This is my second move in the last five years. I have a few special boxes not yet open from the move before this last one. One of the boxes is a little unusual. It’s a black box. It was lent to me by a very good friend when she helped me pack my ‘precious’ things in 2010. She felt the items to be stored called for something strong, something special. You see, the black box contains a full orchestra of angels. Don’t laugh; let me explain. I collect figurines. Capodimonte porcelain angels are in that box. Over the years, thanks to gifts from my Italian friends and family, I assembled enough miniature angels playing instruments to set up a little orchestra I would display every Christmas. Until 2010. That was a bad year. Cancer came calling. Changes had to be made. I moved from my home to a smaller place and not everything would fit. The black box ended up in storage along with the large Christmas tree from the big house. Time went by. My friend became ill and was gone in within twenty-four hours. I still get very emotional when I think back at this the circle of life we must accept. At her memorial service I asked her family if perhaps I could have a small thing, of no monetary value, to remember her. I was told, it was a little too late, everything had been packed and shipped.
That was a sad moment in my life.
But we move on, we make do.
The next necessary move came around and here I was packing again and missing my dear friend now gone. She had a way of making moving fun. Grandkids helped, the usual suspects and the newly acquired ones. All as unique and special in their own way. And things and boxes came out of storage, and here comes the black box and I’m talking about angels playing instruments to this child who is a concert pianist and he’s dying to see what’s really inside the box.
We open the box, we are sitting on the floor and the first out is the harp playing angel. I get the ohs, and ahs I’ve come to expect. Next is the flute playing one and I suddenly realize that they are wrapped in a very soft, cream colored bath sheet. How thoughtful, I’m thinking. As more angels make the roll call, I notice a large monogram on the towel. Strange. Whose towel is that? I don’t have my glasses on, I can’t tell. One of the kids points out it’s upside down—the monogram—not me. They all bend their heads and laugh. I ask them to spell out the letters for me, and they do. And I feel like dying right there and then and the children are concerned about my sudden silence.
It’s my friend’s monogram. She wrapped my little orchestra in her own towel and I now realize that the personal thing I asked for was in my possession all along.