The Angel

DSCN6600This little angel is close to 35 years old and landed in our trash yesterday. When I was decorating our Christmas tree, I sorted some really old, broken or badly bent decorations and threw them out. This little gal blessed the top of our tree for all these years and along the way lost her wings and her bad hair got even worse.

Her body is merely stapled cardboard and I probably bought her for about fifty cents or a dollar “way back then.” We never spent much on decorations because we were typically short on money for any extras; but we never were without necessities.

Last night when I was compiling the trash collected into our kitchen  trash can, I tossed her in (yes, on top of coffee grounds!) and said, “Good-bye little angel” and I dropped a tear.

I headed back to bed and told my husband about the angel farewell and I started to cry.

“What’s wrong with me?” I said through tears and embarrassed laughter. My husband laughed, too. But I kept crying.

“She probably cost us fifty cents more than 30 years ago. She’s stapled cardboard!” I said trying to gather myself. With toothbrush and paste in my mouth, I headed to the kitchen to retrieve her from her doom. To no avail. She was too deep in trash.

After I rinsed and was still wondering what was wrong with me, I said, “That’s it,” and headed back to the kitchen.

As I dug through who knows what, I was saying, out loud mind you, “Where are you little angel?” Then I saw her head and pulled her to safety. She had coffee grounds on her gown which I washed, being careful not to dampen the cardboard.

I took her back to our room and showed my  husband and we laughed.

“She graced the top of our tree all while the kids were growing up,” he said. By now we were laughing and thinking we had really lost our sanity.

“I’ll make new wings,” I said as I propped her on my dresser. I’m quite sure I would have dreamt in some way about the angel in the trash had I not retrieved her. As it was, I slept soundly.

This morning I told my daughter this story and she said, “Oh, poor little angel!”

I’ll never live this down. I can hear this story reverberating for years and now I have written the story.

Go ahead and laugh – I sure did! But memories are funny in the way they get inside your head and heart. They can cause tears of sadness and tears of joy. This experience was a mix.

But I’m intact, as is our little angel who will have new wings soon. Maybe she’ll last another few decades as the story is retold.

If not, I’m not the one who will toss her in the trash. I learned my lesson.