The Angel Without A Face

 

Late one night, not too long after my father had passed away, I was driving home while praying and talking to my dad… suddenly out of the corner of my eye I saw what I thought were angel wings.

I felt compelled to turn the car around while I questioned my own sanity. Was I just seeing things?

There at the curb sat a large, yet beautiful, faceless angel someone had put out for the trash collection.

I was taken aback by the timing of it all and by the expanse of the angel’s wings that curved in around the front of her knees.

I lifted the heavy angel and placed her lovingly into the passenger seat for the long ride home.

It was dark that night and it wasn’t until the following day, in the sunlight, that I realized just how damaged, and even eerie, the angel’s face was.

Convinced this find was a gift from my dad, I ran to the nearest store to grab some cheap putty and some white spray paint.

I placed the angel on the wooden steps in front of our house and began to use the putty to build up what once had been, eyes, a nose and cheekbones.

I’m sure you’ve heard the expression, “Only God can make a tree.” Let me tell you, I say, only God can make a human face.

The difficulty lies in the expression.

This angel’s face could surely come out strange-looking, creepy or just plain scary… I thought, as my fingers maneuvered the putty.

My son, Rocky had just gotten off the school bus and walked up the driveway.

“Mom, what are you doing?” He asked.

“I’m trying to make a face for this angel I found. I want to put it in our yard as a tribute to Grandpa Ed.” I replied.

The next thing I knew, Rocky had dropped his book bag and had both of his hands on the angel’s face, right next to my hands.

Together both of our fingers built up the cheek bones and smoothed over the lips until she was finished.

I let the angel’s new face dry in the sun, as Rocky and I stood staring at her and our work.

“It looks great mom!” Rocky said.

“It does!” I replied with a tear in my eye.

I sprayed the angel with several coats of spray paint. Then I placed her gently in the yard and sprinkled fresh wood chips at her feet.

My father always loved to feed the birds, so for the finishing touch, I filled the material she was holding with birdseed.

Here’s the photo of our finished angel smiling up toward the heavens

Image may contain: people standing and outdoor

I think my dad would be proud.

I will always cherish the time Rocky and I spent, working in silence, to restore this beautiful angel…

And every time I look at her it reminds me that although my dad is no longer here, he’s always watching over us.

 

Part 3: Tales From The Mall Kiosk, Are There Angels Among Us?

I was living in North Carolina when I worked at the kiosk. After leaving my marriage, I moved into my first apartment with the custody of my three boys. When I say that starting over was tough and money was tight, I mean it. It was always a struggle to meet all of our basic needs. I worked hard and there were times when I had no idea how I was going to pull off paying all of the bills.

One particular morning, I woke up worrying about how I was going to pay a bill that was due the following day, in the amount of $50.00. Fifty dollars! That’s how tight it was.

I said a small, yet powerful, prayer I had said many times before, in various situations…

“God, make me a way when there is no way.”

Then I went off to work.

I was alone, working the 3:00 PM to 9:00 PM shift at my friend’s water massage kiosk.

It was after 8:00 PM when a man approached the kiosk and asked about purchasing a massage for his wife.

“Would your wife like to try the water massage?” I asked.

“She isn’t here,” he replied.

When it was slow, we often gave someone a free massage so that people would see the water massage machine in action. This would lead to a small crowd forming and ultimately other people wanting to try the massage machine too.

“Would you like to try a free massage?” I asked.

“Sure,” the man replied.

As we talked, I was overwhelmed by a sense of his kindness and compassion. I liked the way it felt to be around him. It was a strange feeling, one that I still can’t fully explain.

He was interesting to me. I couldn’t place his age or put a number on it at all. His hair was very short, even shaved, and light in color. His most outstanding feature was his eyes. They were very different from anything that I had ever seen before – they were almost clear.

He took off his shoes and I set the massage for fifteen minutes.

It was then, while he was getting his massage, that I realized that the mall was almost vacant during the time we had spent together so far.

What time was it anyway? Everything felt very surreal… yet I had no idea why.

The water machine stopped and I lifted the lid.

“How was it?” I asked.

“It was great!” He replied with a smile, as he put his shoes back on.

I couldn’t stop looking at his eyes.

“Would you like to be on our mailing list?” I asked. “Maybe you could bring your wife by one day. We have specials.”

‘Okay.” He said.

“What’s your email address?” I asked, handing him a pen.

He didn’t take the pen, but blurted out an email that ended with icloud.com.

I wrote it down and thanked him.

When he turned to leave, he looked me in the eye and said, “It was nice to meet you Erin,” as he slipped a tip into my hand.

“Nice to meet you, too,” I said, as I watched him walk away… wait, I didn’t even get his name.

I looked down at the paper where I had written his email address. Generic. No name there.

As if on cue, the traffic in the mall picked up.

