Fourteen Angels

Chapter 1 – Prologue

Fourteen Angels

When at night I go to sleep
Fourteen angels watch do keep
Two my head are guarding
Two my feet are guiding
Two are on my right hand
Two are on my left hand
Two who warmly cover
Two who o’er me hover
Two to whom ’tis given
To guide my steps to Heaven

Engelbert Humperdinck

1854-1921

I suppose we all leave behind something to help find our way back to what we think is home. Some of us leave houses, photographs and assorted trinkets from a life gone by. Others leave a trail of ex-spouses, children, and career accomplishments by which to measure our lives and find what we think is the place where we want to be. Hansel and Gretel used bread crumbs to find their way home, only to realize later that, like morning footprints in a snowy field, bread crumbs disappear, gobbled up by hungry birds or scattered and blown on a morning breeze.

Having made several wrong turns and taken the road less traveled and the circuitous route on more than my share of laps, I’m not really sure what I’ll leave behind this time around. I can’t have children, don’t have any special talents, and never had memorable looks – unless you call looking like everyone’s cousin something special. And, since I must have missed a series of school days during the chapter on elementary geography, I tend to get lost – a lot. So I rely on a whole team of guardian angels to help guide me through life and safely deliver me to my next adventure. Many years ago I heard snippets of a song about my team of angels, all fourteen of them. Written by Engelbert Humperdinck, I always just assumed it was the pop singer who made the middle aged women swoon when he sang, After the Lovin’. Turns out, the one who knew my ‘angel’ was considerably older than the pop star, and though he may well have been an icon in his own time and space, he’s left an indelible mark on my life by giving me the gift of my own Fourteen Angels.

My angels are an unlikely bunch, some of them walked on two feet, a few got around better on all fours. They range in age and socioeconomic status, and none of them ever received the accolades they should have gotten while they were here walking the earth. Still, each of them was a hero whose personality, humor, ability to care, sensitivity, and friendship were gifts I still cherish because they helped teach me what being a good human and a great friend is really about. There wasn’t one of my angels who was without faults; if you add them up, there were a few with substance abuse and addiction issues, a handful of control freaks, a pathological liar, and one who peed every time he heard thunder. But their faults helped make them who they were, and sometimes, it was their faults that taught me what I did not want to become. For their faults and their assets, I am most grateful, though I do wish I’d picked up a better sense of direction from one of them along the way, so I wouldn’t get lost as often.

Since they’re the ones who should be taking the credit for getting me to my appointments safely and helping to guide my thoughts and actions along the twisting path that has been my life, I hope you’ll join this heavenly cocktail party and allow me to introduce you around the room. Though they may be my own personal angels, I’m delighted to share them and I’m sure they’ll be happy to look out for you and give you some suggestions and ideas to help make your journey, too. Besides, I’ll bet if you looked back over your own life, you’ve got a motley crew of your very own angels who have helped guide your steps to heaven.

12 thoughts on “Fourteen Angels

  1. Dwendy, Dwendy, Dwendy…YES WOMAN! Keep writing! You have a rare talent for combining every day trials and tribulations, with quotes from the past (and present), and packaging it all up in wit, sincerity, warmth, and humor. Erma Bombeck comes to mind. Keep at it!!

  2. The incident with the mouse reminds of my favorite Ray Stevens song, “The Day the Squirrel went to church at the Antioch Baptist Church”. How easy it is to visualize your stories. Must be how my parents enjoyed the “television without a screen”, commonly known as the “radio”. Imagination is a wonderful thing. Didn’t one of the Beatles say that!……..IMAGINE by John Lennon. Puts you in very good company.

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