Smiling at Angels

Written by Shenise Gatson

My two-old daughter smiles at angels.

She is my angel too. My earthly angel.

As we watched television together one evening, my daughter pointed into the air, towards the ceiling. “Look, mommy,” she said.

“What do you see, sweetheart?” I asked absentmindedly.

“Look, mommy,” she repeated. “Angel.”

I paused, heart pounding, “Where is the angel?”

Her beautiful dark brown eyes connected with mine, “Right there.”

Photo by Leigh Patrick on

I smiled, not knowing what she saw exactly. However, I felt comforted by whatever she saw. In my innermost being, I thought to myself that maybe she was seeing/feeling the comforting presence of my deceased relatives.

My grandmother. My mother. My father. My mother-in-law.

I believe she sees them often.

There are so many times I’ve caught her playing and talking to someone. Once, while I cooked dinner in the kitchen, I caught her playing and talking to the air.

“Sweetheart, “I said, confused. I walked over to her, “Who are you talking to?”

Again, she turned those innocent brown eyes to me, “Grandma,” she replied, matter-of-factly.  She then turned and asked, “Grandma, you wanna watch TV?”

I always ask, “Where is grandma?”

“Right there, “she responds, and always points to a specific location.

It’s the same way for my father, who she calls “Papa” and my husband’s mother, whom she calls “Mae Mae.” She often talks, points, and claims that she sees them.

Sometimes I get sad, thinking about how they didn’t live to see her grow up. My mom never met my daughter at all because she was born after my mother passed away.

Photo by Irina Iriser on

Yet, what’s amazing is how God brings things full circle.

I remember the day my husband and I shared the news of my pregnancy with my mother. She was pretty ill at that time and was being cared for in a nursing facility.  During that time, we wondered if she would even recall the information if we shared it with her. I looked at my husband, who nodded. He was signaling me to go ahead and tell her the news.

As soon as we made the announcement, my Mama smiled to heaven and said matter-of-factly that I was going to have a girl.

Heart pounding and in shock, we looked at each other.

“What did you say, Mama?” I asked slowly.

But she didn’t repeat herself.  She said it once, and it was true.

The day of my ultrasound, the tech confirmed that we were having a little girl. Tears in my eyes, I looked up to heaven, thinking how in the world did my mama know that I would be having a little girl?

Photo by on

Fast forward to today.

There is a lot going on this week.

This week is not new.

I am not new to this feeling of remembrance.

This is the week all of my memories come flooding back. Coming at me full force.

My family will celebrate the new with the old.

This week we will celebrate my niece’s birthday. A time of smiles, laughter, and fun.

My mother’s birthday immediately follows, at the latter part of this week.  Although Mama is no longer with us, I know she is with us.

And my father. The anniversary of his passing is this week too.

Photo by PhotoMIX Ltd. on

So we celebrate the old with the new.

Sometimes I smile.

Then I cry.

Then I smile.

Because my daughter sees these angels.

And she talks with them, reminding me that they may have left their earthly vessels. But their spirit lives on.

Nana. Mama. Daddy. Mae Mae.

You are missed.

You are loved.

You are remembered.

Thank you for meeting my innocent baby girl. Thank you for visiting us.

We will keep smiling at you.

For you.

With you.

Photo by Pixabay on

Copyright @ 2019 Shenise Gatson

Photos provided by Pexels.

4 thoughts on “Smiling at Angels

  1. Tia P says:

    This is so beautiful, sis.God has such a powerful way of using our children to remind us of his care and love in the moments where we need it most.


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