I slowly uncurled my hand to expose what I thought was a dollar bill.

Fifty dollars.

I glanced up and I saw him standing quite still watching me from the landing before the stairs, with the busy shoppers circling and passing by.

He had a presence, I thought as a tear slid down my cheek.

I didn’t want him to leave.

I wanted to thank him again.

I left the kiosk unattended and ran up to him.

I hugged him and whispered, “Thank you.” in his ear.

It was like he knew.

He wrapped his arms around me and hugged me back.

It didn’t feel weird to hug a stranger… especially not this one, it felt like home.

I turned and walked back to the kiosk, questioning my own sanity, what had just happened and why I ran to embrace a total stranger who stood there in the crowd like he was waiting for me, like he knew it was exactly what I needed.

Back at the kiosk, I looked toward the stairs.

He was gone.

My eyes searched the crowds in every direction, he was nowhere to be found.

When I told my friend about this experience, she said, “Check the email. I bet you it doesn’t exist.”

I did. She was right. It didn’t.

Take from this story what you want.

I know what I believe.

And I know I will never forget those eyes.

 

The grand finale.

Part 4: Tales From The Mall Kiosk, The Psychic

 

Spoiler alert: I’m about to explain it all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Center of Things

I originally started my blog in June of 2016, after only three years of talking about it. One of my first posts was called “Boys, Boys, Boys.” It is a very funny story that unfortunately took place when my father was ill. While I was typing on my laptop, I inadvertently hit something that deleted a good part of my post. I was frustrated and told myself that I would get back to it. Now, if you’re a writer and this has ever happened to you, I know you understand the feeling of not wanting to go back and recreate something you already created.

Well, that was June, the months pasted. (July, August, September) and I never got back to it. My family and friends kept asking me again and again if I was writing. “I know, I’m going to.” I’d reply. (October, November, December) My fiance’ John would encourage me to write…I would say I was going to and then I wouldn’t do it. I think it was certainly the idea of recreating what I had already written, but it was more revisiting a very difficult time in my life when my dad was dying.

One day in January, my mother sent me a book called Write For Life by Sheppard B. Kominars, PhD.

Write for Life: Healing Body, Mind, & Spirit through Journal Writing by [Kominars, Sheppard B.]

As I opened the book and flipped through the pages, I found a paper tucked in the back. I unfolded the paper to reveal the title, “The Center of Things.” I read the article out loud and by the time I got to the end I was crying. The Center of Things was the column that my late Aunt Betty wrote for a New Hampshire newspaper.

I called my mother and asked her if she knew that a copy of one of Aunt Betty’s columns was tucked in the book that she gave me. My mother had no idea, in fact, my mother told me she had two copies of Write for Life. She told my sister that she could take whichever one she wanted and the one that was left was for me.

After I hung up the phone, I couldn’t stop thinking about what my mother said. How could it be that I got the copy of the book with Aunt Betty’s column in it? My Aunt Betty was an amazing person and a wonderful writer. She had a great sense of humor and it certainly came through in her writing. When I was living in North Carolina, we used to talk on the phone and we would email each other things that we each had written. Aunt Betty took such pleasure in reading my stories (and I in hers). She would tell me that I was talented and she encouraged me to write more. I love my Aunt Betty and I miss her so much. What I wouldn’t give to have that time with her back. That night, I fell asleep with thoughts of my Aunt.

I woke up and looked at the clock, 3:33 AM. I was wide awake. I tried to fall back asleep but I couldn’t. Now this may sound a bit out there to some of you, but it is said that the best time to connect with spirit is between 2 and 4 AM. This crossed my mind. Why did I suddenly wake up? I mean, I am not a light sleeper and I enjoy my sleep. If you’re thinking I’m a little off my rocker at this point, let me just go ahead and tip the rocker right over…It also hadn’t gone unnoticed to me that the numbers on the clock were 3:33. It is said that 11:11 and times with repeating numbers are angel signs, I thought.

Feeling like I was over thinking things and maybe feeling a bit crazy and unsettled, I grabbed the book my mother had sent and began to read. As I read Write for Life, I was fascinated with what it had to say about the power of writing and all of the positive affects it can have on a person’s health, well-being and life.

After I completed the first chapter I closed the book and sat in silence. It was so calm, so still and so quiet in the house this time of the morning.

I slowly opened my laptop, hit the power button, logged into my blog site, and began to write. I finished writing Boys, Boys, Boys and I wrote several more posts in the days that followed.

I have always believed that there are no coincidences in life. I also believe that my beloved Aunt Betty is always there cheering me on, encouraging me to write.

And here’s some food for thought…

Coincidence is God's way of remaining anonymous. - Albert Einstein

 

Take time to notice and even act on the coincidences that life presents, you may be surprised by the places that they lead you,

Erin Cooper Reed