Holding the metal angel, I admired its unique shape, silver colour and exquisite design. Its engraving, “The heart of a home is love”, made me pause in decorating the Christmas tree. A tsunami of memories washed over me. 

Over a decade ago, I recalled wandering hospital corridors to distract my mind from our youngest daughter being in surgery. Attempting to read a book was futile; the same paragraph swam meaninglessly.

Constantly, I gave my husband tasks to complete to prevent falling into a maelstrom of worry. “Love, take the hospital stairs down to the lake. Walk around it counting the swans. They’re beautiful with the sun on their sequinned wings. Then go and find the location of the cafeteria. Buy yourself a hot drink.”

Drifting into the gift shop, a choir of angels greeted me. Like an antique connoisseur, I carefully looked through the diamante angels sending a rainbow of colours my way. The fabric angels were dismissed as dust collectors. The silver angel, so perfect in its shape and engraved message, had to be purchased.

Relief flooded over us at the sight of our groggy daughter in the private room. The words “successful operation” ran happily through our veins as the youngest gradually swam upwards from a fog of anaesthesia. 

That evening we were joined by an elder daughter- the family rebel. Charisma informed us there was no need for Mum to sleep on the uninviting plastic couch. The silver angel beamed from the hospital bed as Charisma lay beside her sister. Tiptoeing away, my husband and I glowed with a sense of good parenting skills in raising a caring independent daughter.

Next morning, the burly male aide, looking at my two girls still sleeping, humorously asked, “Why wasn’t I invited to the sleepover?” His tough biker appearance belied a good heart. Thankfully, he realised too that what an anxious mother needed was comic relief rather than chiding. So happy; an extensive list spanning doctors to nurses watched over our family.

With such fond memories of family love and kindness, I hung the silver angel on the Christmas tree.

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    10 months ago

    What a sweet story, Margarida. I remember members of my own family crawling into a hospital bed with a loved one to keep them company. It’s such a loving gesture, and so comforting. I love the picture of the angel ornament. Is this based on a real part of your own history?

    Greene M Wills
    Greene M Wills(@greene-m-wills)
    10 months ago

    A happy ending against a poor mother’s ocean of worry. I loved the description of the attempted distractions, when nothing works to take a mind away from the incessant beating of unwelcome thoughts. Yes, a very poignant story!

    Melissa Taggart
    Melissa Taggart(@melissa-taggart)
    10 months ago

    This is a great story, Margarida. It is beautiful and I feel you did a fantastic job showcasing a mother’s love to the reader. Your angel picture is lovely– you can tell this story came from the heart. Great work!

    Lotchie Carmelo
    Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
    9 months ago

    Lovely. You brilliantly deliver to the reader the power of a mother’s love. Well done.

    Lotchie Carmelo
    Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
    Reply to  Margarida Brei
    9 months ago

    I am away for a while because of some health problem. I really missed being here, and I also miss you all. Even though I have many challenges, I still managed to be here in voice club to stay connected to all of you.

    Christer Norrlof
    Christer Norrlof(@christer-norrlof)
    9 months ago

    This is a great story, Margarida, jam packed with emotions, from worry and longing, to love and relief. You have perfectly described what goes on in the minds of family waiting for an operation to be done so they can reunite with their loved one. The angel is a great symbolic center of the story.

    Linda Rock
    Linda Rock(@linda-rock)
    9 months ago

    What a beautiful angel and such a lovely message, Margarida. You described so well what agony we, as parents, go through at times like these. I echo your words that the doctors and nursing staff deserve all our gratitude. A poignant and heart warming story, beautifully written.

    Carrie OLeary
    Carrie OLeary(@carrie-oleary)
    8 months ago

    Your wonderful story brought back memories of my own. My daughter was hospitalized twice, once with whooping cough and pneumonia when she was three and again as a teen for an operation on her hip. There was no way I was leaving her side; as a nurse, I was a terrible patient’s mum ?

    Carrie OLeary
    Carrie OLeary(@carrie-oleary)
    Reply to  Margarida Brei
    8 months ago

    Mine is 29 now and you may have read some of her wonderful stories on here. She’s a much better writer than I; and I don’t believe I’m biased ? My son is 27, but you never stop worrying about them do you.

    Deborah Goulding
    Deborah Goulding(@deborah-goulding)
    4 months ago

    I absolutely love this story, Margarida! How delicately told. It’s almost described as, ‘holding your breath’ while anxiously awaiting for news. Your elder daughter seems to be a strong, determined and selfless human being! So happy for the successful outcome of your youngest!

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