A God Wink: the story behind my Christmas tree topper

It’s Christmas day and the second Christmas I’ll be celebrating without my dear mother. I know it sounds cliche, but it’s true, the holidays are not the same without Constance “Connie” Gardner. My mom- the mother to six, a wife, a sister, a friend, a nurse- was a beautiful woman with an incredible heart. She was classy and sassy and loved life. Her presence energized you. She cooked like a chef, danced with grace, and walked like a queen. She was royal (cue Tarrus Riley).

We lost my lovely mother to the dreaded “C” word in February 2018. Her death was the greatest tragedy of my life, and it showed. I cannot pinpoint the exact moment or conversation, but I owe it to my sisters for leading me out of the fog of loss and into the light of remembering the meaning of Mom’s life. Remembering her joy and zest for living, the care that she had for all, and her love of all things luxurious is what made me change my trajectory. By the summer of 2018, I was once again ready to embrace the beauty and joy of life, hopeful to experience the world anew, with purpose.

By December 2018, I knocked a few items off my ever-growing bucket list. I set out to cross off another: purchasing a Christmas tree topper. That task seems pretty mundane, but I assure you it was everything but. 

I was looking for an angel topper to honor my mother, my angel. Nothing ordinary would do, after all, Mom was far from ordinary. I spent half a day perusing Etsy and came across the perfect item from The Divine Angel Shop. I snatched it up right quick! After my purchase, I received a message from the seller:

“Note from Connie

Thank you for your purchase. The Divine Angel Shop is here to serve your decorating, gift giving and collecting fancies. I work hard to produce a quality one of kind item and want you to know that I appreciate your business.

Be Blessed and Please Come Again!

You guessed it. I was floored and speechless once I read the seller’s name. Connie. It took me a day to respond because I was so emotional.

Dear Connie,

For years, I have been thinking about purchasing a tree topper, but was never inspired and was okay with my two girls making them all this time. This year, however, I was finally inspired. We lost my Mom in February, and in her memory, I decided to look for a black angel Christmas tree topper. I found your beautiful creation, and soon after purchasing it received a lovely message from you signed Connie. This was my Mom’s name. I don’t even know how to describe how seeing your name as a result of this purchase made my heart smile. Thank you!


Ms. Connie was swift to respond:

Camille. You are not going to believe this but I lost my only daughter in July of last year and her name was CAMILLE. I thinthis was a God wink! 😍”

I sat there, reading Ms. Connie’s last message over and over again. Unable to move, to breathe. Then because I am paranoid by nature, I did some research and found her story to be true. 

This Christmas tree angel is a God Wink. A reminder that my mom was still there for me. Like she always was. Telling me how proud she was of me. How happy she was for me. Always being my cheerleader. Never dictating how I lived my life, but always encouraging me to be true to myself, my dreams, my desires. I didn’t realize until then that I was waiting for Mom’s acknowledgment that these changes I was making in my life were on point. Acceptable in her book because they were true to my authentic self.

The Savvy Survivor dictates that if one must spend money, the item or experience better provide lasting value. Well folks, my Christmas tree angel topper was an investment that ended up having more value than I could have ever imagined. 

Merry Christmas!

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