Thursday, November 25, 2010


Normally, our blogs consist of banter and play, writing escapades and the whys and how comes and what ifs of our writing world. Today, however, is a day that has been set aside to remember why we are grateful, yet it is more, for Thanksgiving in this country crosses all races, creeds, religions, nationalities, persuasions and preferences. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you do or what you are, today, the fourth Thursday of every November in the United States we give thanks, and we are united, one true nation, hearts connecting, spirits conjoining, to offer up a nod of reflection for that which has been given. And for each individual the primary focus of our thanks is different.

For us, of course, like mostly everyone else we are grateful for family and friends, for the abundant meal upon our tables, for the health that has carried us through the years, for the indelible mark of love by those we lost and have, as well as for the special people who have given a smile, a hug, a sliver of their humanity just in the name of kindness. We are blessed, and yes, yes, yes, so very appreciative.

There are those, however, who have so little, just morsels of life, tidbits of happiness, overshadowed by endless days of gray and sadness, yet they show even greater gratitude than those with plenty. Having said that, please join us in this story birthed from truth, and exemplary of hope and love.

Angelica Hart and Zi

Her name was Helen, an elderly woman with a wreath of white hair, snowy white, the sort that reminds you of halos and cottony clouds. She had an enchanting smile that she delivered quickly and easily to everyone she met all accompanied by a compliment or a soothing word. Those at assistant living thought her wonderful, which ironically was the reason she was often overlooked. She didn’t command attention, didn’t complain. She was simply there. Most would give her a wave in passing, sometimes there was an exchange of words about the weather or how she won at Bingo. People liked her but none befriended her, although she befriended many, those others that were passed by, settling into their endless days of same ole, same ole, with not even the will to think this bleak existence wrong.

Helen, however, was always the one to listen to a woeful story or the ramblings of one losing themselves slice by slice, or simply holding a hand as someone would weep for no apparent reason. She had no family, having lost her husband and children in a car accident, an accident that left her crippled and somehow perpetuated the loss of her world, her home, her neighbors, her friendships. There was no one who really loved her in that way all should be loved, but she did have her hamster, Angel.

As Helen rolled down the halls in her motorized scooter, Angel could be seen in its cage, racing upon its wheel or sipping water or just curled up in repose. Helen confided in Angel, laughed with Angel, shared everything she possibly could with Angel, until that day that Angel went missing. Amazingly, Helen didn’t go berserk, didn’t cry or grieve, she kept telling everyone that Angel would return, and if not, she was grateful for the joy her little pet had given her and for the comfort the fur-face gave the other residents when it curled up in their veined-lined, knobby, wrinkled hands. Days passed and Angel didn’t appear, but Helen’s smile never faded, her joy never wavered.

Jamie Ryans, a recent college grad and the director of the facility, heard one of the volunteers, Rae, asked Helen how she could remain so happy when life had been so cruel. Helen tilted her serene face and looked somewhere far away. “It’s because I’m in love.”

The volunteer seemed stunned but then winked, “With who? Is it Phil? He is a cutie with that Yul Brenner look.”
Helen’s laughter chimed upon the air. “No, silly, with life, the sun and moon, the flowers in spring, the spider that spins a silvery web that glistens every morning with dew, every facet and pleasure that can be found just by simply existing. Sure I miss those I love but I have the memories that grow stronger rather than fade, for little here can distract me from them. I celebrate the life I had, and I am thankful for every moment of joy and every thunderstorm that made me jump, and every surgery that I woke up from, and every instance of grief for that is what made me appreciate the fullness of joy. No matter what I don’t have there is so much that I still have, and I will never stop giving thanks.”

Soon after that, Angel returned. All claimed it to be a miracle. And Helen just glowed. And so did Jamie, for he had helped Rae pick out the hamster which was actually a replacement Angel. Until that moment, Jamie saw her as just another face, another volunteer who’d probably burn up and move out quickly, most did. After that he began to notice her more, acknowledge the depth of her generosity of self, time, compassion, and, yes, love. She cared. And the stone built upon his heart after recent disillusionment, stemming from the neglect of the elders by society and at times family, cracked and fell away.

However, what Rae didn’t know, and Helen confided to Jamie, was that Helen knew what she did, for Rae couldn’t tell a boy hamster from a girl hamster, and Helen could. Yet, she was so thankful to have someone care enough to give her such a gift, and the gift was timely, for Helen passed away that very night. As for Angel, it was now the facility’s mascot. Jamie was very grateful to have known the heart of Helen, and to have witnessed the soul of Rae. It was at the interment that Jamie stood at Rae’s side, and as if instinct drew these two kindred spirits, their hands joined as one. They shared tears, one heart, and soon Rae became Jamie’s Angel. Both were thankful.

We wish everyone a very Happy and Healthy Thanksgiving Day.

We'd love to hear from anyone interested in what we do. Anyone who writes us at and leaves an s-mail address, we will send you a gift and add you to any future mailings.

Angelica Hart and Zi

BOOKS can be purchased at
Champagne Books


Ciara Gold said...

That was a most heart warming story. Thanks bunches for sharing. And a happy holiday to you also.

Angelica Hart and Zi said...

Thanks so much Ciara. It is actually based on a real lady. Hope your holiday was grand.

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