My Very Personal Journey with Angels

by Anita M. Russell

I always liked angels. I mean who doesn't. They are pleasing to the eye and always made me think of Christmas, my favorite time of year. But they were just ornamentation for Christmas trees and pictures. Well, you get the idea. I wasn't a church go-er; although, I had been raised in a church-going home.

When I was a kid, my Dad and I were inseparable. I loved making the rounds on the ranch with him. I was never much into girlie stuff. He taught me to shoot, and build things and what it was to give your word to someone and then the responsibility that came with keeping it. I loved my Dad.

Years passed. I grew up, got married, and was relocated a lot in my career. When I retired I moved back to my home state, Dad lived just down the block from me. He was getting older and every day was a precious gift.

One night he had a stroke. He wasn't expected to live. My world was shaken. Had I said, "I love you" that night after dinner? At the ER, in the chaos of those moments, I wanted him to know he wasn't alone.

I went home to change clothes and happened to put on a little angel I had made from a kit. That angel is strange in itself because I was not a person who did what I call foo-foo stuff. But I did wear it back to the hospital. He was so pale and quiet laying there and was so still it was hard to see his chest moving as he breathed. "Dad," I said. "I'm here." He opened his eyes and in the softest voice I ever heard he said, "I like your angel, Honey," and then he closed his eyes and went into that deep slumber that was not sleep and not yet death. The doctors told me they didn't believe he would make it.

I decided almost immediately that I would wear an angel pin every day he was in the hospital. I did that with my own designs. I used things Dad would recognize, like pieces of jewelry he had given me over the years. I really don't know how I was able to do that but I did, every day. I gave a name to every angel. I would tell him a story about each one and the relationship to the piece of jewelry in it. I felt as though Dad was silently telling me that God had a gift for me and that was the comfort of angels. Dad was in the hospital a very long time. I grew to feel a peace that told me the angels would see him home to God. After many many months they did.

I feel God gave me the love of angels to provide me an inner peace to deal with life's grief, worry, sorrow and joy. I am much more aware that everything happens for a reason. Now making angels is a joyful experience and I never make an angel without thinking of Dad.

Inspiration for Story: My Dad - Mearl Cullen Clapp