Woodturning: Angel Ornaments

When my girlfriend was pregnant with my son about nine years ago, the clinic announced to us on December 23rd at 16:00 that our baby had trisomy 14, a very rare condition that would either mean that he would die the instant he was born or else that his life expectancy would be a maximum of 5 years or so.

As you will understand, this was the end of our Christmas holidays. And perhaps to find a refuge from my own thoughts, I kept working in the workshop, preparing my traditional series of Christmas ornaments. The design was so obvious to me at the time. I started making angels. I made them all hollow and turned a small plug / base so people who wished to do so could write a message and insert it into what I started calling my “messengers.” The first pair of those I offered to my girlfriend, of course.

Further to much testing, we were told about a month later that all of this had just been a mistake. Our son is healthy, for which we are both extremely grateful. Now, whenever I look at my messengers, I remember the pain we felt back then, but I also smile at the great gift of life that he received.


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