My aunt made a wise observation about the broken Angel of Hope: "She will look just fine glued together. It will just show that she has character and will make one little boy remember."
What a great commentary on life that statement is! It does, after all, take the experiences of life to break our pride, build our character, and cause us to remember.
Remember the wonderful story of the Velveteen Rabbit.
"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."
"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.
"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."
"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"
"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."
As my friend reminded me when she gave me the gift, the Angel of Hope symbolizes the mission of "sharing the light of hope and courage". And I cannot do that unless I am broken and worn off enough to be "real".
So here is the Angel of Hope today, new and improved, because she symbolizes sharing not only the light of hope and courage, but also the remembrance of fear and despair. And out of that remembrance will come the compassion that will make her real.