My honorary Godmother, who I called “Auntie”, was also a big fan of this book and we had many, ongoing conversations about angels (she had a cousin who’d been visited by one and this was a source of endless fascination, and questions, for me).
At about the same time as this book was published I was just learning how to carve wax. My first piece, a grapevine ring, turned out incredibly well, so I decided that my next project would be something involving an angel’s wing for Auntie.
I, very proudly, presented the wax version of the ring I’d just made for her, to make sure that the size was correct before casting. And I’m really glad I did, given what followed:“Oh, Darling that’s wonderful! Thank you! [Long, long, perplexed pause] What is it?”
I said, “Auntie! It’s a wing- an angel’s wing! See?” as I pointed out the details.
So, the angel’s wing was scrapped and I made her a garland of flowers instead. But I’d always planned on eventually making her a piece of jewelry with a wing.
Auntie had battled cancer twice over the years before it came back last year. I was standing in her bedroom this January and thought, “I need to make the angel piece for her now!”
I created an oval pendant with a single wing on the front and my favorite mantra “Aham Prema” on the back. Translated from Sanskrit this means, “I am Divine love” and is said to help us connect with, and realize, our highest potential for love . I also made the surface on which the mantra is carved concave to fit the thumb and provide a tactile, calming quality.
My plan had been to give Auntie the original pendant the next time I saw her, but, sadly, this wasn’t to be. She left this world on February 15th – the day I was supposed to visit her and give her this necklace.
I’d worried that, given the circumstances, this pendant would have an aura of sadness around it, but this hasn’t been the case at all. Quite the opposite, actually. New York City can be a very hectic, anxiety-ridden place at times and I’ve found that when the stress has started to get to me, I place my thumb on the back of the pendant, take a few breaths and calm down. It’s been reported back to me by others who wear this pendant that they’ve experienced the same thing: there is a great serenity surrounding this piece.
I am shamelessly promoting this necklace, simply because it has the potential to do so much good: $70 from the sale of each sterling version of the angel’s wing pendant will be donated to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and $65 from the sale of the pink-silver version will be donated to the Breast Cancer Research Fund. I’m not affiliated with either of these organizations, but I want to help their work in any way I can.