At the evening of life, we shall be judged on love.
~ St. John of the Cross
A few months after losing my daughter someone anonymously sent me this little story. I treasure it and think about it often especially when a sadness threatens to take over. It works almost every time. Funny how a small act can affect someone profoundly. I wonder if anonymous knows what a soothing balm he or she provided. So to anonymous, whoever you are, thank you. It inspires me to do something small like this as often as I can.
The Sad Little Angel
Once upon a time there was a mother whose only child died. She cried for it unceasingly. Once she was out in the field and crying again. Suddenly she saw an entire band of lovely angels flying above her, all of them young and beautiful, all of them happy and cheerful. Then the mother thought, "Oh, if only my child were also such a little angel!" And she looked to see if she could find her child in the band. But she could not see it.
Then from behind there came a little angel. It was very sad and was carrying a heavy black jug in its little hands. It was the mother's child.
The mother asked, "My child, why are you not with the happy little angels?"
"Mother," it said, "as long as you are crying I must collect your tears and cannot be happy like the others."
From that hour forth the mother cried no more.