by Cindy Hasz
American Reporter Correspondent
San Diego, Calif.
May 16, 2002
ANGELS FROM MONTGOMERY
SAN DIEGO -- Mother's Day urgency: We found ourselves following the well-worn migratory paths of the great herd in and out of those catacombs of commerce known as "the mall," every last one of us foraging for the perfect gift to offer the tribal deity, the goddess of our particular hearth and home so that we might live yet another year basking in the warmth of her maternal blessing.
Being a mother-goddess myself, I was appalled at the saccharine quality of the gifts. Dolls and angels and angles and dolls. The pasty-faced dolls mostly looked like they needed exorcism and the angels were worse. Come to think of it, I've always had a problem with angels.
Why must they always look so sweet, so composed in the predictable pink, silver, gold and white finery? The dainty slippers, don't forget the dainty slippers and flowing chiffon robes. Innocent, demure, naive; like you could lead them around by their angelic noses or play really nasty tricks on them and they'd never even have enough of a clue to get angry. Impossibly fragile too, like they'd break down in eternal crocodile tears or explode like glass if privy to an off-color remark.
And of course, angels are always pretty, thin and white. Ten times worse than Barbie ever thought of being. At least now we have a motorcycle mama Barbie, scientist Barbie, dominatrix Barbie (just kidding), but these poor, poor angels. They look like they are eternally condemned to float (lacking proper gravity) around on currents of divine sweetness or wrestle with reams of white and pastel robes (not unlike those infernal flannel nightgowns) while trying to fly through clouds and inclement weather to deliver mostly undecipherable messages to earthlings from the much talked about but rarely seen CEO of the universe.
I think that real angels must be very much like real mothers. Real may not be quite as inspirational but it is far more nourishing. They have tumultuous passions, like mothers do. I'll wager they have genitals too and uniquely large cardiac muscles. I imagine they must fall in love, get angry, jealous and broken hearted.
They are probably both silly and solemn; tender and ferocious. They can screw up, hide from responsibility, run away from home, fall short of their calling and loose their way. Like Mom, they can look alternately sublime and haggish. They fart while flying and no doubt drool on their heavenly pillows. They can drive us crazy one minute and turn around and save our lives the next.
Like Moms, they come in all colors, all shapes and sizes.
But these ... these cloying, annoying creatures who all look the same must be the products of some warped sentimental mind. Why in the world would our culture associate mothers who, more often than not are the pillars of their families, with such ethereal, fragile, crazy creatures? Suppose I'll never know.
As for our matriarch, we decided against the leopard thong (idea of the 16 and 17-year-old males) and settled for an Alan Jackson cassette. I wanted to get a little remote control robot for her at the mall, but the boys reined me in. They knew I was temporarily deranged and physically dragged me out of the store.
As we sat on the patio eating our mother's day meal, Mamasita was delighted with our small gifts but more delighted that we had all come to be with her on her day. At eighty we never know when she will launch off for other worlds.
We sipped Mimosa and watched the planes taking off and landing on the airstrip in front of us. The same place where my mother's mother used to fly in to see us every winter over 40 years ago. Teresa Clark of the funny hats with Grampie in tow. Like a postcard in my mind. So very long ago.
I wonder if I will be sitting here 30 or 40 years from now with my own grandchildren. Sipping Mimosa and utterly amazed, like Mom is now, that I made it to 80.
My nephew and I start talking about getting our pilots licenses. Mom gets excited. Henry wants to go to Spain. I just want to go up, anywhere, not be earthbound. Just for a little while. We promise each other we will fly together someday. Soon.
I'm suddenly seized with urgency. I have to take her flying. I'm sorry I never took her to Europe or Australia. Now she uses her cane to walk and is afraid to go far from home. It would be the thrill of her life to sit next to her daughter and grandson as they piloted her into the wild blue yonder.
"Make me an angel," the song goes, "that flies from Montgomery." Now, that kind of angel I could live with.
Cindy Hasz is a nurse and writer living in San Diego. She can be reached at email@example.com.