The Mother’s Angel

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.



Filed under admiration, celebration, compassion and connection, family matters, Home and Family, memorials, messages from the Universe, on death and dying, ruminating

19 responses to “The Mother’s Angel

  1. jrh

    How cool is that!

  2. I guess she understood after all. Wow.

  3. Aren’t the best gestures the unexpected ones?

  4. de

    My own mother tends to be overly blunt and often seems superficial (to me), but I am learning, finally, that it’s mostly a communication breakdown and that I need to be more patient and give her the benefit of the doubt.

    How touching that you received a gift of insight into your MIL at the same time as the remembrance.


  5. Organic Mama

    How wonderful! A bonding experience with a profound gesture of sympathy and empathy, AND she gets it. This make me smile.

  6. twoblueday

    Did she rub it against a lobster before sending it? (Joke).

    It is a nice gesture. As I said in a comment about the ring post, I have some thoughts about the notion of objects being imbued with, well, something, and have been doing a bit of research. Post forthcoming.

    Love from us.

  7. Although she may not have understood the bond you have (because I know she’ll always be with you) with your mother, she seems to understand that it means a great deal to you. Maybe this is a step toward a better understanding between you and your MIL.

  8. Suzanne

    What a wonderful thing. And so perfect.

  9. Darci

    how lovely…

  10. I was expecting a different “rest of the story” but that was really sweet.

  11. I, too, was expecting a different rest of the story. Glad I was wrong.

  12. What a lovely, touching gesture!

  13. This was very moving, and I found myself welling up, too. What a beautiful and meaningful gesture.

  14. I love the Willow Tree Angels. They are all over my house and my nativity set is made by the same people.

    That was a beautiful thing your mother in-law did. Really.

  15. What a lovely gesture. How nice that she got it.

  16. And I’m welling up reading this. A true act of kindness, more so from someone who didn’t understand.

    I know the angel will be happy with you, and I know you will part from exactly when it is right.

  17. I am without words. What a wonderful tradition/gesture/statement of love…

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