you.
Merry Christmas, jj

Zuzana said...

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and yours,
xoxo

Lora said...

i
LOVE
this

thanks for sharing
merry Christmas!

Gigi said...

This is a lovely, lovely story. You have a gem on your hands, both in Evan and that ornament.

Merry Christmas.

baygirl32 said...

REALLY enjoying this series! Happy Holidays Betty

Leanne said...

Oh, Betty. . . my eyes swelled! I would have teared up too! But I'm so happy that with the determination of Evan, the bird survives!!! LOVE IT!

Happy Homemaker said...

Betty, I don't know if I ever told you this, but my my little bird broke a couple of years ago! Real freaky indeed! Hope your Christmas was as wonderful as you are!

slommler said...

Beautiful story and fabulous ornament! I love the cracks on the wing...it definitely makes this the most precious of all ornaments.
I have been patched and glued and stapled and mended many times over and I still put one for in front of the other. Ha!
Hugs and congrats on your POTW award
SueAnn

kcinnova said...

Congratulations on your POTW! May we all be as thoughtful as your boy who saved the pieces and used the glue he had to patch up your favorite ornament.

Shan said...

I just finished up reading all of the ornament alley posts. What lovely, happy, bittersweet stories. And now the mystery of why Evan is Evan and Sonny Boy is Sonny Boy has been resolved! I feel like I'm *that* close to the inner sanctum of all things Betty!

I loved all of your stories. The ones about the boys the most though. This year I left the tree decorating mostly to Tom and Madelyn, but was very happy to find all of my Coreys up where they belong. Okay, I could have lived without the Spongebob ornament...

Hugs,

Shan :+)

Pauline said...

Not only was your ornament mended but your heart was given a gift. (And you raised a son whose compassion makes the world a better place.)

Travel Nurse Extraordinaire said...

I can definitely understand why you would find it even more special. Lovely story!