The angel Carol Hutchison couldn’t leave behind
I first saw her in 2003 in a birdbath at our new home, the day we moved in. Her concrete skin was cracked and worn, the details of her eyes, lips, and wings intact. Our century-old Victorian home was a small piece of history in our town of Valley View, Texas. We were the third owners of the home in a hundred years. I’ll never know how many years the angel had been in that same spot. I would often admire her from our dining room through the long, narrow, lace-curtained window. She sat contentedly in the center of the birdbath, hands in her lap, eyes closed—almost radiant. Always believing she belonged in that spot, I never touched her.
A few years later, my husband took a job that brought us to Georgetown. We moved out of our old Victorian home immediately, but finding a buyer for it took two long years. The angel remained in her birdbath during those years as each would-be buyer inspected the home. On the final bittersweet day we owned that house, we stopped by to make sure we hadn’t left anything behind. After locking the door behind me, I remembered the angel. So I walked around to the birdbath to see her one last time. I stood there for several minutes, knowing she’d stay in her spot, but suddenly knowing this, too: I didn’t want to say goodbye to her. In an instant I grabbed the angel and took her with me. She’s still with me today, in my herb garden, eyes closed, hands in her lap, among the parsley and thyme.