Angels present throughout year help us face challenges


Challenges of Living to Age 100

Angels have been part and parcel of our long lives. When we were a newborn, family and friends would refer to us as “that little angel.” As we grew and tested our new environment, the angel label might have given way to a “fallen angel” status. “He lost his wings.”

Whatever your religious or spiritual heritage, there are references to the good angel (our conscience) and the bad angel (the devil). Cartoons often showed each sitting on our shoulders as we decided right from wrong.

At Christmas time, displays in town squares, church yard Nativity scenes and creches show angels flying above the birthplace of Jesus.  Our Sunday school and church sermons often included the role of angels. Carols “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing,” and “Angels We have Heard on High” echoed the presence.

Holiday decorations most always include angels. Lots of Christmas trees have an angel on top. When we were young, it was an easy task to put the beauty on top. As we got older, the idea of climbing a chair or ladder to put her there has become a challenge. Church Christmas pageants always include angels. Remember your children and grandchildren playing that role.

As we moved into our teen years, that special girl in our life was “an angel.” As our love matured, that sweetheart was often referred to as “angel.” With mature love, comedian Henny Youngman commented: “My wife is an angel; she is always up in the air harping about something.” Always an angel!

When we have coped with medical challenges such as a heart attack, stroke or cancer, the doctors and nurses who brought us back to good health were labeled “angels.” In nursing homes, rehab centers, assisted living and hospice centers, the many caregivers are the angels who keep us going.

Holiday travel is much more pleasant with caring flight attendants, wheelchair crews and other caregivers at airports and bus stations. In our communities, there are many angels such as Volunteers in Motion who provide transportation to medical appointments. The Meals on Wheels crews are so often called “food angels.”

Whatever your beliefs, count your blessings for the giving, sharing, caring, joyous and special angels in your life. They are present throughout the year to help us face our daily challenges. SL


Ed Baranowski is president of Topics Unlimited, a Melbourne-based education, seminar and consulting company. He can be reached at