Every so often, an angel lands right on your shoulder, so you gotta
keep paying attention. You might absently think you're brushing off
a little dandruff, and end up blowing the entire miracle!
I'm pretty sure I've unwittingly brushed off my share of angels in
the last 53 years. Too bad you can't go back again. But that's life
And, let's face facts. Angels can be tricky.
The whole wings and harp thing is pretty much for the storybooks (and
the Philadelphia Cream Cheese ads). No angels I know of ever dress the
Like this one angel I know, Peter M.. The closest he gets to wings
is when they come bearing hot sauce - and he insists on ordering them
by declaring to the waitress, "I'll have the dead bird parts, please."
He always plays a mean guitar, and lap steel, and one winter when I'd
had my heat shut off (I was financially challenged) he found out about
it. After he met with some fellow angels in a corner bar, the heat somehow
came back on! Miracle!
Or, there is the angel Shirley G., both friend and manager, whose wings
deflect the slings and arrows of outrageous music biz fortune from me.
She is always on my shoulder, and her melodies encourage my artistic
voice whenever it falls silent.
Some angels come disguised as family members. They make especially
good angels because they bring to the dance a lot of angel type stuff
- love, and support, and lessons to be learned, and enough forgiveness
to fuel a whole lot of second chances.
My grandparents, John and Ella Karach, my Uncle John Karach Jr., and
my number one angel, my mother Kathy O., put up with a lot of decidedly
unangelic behavior on my part over the years. Yet, to this day, I can
feel their invisible wings wrap around me when earthly storms blow cruel
And, as for real friends, how many of them silently watch over us,
root for us, listen to our sad stories, try to protect us, not only
from the world, but from ourselves?
They share our sorrow, and join us in celebration, and the music they
play for us means we are never alone.
As for the lovers, well, sometimes they actually do float on clouds!
They have given me courage, and passion, and dreams, where there might
only be cowardice, and lost purpose, and despair.
It takes strength to find and keep your faith. Everybody wants to get
to heaven. Trouble is, people think heaven is somewhere that you "get
to", and that the way to do it is to cast righteous judgment upon
their fellow travelers.
Then, when it's time to hit the ol' pearly gates, they figure they'll
just push right in there past everybody else.
I suspect the joke may be on them.
Maybe heaven is like success, it's not a destination, but a journey.
Every day, if everyone could just get past wanting more, and needing
to feel bigger and better than the next guy
if we could stop being
afraid of the differences in people - if we really started rooting for
our fellow travelers
well, we wouldn't have to wait for heaven,
we'd already be there.
Angels know there's no reason to fly too high up looking for God. The
sun will only melt those wings. And that can get messy.
Besides, God's in the music, and the music is all around us, right
here on Earth.
So, here's a good thought for Thanksgiving: Life is a concert, sometimes
loud, sometimes so very hard to hear. Thank you to these fine worldly
angels for playing the music
And, one last thought: I'm trying to write a song for a long
ago angel, who's face comes back to me now, when I remember the angels
of my life. The chorus goes:
"With you I'd get excited
About every crazy thing
A Scrabble game,
The smell of rain
A card the postman brings
You gave me wings!"