After my daughter died, I wanted an angel to place outside in her memory. My dad and I drove around town one day trying to find one, but I just couldn't find the right one.
I have kept my eyes open, trying to find the right one for almost four years but I hadn't had any luck.
Until a few months ago.
I was at Hobby Lobby and I saw it. It was the perfect angel - exactly what I was looking for. She had brown hair with angel wings and looked like she was sleeping. I knew it was the one.
I bought her and then waited for spring so we could find the perfect place for her. Saturday Chris was working in the yard and I decided to get her. Ann Catherine came with me. I showed her the angel and told her it was our "Melissa angel."
She asked if she could carry it. At first, I said no because I was afraid she would drop it. Then I realized that it was important to her, so I let her. She was so careful. She put it to her chest, like she was carrying a baby and walked so slowly saying, "Look how careful I'm being, mommy." It was precious.
We went to the front yard, but we couldn't find the right spot for it. Then Chris placed it in front of "Melissa's tree." It was just perfect.
Melissa's tree is a Japanese Maple that was given to us after Melissa died by my friend and former co-worker at Channel 19, Nonda Sloan. It is so special to us. When we moved a couple of years ago, we dug it up and brought it with us. It is in front of our home and it has such a calming effect on me. Each year as I watch it grow it symbolizes Melissa's life. I love that tree.
Putting our angel in front of Melissa's tree was the perfect place for it. It gives us this small place of remembrance for our daughter. And it gives Ann Catherine and Lily something tangible to look at when we talk about Melissa. We placed it next to an angel that a friend gave us after Melissa died that says "Love is from above." How true.
This week my mother-in-law pointed out that our Melissa angel is holding lillies. I hadn't even noticed that! Isn't that neat? After Melissa died, God have us a Lily to heal us. And our Melissa angel is clutching lillies. How perfect.
I can't express how much I cherish this small spot in front of our home. It is so peaceful and welcoming. It took almost four years to find the right angel, but we found it. And I love it. It's just another way that Melissa's spirit is with us.