By Wendiann Alfieri
My Mother walked into the visiting room, with a beautiful blue stuffed angel in her hands. It looked like it was ready to watch out for me. It had twigs with blue plastic on the tips of the wings. She had a dress, a blue dress. It was patterned in such a bizarre and somehow comforting way, with most of it plain but the bottom an explosion of blue designs. Blue reminded me of the tears I would cry at night, and maybe a blue angel would be able to absorb my tears, as I would soon cry into her every night. "Do you like it?" she asked. “It’s a birthday present from Grandma". “Grandma?" I asked. “It was hers," my mother continued, "And she is watching up from heaven, and she would like you to have it". How do I know she is watching, I thought, when I could no longer remember her? However, I thanked my mother for this guardian to watch over me, and I felt she did as I held the angel in the hospital. I would whisper to her, “Please let my memory come back. I want to know who they are, and I want to know who I am". My memory came back, but only at night and left my head as I opened my eyes every morning, wondering if my Grandmother was watching, why couldn't she protect me? Why couldn't she help me? My mother would tell me when she came to visit, that Grandma had a collection of angels. Porcelain, glass, stuffed, portraits, designs on washcloths, you name it. And that angel, that I had, with me at night as the terrors would take over, would still smile at me in the morning. Its eyes no longer just friendly dots, its freckles were just flecks of something evil dancing around its mouth, its smile an empty shell of false hope and promises. How is there Angels, if they can sit there and do nothing but still smile at you in the morning? How can they watch, as you cried into them? As you begged for help, pleading to have a normal life? But doubt clouds the eyes the mind and the soul. Doubt clouds everything when you don't even know your own name. No matter what, that angel would smile at me. No matter how many times I screamed or cried. And as time grew on, I thought that Angel was nothing more than a doll, a doll that meant something to someone, but that’s the thing. It was just something to someone. It wasn’t a special Angel from my Grandma at the time. I clung to the hope of returning normal, that’s why I turned to the Angel. I thought it would help my situation. I didn’t realize the significance it once had to me, because I was no longer me. A day came, when I was in the hospital, and I was crying on my bed, looking at the Angel and apologizing. Apologizing for something I couldn’t understand. The night wore on, and I was deep in thought. It took me months to realize, that objects are there to supply hope, not because they themselves will help. They instill hope because of their meaning, the beacon they symbolized to whoever had come across them in the past. I know my Grandma had loved me, and my mom would always say she was watching from heaven. The inside of me would churn at this, as I had come across many doubts of faith in the hospital and still do. But it’s not about what the angel represented in terms of faith. It represented the determination my Grandma had in herself and her religion. Though I may not have the same faith in religion, I have faith in my Grandmothers soul. What some objects mean when they get passed down is that they mean something different to everyone it is passed down to. It represents a different soul, a different experience, a different hope every time. It represents a memory, and though I did not have that memory, I learned what it meant to learn from the bad things, to gain hope and trust in the people who loved you and to learn from them why. I learned how to become a changed person, to create new memories. However much you hate the past, you can’t hate the future, and because once you hate the future you take away your power to change it. That Angel’s smile rests in my parents’ house, among hundreds of others unique angels. It rests among family. It rests among trust. It rests among love. And her simple childlike innocent smile beams. And her dot-like eyes sparkle. And her freckles dance around her face, reminding us she is unique.