The Fallen Angel

People are more important than things

I remember hearing this almighty crash from the kitchen! My stomach did a somersault and my African upbringing rose to the surface. I was about to roar and tear a strip out of someone for whatever damage had been caused, when I was stopped in my in built momentum by the quiet words…’People are more important than things!’

Rewind to about 3 years before. Christmas 1998 I think any way. Family arrive from the US to spend the holidays, bringing with them this large carton which they were all excited about. “It’s your Christmas gift” we are told, “and you are not allowed to open it before the day.” I found out then what a curious person I really was and if it had not been too big to be anywhere but in plain sight, I’m sure I would have previewed it.

My mind conjured up so many pictures of what it could possibly be, but no one would respond to my coercion and reveal the contents.

Finally Christmas day arrives and we open the present and out pops this beautiful sculpture of a guardian angel. Hand crafted limited edition just for us. Of course it had pride of place in being displayed. It was the first thing you saw when you entered our front door and the angel said bye to you as you left. If the truth be told I thought I needed a more elegant house to display my angel in.

I stood at the kitchen sink and counted to ten, as my 8 year old comes into the kitchen all frantic and apologetic. I suggested to her in a quiet tone that it would be best if she left me alone and I would find her when I was ready.

If we rewind about 20 years I recall that breaking anything was a serious offence and always resulted in a telling off or a punishment, and my instinct, what was familiar to me was to scream and rave at my daughter when I saw the state of the Fallen Angel. It was broken beyond repair and I would have broken my daughter beyond repair with my words.

It took a real shift in my thinking to deal differently with my daughter about The Fallen Angel and when she brought me a childish note asking me to forgive her and promising to try to be more “rsponsibl” I had to keep my word and forgive her and never make any negative response with reference to that incident.

Not all we have been conditioned in or learnt are effective for the life we are now living, so embrace the good changes even if they make you uncomfortable and even when they displace your Angel from its place of honour. It’s a true saying People are always more important than things.

Displaced Queen

MARGARET OGUNBANWO