My mother’s angels sit on the shelf. She used to have them prominently displayed during the holidays. So much so, that one year Colleen accidentally knocked one over while reaching to turn a light on. There was a bang and then a little head rolled across the room as our eyes grew wide in terror. A holiday disaster on the move. My mother was ill and those little statues gave her solace. We knew once the beheaded statue was discovered, she would cry out in rage, “I can never have anything nice.” That is an unfortunate truth after having 4 children even when they are fully grown. Still, we hated hearing that line especially now that she was ill.
Even though it was Colleen’s arm that committed the crime, we’d all suffer the consequence. Not a word was uttered as we fell into action. My mother was busy in the kitchen blissfully unaware and we intended to keep her that way. The head was retrieved from under the piano and a triage team converged armed with glue. We whispered in horror and laughter as we erased signs of the accident. The head stayed in place as the glue dried. Peace reigned over that holiday and she never knew what had happened. To this day, I look at the fine line along the angel’s neck and smile.
Since my mother died, the angels collect dust in the corner. Little concern would be paid if I snapped all of their heads off in an accidental sweep of the arm. Now, we decorate with trucks. My father is buying replica’s of the vehicles that drove him to the moments in life he cherishes. The army truck is his latest. It is funny to think that the army would be the backdrop of one of his favorite times in life. He was 20 when he drove that truck. Even in war, 20 is a fun age.
Over the weekend, he regaled us with stories of sleeping on top of the truck and how much candy he could hide under the seats. Things a 20-year-old would enjoy. He doesn’t wish anyone to go through what he did but wouldn’t trade the experience.
This year I was challenged with incorporating the trucks into our holiday decor. I think I did a fine job considering the design element. A bit of ribbon here and a bow there… My father is pleased as my sisters and I roll our eyes. This is a season though of giving tiny bits of pleasure to the ones we love.