When Emily was six months old, I took her to her pediatrician for a well visit. It must have been around September or so. She was due to have her lip repair on October 1st and I probably talked to the nurse about that a lot – I was terrified of the surgery. It was a six hour procedure and even though I knew it was an incredible milestone for her – it would mean she would look like a normal baby – I fretted and obsessed and worried. The nurse who checked Emily in that day disappeared for a minute and came back with a pin that had a picture of an angel on it – or maybe it was a saint. I don’t know, but she told me to take the pin and that she would pray for Emily. And I did.
A couple of days ago I was cleaning out the medicine cabinet in the bathroom and I found the pin. I don’t know why it was there. I don’t remember putting it there. Emily may have come across it with some of her baby things and tucked it away there. I gave the pin to Ana – I told her the story of that long ago, kind hearted nurse and said it was okay to have a talisman like this (Emily got mad when she saw me give Ana the pin. But I think it’s one of those things that you should pass on to whoever needs a little extra protection).
Are there saints and angels that look over us? Do they protect our children? Why do they protect some and not others? Does it help if we believe in them – and hold onto talismans to remind us that even though we can’t control everything, we can still have hope and faith? I think so. I have to. My children have surgery WAY too much for me to believe otherwise.
Maybe guardians can’t do everything, save everyone. Maybe, like us, they do what they can. We have eight hours left until Christmas morning – I can hold my breath a little longer until the moment when the girls wake us up and we stumble downstairs for those few precious moments when they are utterly absorbed in the joy of the season. I’d like to think that Ana’s guardian angel will be watching her have her moment, and smiling a sad smile because that’s what she was able to give Ana – a chance to forget, for a little while, that she’s sick.
Right now, we’re ready (mostly). The lights at the top of the tree went out, but it just makes the presents look more dazzling, don’t you think? Happy holidays to all of you! If you’re home and with people you love tomorrow, then spare a moment to thank your guardian angel. She’s got your back.