The Choirs of Heaven: Birth of An Angel

There are some stories that begin at the beginning. There are others that simply come as they will. I will not pretend to understand what I saw that cold winter’s day in the emergency room of Mount Sinai Memorial Hospital. But perhaps it will make sense to someone someday.

I always thought I would be a movie star. I loved dressing up as a child and pretending that I was on a quest to find where I really fit in life.

Sometimes, I would discover that I was not really born Callie L. Douglason. No, Mom and I were banished from our true home by a great evil and one day, my father would show up having conquered the villain and bring us home.

I never fit in, no matter where we moved or who we met, it never felt right.

Through it all, my mother had always been my anchor. We always had each other, Callie and Laila, the dynamic duo. Our bond was special, like we could understand one another without even uttering a word aloud. I never knew my father. A deep sadness would wash over mom any time I asked her to tell me about him. She said his name was Abe and that he loved us very much.

Mom always cautioned me not to let my dreams get in the way of living life. I can still hear her saying, “Life is a blessing not afforded to all, and while it can bring us pain, it can also bring great joy and wisdom, beloved”. 

I watched my mother work as a nurse in this hospital for years. So many nights coming home with swollen feet and bloodshot eyes from having pulled one too many shifts. She never complained and when I would ask if I could help, she would always smile and say, “You just did, beloved,” and send me off to finish my homework or get some sleep.

Then, on my 18th birthday, I was called to the principal’s office where the school counselor told me my mother had been rushed to the hospital and was asking for me. I remember the room going dull, all except for this steady thud that kept repeating in my ears. It sounded like a mallet coming down on a loose calfskin drum. I was put in a car by someone and rushed to Mount Sinai.

I could see people waving things in front of me and their lips and heads moving about but the only sound in my ears was that thudding. I turned a corner and stepped through an open door and there she was, Laila Douglason, my rock, hooked up to so many tubes I couldn’t begin to count.

I crossed the room and looked down on my mother’s face. I reached down to take her hand and her eyes flew open. There was something in her eyes that I had never seen before that day. She smiled, and with more power than her small body appeared to have she sat up in the bed and turned to the doctor and nurse in the room and said, “I’d like to have a few minutes alone with my daughter, please”.

Her doctor seemed uneasy at her request but the attending nurse, a good friend of my mother’s, touched his shoulder and gently guided him out of the room closing the door behind them.

“Oh Beloved, I know that this must seem frightening, but I need you to listen carefully because there isn’t much time. I know that you have always been curious about your father and before I leave this Earth, I want to give you a gift…” she began.

My heart caught in my throat at her words and just as I opened my mouth to protest a strange, but somehow familiar sound crept into my ears. It brought with it the same feeling I felt when my mother would hold me close and calm me when I was distraught. But this time the sound was richer, deeper than any other time I could remember. The room became flooded with light that seemed to pour out of my mother’s eyes and ripple across my skin. And then my mother began to sing to me. It was the first time I could ever remember hearing her sing in my life.

Don’t be afraid, Beloved. Turn around, for there is someone who so wants to meet you…

From the day of your birth, he has watched over you…

So much did we both sacrifice that you could choose life…

And now, sweet daughter, we grace you with all our hopes and dreams…

I turned away from my mother and saw standing before me a man whose bronze skin glowed like nothing I had ever seen. He had eyes that burned like fire and hair that fell down his shoulders like midnight. His body was wrapped in a pair of silver white wings that seemed to fill up the room. He looked down on me and smiled as he sang.

I see the beauty of your mother in you daughter…

Though it has been hard to watch over you

from afar…

You are the wonder of our hearts made flesh…

The Father is pleased with us and has granted your mother safe passage home…

The song is so beautiful that it takes a moment for me to recognize the meaning behind the words I’ve just heard. I try to open my mouth to talk but I hear a different sound join this strange chorus as I add my newfound songvoice.

I do not understand what is happening…

I feel happiness and sadness, joy and pain as though they are one…

How can you be my father?

Are you taking my mother away from me?

I feel my mother’s hand squeeze my hand tighter as the bronzed man reaches for my other hand and in unison they sing to me.

Listen to our story, Beloved…

Write it in your heart…

For on this day Cherub and Throne are reunited…

And must from you depart…

In the first days of Heaven we two were paired…

Abraxos and Laila, to divine service of The King…

One to guard the Tree of Life…

One to carry out The King’s Justice…

 

Till one day, born out of a selfish vanity…

Throne desired a progeny…

In defiance of The King, She laid down The Sword of Justice…

And took for her own, fruit from the Tree of Life…

 

The King was angered and of Abraxos demanded…

His Throne to be banished from the Choirs of Heaven…

He fashioned vessels and sent to Earth…

Laila and Calliel…

 

The Choir of Heaven erupted in discord…

At the loss of a voice, the melody changes forever…

Cut off from the Angel Song…

Laila could only watch as the War raged on…

 

Calliel grew away from the discord…

Ignorant of what she had never known…

Until her mother’s heart turned back to her purpose…

And The King sent Abraxos to bring her home…

 

I watched and cried as my mother and father let go of my hands. My mother slipped out of the body I’d always known and emerged clothed in a robe as thin and translucent as moonlight, that sparkled against her dark skin. Her blue black hair was short and crowned her head beautifully as she moved toward her Abe and he wrapped her first in his arms, then in his wings.

We love you daughter…

Your journey has just begun…

For there’s more to this story that you can possibly know…

Fear not, for the best is yet to come…

And just like that, they were gone. I woke to the sound of my mother’s heart monitor screaming. Seconds later the doctor and nurse burst into the room and pushed me to the side attempting to resuscitate my mother and I sat in the chair in the corner trying to understand what had just happened.   Was it a dream? Or had my dream finally come true?

By Marta C. Youngblood

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