The Dumb Ass And The Angel

Father, forgive me, for I have sinned…(and that’s about all I can remember as to how to begin a confession, despite the 12 years of Catholic School)..I am a hopeless dumb ass.  An ungrateful. greedy, whining, capital D , Dumb Ass.  

Oh, I talk a good talk.  Materialistic folks make me break out in hives.  I am subjected to nearly daily conversations in the operating room of their First World problems.  Should they buy a bigger boat?  A second vacation home?  Biffy and Skippy sure hate having to stay with the little people on their trips to Aspen. Chip Jr. got into the 50 Grand per year Pre- K program  where his opinions will be heavily considered during his weekly meetings with world leaders..blah, blah ..or something like that.  I shake my head silently and hold back the bile when the talk of birthday parties surpass the cost of my wedding reception. I suspect I will completely lose it one day, and with the close proximity of sharp, metal instruments..it’s not going to end well.

Sounds like I get it, right?  I have my priorities straight, right?  Wrong.

Lately, all I can do is think about the things I don’t have. I am almost 50..when do I get MY vacation home?  MY in-ground pool?  MY trip to Europe?  I have been working full-time forever…where is my dessert with whipped cream on top, damn it all.  I am a good person.  I deserve more. 

So, after a full weekend of picking fights with the people I love the most, I skulked out of the house.  I wasn’t sure where I was going, but someone did. 

Two miles later, I found myself alone in Sister Hannah’s Angel Garden, suddenly alive with color.  Vibrant purples, pinks, yellows and whites surrounded the hundreds of angels, placed by the nuns and visitors.  Each time I visit, I am drawn to a different angel.  This time it was a very stocky, weathered angel, holding a tiny angel, almost bird-like in the palm of his hand.  My thoughts turned to two very early miscarriages , and I envisioned those pregnancies as these tiniest angels…weird. I never think about those losses..my clinical brain had accepted and moved on..so I thought.  I thought of the two healthy boys at home who I had just berated, not to mention their father..and I felt terrible..and grateful. Time to get back, make amends, stop my bitching.  Say “cheese” beefed-up angel..I snapped away, said “thanks” and headed towards home.

But, wait..there they were. That father and son I have seen periodically for years.  The once healthy  boy, forever altered from a teenage joy ride, held up in the church pew by his Dad, who would reach over and wipe the drool from his boy’s chin every minute or so. They were walking, slowly together, the boy now a man, being held up by his father, every spastic step along the way.  I saw the Dad, now much grayer than I remember, reach over with his drool towel and wipe his son’s chin. I gave a quick wave, grateful I was across the street so that they couldn’t see the tears.  A depth of love and commitment that has no words to explain it’s power and beauty.

God, I am such a Dumb Ass.Image 

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13 thoughts on “The Dumb Ass And The Angel

  1. We’re all Dumb Asses, Tess, until a big or little lesson shows up. Then we’re not…until the next time.

    Human to the end.

  2. Your story reminded all of us how ‘real’ life is supposed to work. Make an ass of yourself, learn from it, move on to the next block. I’ve spent a lifetime learning stuff on a daily basis. Imagine how smart I am–and how far from home I’ve traveled. Thanks for sharing such a great story.

    • I love your comment John. I think I am starting to understand..always learning, always making adjustments..there really is no finish line with this growing up stuff- is there?

  3. This was beautiful Tess. I have the two little tiny angels in my mind now. This is so good for me.They can’t be with me either but I am going to speak to them. How often I forget to be grateful. You just gave me a much needed reality slap. Thanks, Cindy

  4. Tess…
    I’ll say at the outset I have far more questions than answers with every passing year/month (or any given day, lol). But I’m 99 percent sure that karma has us all circling in a pattern in which we are both learning and teaching. What strikes me as both fascinating (and funny) is that we seldom know if we are the teacher or the student.

    The events in your visit to that magical garden seems to have touched you as a ‘lesson for a the student of life’ that you are. But by sharing it, word for word and heart string by heart string from your miscarriages to the father and son, you became the teacher for each of us reading.

    Karma has each of us circling indeed.

    Thanks, as always.
    Issy
    PS resist the urge to use sharp objects – not sure they allow blogging in prison – and I’d really miss ya and your posts! roflamo

  5. I don’t think I can add anything profound to that which has been said but your post reminded me to thank God for my blessings – three healthy children and 8 grandchildren – (all of who seem to have forgotten me but their health is a blessing as they were to me in their young lives), and try to focus on the good friends I have, the enjoyment I get from reading blog posts such as this, etc. There is so much wrong in the world, and were we perfect, I think we might already be with Our Father, but we are not, and thus, have lessons to learn. I thank God daily that I had all my formative years under the direction of the Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart, some of whom are now friends – amazing, considering how we feel in high school! I went to a small private school from K-12 and we just had our 50th high school reunion. It is a blessing that only two of our number our gone as we approach our 70s. Thanks for the reminder to dwell on the good and not the pain. Where is that gorgeous garden? (Oh, and it’s “Bless me Father, for I have sinned……..”

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