I have always been in love with fairies, a small imaginary being in the form of a woman with magical powers. In human form, I know of one fairy… my mother. She guarded and protected me and taught me my values. Her personality, her mindset, is etched within me for eternity. At age 96, I fear the end may be near. She was released from the hospital just a few days ago. She had pneumonia.

Last night we talked. She pointed to a small white fairy who holds a sign that reads: “Mothers are like angels on earth!” I remember the day, years ago, I excitedly gave it to her and watched as she hung it on a hinge on her television cabinet where it has fluttered suspended in space all these years. She told me it was her favorite gift from me.

During the course of our conversation I told my mother I was leaving for our home in California within the next few days, but would travel back to Chicago, monthly, to visit.

I said to her as I say each year, “Mom, you have to wait for me.”

In the past she has always responded, “I will wait.”

Last night she said, “I will try but cannot promise.”

My heart sank as tears welled up in my eyes and I said again, “Mom, you have to wait for me.”

Her eyes caught sight of the little white fairy and she said, “Hopefully the power of my magical fairy and the red string you tied around my wrist will guard and protect me.” She smiled. Her smile gave me strength.

But we both knew.

She then changed the subject and inquired about my day.

I told her I connected with two women strangers because of my love of fairies and began to tell her the story…

Fairies at the hospital

My husband had a doctor’s appointment. We walked up to the information booth to ask the floor.

I said to the woman behind the counter, “I love the fairy you are wearing on your lapel. She is beautiful.” The fairy was made of silver and designed to appear flying.

She was taken aback and replied, “I wear it every day and you are the first person to ever make a comment. Thank you.” I smiled, said good bye and we walked away to the elevator bank.

After the doctor examined my husband, he wanted him to take a test. He said, “You will have to take it in California because I am sure you will not get an appointment in the next three days.” I did not like what I heard so when we left I told my husband I was going to try and arrange for him to take the test. You know my saying, darlings: If you do not try, you will never know.

There were several cubicles with women sitting behind desks. I sat down at one. The young woman behind the desk was from India and I would guess in her 40s. She had a beautiful engaging smile and was wearing a fairy. I couldn’t believe it and said, “I love your fairy. You are the second woman today that I have seen wearing a fairy.”

She replied, “I have worn this fairy every day for four years because I had surgery three times for brain cancer.”

I looked at her and said, “I understand how you feel. I had two surgeries for lung cancer and surgery for a melanoma. “

With that our outstretched hands reached for one another across her desk and with our hands entwined and tears ran down our cheeks she said, “Thank you so much for understanding.”

We talked about her for a while; my husband got an appointment and then I showed her my red string and said, “I wear my red Kabbalah string to guard and protect me. May I come back and tie a red string around your wrist to guard and protect you?”

“You would do that for me? Oh, yes, I would be ever so grateful,” she replied with a huge smile.

“I would be happy too,” I said, smiling back.

We both got up from our chairs, reached over her desk and hugged one another and said our good byes, until my return.

As I walked away I felt empowered and grateful for the capacity to be able to connect and feel for others; even a complete stranger. Darlings, the experience with this young woman was one of my most enriching experiences.

My mother loved my story and told me there were not enough words in the dictionary to describe how much she loved me.

I am not a very happy camper leaving my mother for California. As I left her apartment, I remembered one of her lessons: “Your husband always comes first.” I saw flashbacks of my mother and father’s love affair. They always put one another first.

It is interesting the effect that fairies have on me. I am not going to question why. My answer is…just because.