I am still amazed - truly, purely, utterly amazed - at the things my two-year-old daughter says and imagines and comprehends. Watching her watch the world and learn from it holds tight to my fascination. To say it simply, she keeps me in awe.

Georgia said something the other day that stopped. me. in. my. tracks. I still cannot fully grasp or explain it. First, perhaps a little background.

Since my mother died two years, two months and six days ago, God and I have not been on the best of terms. We argue, we stop talking to each other, we pray, we yell, we curse, we apologize - OK, it's actually pretty one-sided and not going both ways at all... but you get the picture. Part of it is a deep-seated, fire-breathing anger, but part of it is the lack of "her." I don't "feel" my mother anymore. I don't "sense" my mother. I don't "see" my mother. I keep telling myself if there really was a God and there really was a heaven - why can't I sense my mother from time to time? Where is she?

Now I know there is this discussion we could go into about God and faith and believing - it's a conversation that could and already does fills books and church sermons and lectures and... I'm not getting into that here. We each have our own beliefs and our own level of beliefs, and I still say to each their own - you believe what you want to believe. These days I find myself sometimes envying those with unwavering faith. I once thought I had that - but loosing my mother and the continued lack of ANY hint of her presence, well that has shaken my faith with hurricane-force winds.

But that's enough background for what I started to tell you. In the days before we bought our Christmas tree, Georgia and I were discussing all aspects of said tree. We talked about ornaments and how we would hang them from the branches. We talked about the colorful lights and how they would twinkle and blink. And then we talked about the top of the tree.

I asked her if she knew what we would put on the top of the tree. She answered, "a star?" I told her no, we had an angel. We had never talked about our tree-topping angel before, hence the need for the explanation.

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Then, and I still don't know why, I asked her if she knew who gave us this angel. Without blinking, without hesitation, she answered, "Oma." It felt as though every molecule in my body froze.

Georgia and I don't talk about Oma (my mother) very much. She knows of her and there is a picture in Georgia's room, but I certainly don't go out of my way every day to make sure Georgia knows exactly who my mother was. That will come in time and with maturity. And that is why Georgia's answer shook me, I don't know where it came from.

Why the angel (my mother loved angels) and why this angel? It was the closest I've come to sensing my mother since she took her last breath. This moment with Georgia took MY breath away.

And if you're wondering, yes, it was my mother who gave me the angel. She gave me an angel to top my Christmas tree like an angel had topped hers in all the years I can remember.

An angel, my angel - and that night, for a while, God and I were on speaking terms again.

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