An Angel

124457359We had a window in our bedroom but no curtains and Dad said that was so we could watch the moon and the stars at night and dream of Heaven.  I liked to dream of Heaven but mostly I dreamed about the thing in the corner of the dark cellar and the horror of the people who knocked inside my bedroom wall, always waiting for someone to die.

My sister dreamed about the baby Jesus because she held him when she was Mary in the Nativity Play. They put a blue scarf around her head and she looked so much like Mary that we all wanted to touch her. Some of the other girls cried to be so close to the Holy Mother, even though it was really my sister.

I wanted to be Joseph or a lamb but I had to be Wee Willy Winky with a candle to light you to bed.  Our school teacher put me in a man’s shirt for a nightshirt and it was obviously a very stupid thing to do because I was only six years old and it was far too long. So it was no surprise when I tripped on it and fell off the stage into the audience.  And it was a real candle with a real flame. I was not badly burned, mostly because I fell on the flame and the shirt smothered it.

“And that is why you must never, ever play with matches and candles,” our teacher said.

Dad told us that if we stared long enough at the night sky, we might see an angel. And that angel might come down and bless us and that would be the most wondrous thing we will ever know because an angel is a messenger of God.

So I stared and stared at that dark night sky. And one night, I saw an angel. I knew it had to be an angel because Daddy said they shine with the most beautiful Heavenly light and you will feel warm inside, warm like a cup of hot chocolate in your tummy. It was a light like I had never seen before and I felt the wonderful warmth.

And in the morning, when I told my Mum that I had seen an angel she laughed. She said next time I should make a wish and maybe I should wish for my Dad to come home because he had been missing for three days. So I wished.

My big sister flicked my ear and said it wasn’t a real angel, it was just a star. And she said anyway, wishes never come true. But I still wished. And I knew that no one could take away that feeling of seeing an angel.

So I wished and wished for my Daddy to come home. He never did. But I had seen an angel and the warmth of the angel was still inside me.

And I knew it would stay forever.


  1. I am glad to read that your father bequeathed you something positive and it seems he really did here. I want to know more, of course, and am awaiting your book. Too bad your mother nearly squashed maybe the only hope you had. But it was indestructible and if I were to guess, I might think seeing the angel was the way out of the horrid childhood you suffered and was the propellant to making a new life full of love.

    • Hello Ellen! Always wonderful to receive your feedback. I have a new post for Sunday and it will be a difficult though honest read. I wish you happiness for Christmas and the New Year. All the best, John

      • Will look forward to the new post. Good luck with it. And best wishes to you and your family for a very Merry Christmas and blessings for the New Year!
        P.S. Hope your book comes out next year!

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