Mr. Chili stopped by to visit his parents yesterday afternoon and came home with this.
It was a gift to me from his mother, he said, in honor and rememberance of my mother and her passing.
My first thought is that it was a truly lovely gesture. I’ve always bristled a bit at my mother-in-law’s attitude toward my relationship with my mother. Since Mom didn’t give birth to me, Mother Chili didn’t understand why I would consider her “family” (and had no qualms saying so out loud) and, as a consequence, I felt that she wasn’t very respectful of the profound relationship my mother and I shared. That she would present me with this as a gift of sympathy for my loss was, I thought, particularly meaningful.
Then Mr. Chili told me the whole story of the angel.
I am not the first person to receive this angel as a token of sympathy for the death of a mother. Mr. Chili’s sister gave it to Mother Chili when Grandmother died, and Mother told Sister that she would keep it until she encountered someone else who needed its comfort.
To say that I am incredibly touched by the gesture would be a gross understatement. The combination of the compassionate thought and where (and from whom) the gift came from is almost too much, and I find myself welling up at the enormity of it all.
I have promised that I will continue the tradition and perpetuate the energy that Mother has invested in this simple little sculpture. The angel will live with me until I send her on to someone else I love who needs her.
What a wonderful way to honor our mothers.