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The Winter Tale of a Blessed and Broken Angel

February 20, 2019


The Winter Tale of a Blessed and Broken Angel


by Alice Jane-Marie Massa



While many have been making snow angels in Milwaukee’s picturesque winter scenes of the past five weeks, thinking of Christmas and angels seems to have stalled midst this span of hard Wisconsin winter.  Three of the Christmas gifts which I received during the holiday season of 2018 certainly had an angel theme:  towels with an angel motif, a “Willow Tree” (twelve-inch tall) angel which stands guard over my manger set, and a fifteen-inch tall (and somewhat heavy) garden angel.


Given to me by a friend, this garden angel–with expansive, thick wings–perched gracefully on the cafe table on my front porch during the earlier winter storms.  After one of the heavier snowfalls, my angel, flanked by a container pot filled with silk red poinsettias and a gold metallic bow, looked as if she were inside a perfect grotto of snow.  After the next snow storm, only her sweet  face peeked through her snowland.  Following yet another winter storm, the cherub–with her little hands on the sides of her face as if she were saying Shirley Temple’s famous line of “Oh, my goodness!”–was completely covered with Mother Nature’s snowflakes.


As the snow melted, my garden angel re-appeared.  Then, I decided to move her to the end table next to the cafe table because she seemed safer, more stable, on the flatter surface.  [My front porch is unusually positioned and shaped:  it is on the southeast side of my townhouse.  With the stairs, the expanse forms an “L” shape.  The mentioned tables are at the north, or far end, of the porch–farthest away from the lawn, main sidewalk, and street.]


Whenever my Leader Dog Willow and I returned from a wintry walk and ascended the stairs of our front porch, I said, “Find  our angel.”  Willow, my Black Labrador Retriever, guided me to the garden angel.  “Good girl, Willow.”  I gave thanks for our safe return home.  I thoroughly enjoyed having this angel in the midst of my Snowflake Garden and dreamed of her watching over my summer container garden.  However, such was not to be.


On one of the extremely rare nights when I went to bed at a “normal” hour (between eleven and 11:30), on a Saturday night (February 9, 2019) when no snow was falling, my angel disappeared.  The next day, Willow and I went for a walk in the freshly falling snow.  Upon our return, on the end table was only the container of my weathered lavender plant.  I checked around the table:  no, the angel had not fallen.  After I went inside with Willow and took care of her, I returned outside with my white cane and checked out the entire front porch, the stairs, the sidewalk to the main sidewalk, the snowbank under my front window.  No angel to be found!  I comforted myself with the thought that if a homeless person had taken the angel, I hoped that my garden angel would bring as much joy to the homeless person as the angel had brought to me.  Nevertheless, I really had no idea what happened to my angel.


Next, I called the office of my apartment complex and told this angel tale to the assistant manager, Chris (the person who found the photograph for the cover of my holiday book).  Chris said that he would come and look for the angel a little later.


Wanting to walk in the pristine snow again, Willow and I left for our second walk on that Sunday.  As we were nearing home, Chris called out to us, “Alice, I found some pieces of your angel.”  We walked toward each other and met in front of my residence.  On the sidewalk, west of my townhouse, Chris had found some of the pieces of the angel.  “I have the wing.  Do you want it?”  I took the broken wing and thanked him for coming.  Then, Chris noticed that atop the snowbank which was in front of the parked vehicles were several pieces of the broken angel.  Chris explained that there were too many pieces to put the angel back together; also, he determined that not all of the pieces were in the immediate area.  After talking with Chris a little more, I thanked him again and told Willow, “Find our porch.”  With Willow’s harness in one hand and the angel’s wing in my other hand, we returned to our front porch–no longer guarded by our “garden-ian angel.”


Who would take from my porch and break into numerous pieces such an angel?  Who would then want to display the broken pieces atop a snowbank?  Someone who truly needs a guardian angel.


Where does one go to replace a Christmas gift of an angel?  To Amazon, of course.  Fear not, my new “garden-ian angel” should land in time for the blossoming hope of spring.


28 days until spring!

Take care!

Alice and Leader Dog Willow (my extraordinary four-pawed angel)


February 20, 2019, Wednesday



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  1. Sue McKendry permalink

    Oh, Alice–How sad that this happened. I surely wish the perpetrator/s could read your comment that someone who did such a thing is truly in need of a guardian angel! Glad to hear the a new angel via Amazon is on its way.

    • Good morning, Sue–Good to hear from you!  Many thanks for your comment!

          The sunshine is deceiving today because we still have so much ice.  I hope that all is well on the farm and that you do not have too much ice.

      Take care, and call when you can–Alice and Willow

  2. Dear Alice,
    What a sad ending for a precious angel that was lovingly given, received, and enjoyed! I’m just heartbroken at what happened. Although the sweet little angel was with you and Willow only a short time, I know that she brightened your long winter days. Spring will bring a new angel to your front porch along with the warmth and beauty of the season!
    Love to you and Willow,

    • Hi, Mary–Thanks for adding your kind comment to this angel post.  Indeed, my porch seems emptier and less cheery without my garden angel.  I do look forward to “Garden Angel II.”

      Take care, and enjoy the weekend–Alice and Willow

  3. Sa
    SAD to know that anyone would destroy your gift – but also glad to know you have a new one coming to celebrate the arrival of spring – soon.

    • Good evening, Lynda–Thanks for reading, commenting on, and liking this blog post!  A few minutes ago, I read your most recent post on SCAN and enjoyed your interview with author J. E. Pinto. Your “Saturday Is for Sharing” is a great continuing feature to spotlight writers.

      Enjoy the weekend (as we are expecting ice, a wintry mix, and then 50 MPH winds)–Alice and Willow

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