About fourteen years ago I decided to replace our star tree-topper with an angel. Not just any angel either. It had to be a brunette. Of course, all I could find were blonde angels. It seemed the stores were conspiring against me.
In the midst of my search, I could not figure out why I was so determined to find such a specific angel for my tree. After all, an angel is an angel, yeah?
I finally found her after a week of traipsing around town to every store carrying Christmas decorations.
Once I had her on the tree and she was looking down at me, it hit me. She is the representation of a friend I lost the year before the week of Christmas. She was sick for many years before she passed away and I was lucky she decided to surprise me by showing up at mine and Chaz’s wedding reception.
She had a sturdy shoulder for leaning on, an open ear for listening, and a rational mind for giving advice. She was my first best boss ever and her kids always made me laugh. She was creative, crafty, and a great cook. Her salsa is the reason why I hate salsa, because no salsa is as good as hers.
She was my first experience with dealing with food restrictions. She visited me back home and I wrote down everything she could not have then worked out a menu of what she could have. She was amazed with what I came up with. It was the least I could for her after all she did for me.
Christmas was hard to look forward to for so many years. It still is with all the losses I have experienced around Christmas since then. Just when I think it is all okay, someone dies.
But that is how it is right? God calls us all home sooner or later and even the celebration of his son’s birth does not stop him. The best I can do is hold their memories in my heart.
My tree is not complete without that angel on top. I can go without decorating my tree, but the angel needs to be there even if a part of her lives in me.