"Look Daddy, 'Teacher says every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings'". Little Zuzu Bailey said it best. Or maybe it was young George Bailey, holding up two fingers, closing his eyes and wishing, "I wish I had a million dollars." Either way, "It's a Wonderful Life" was just about one of the finest films ever made.
A dear friend of mine, Julie Colwell, knows me all too well. A few years ago - well, at least 12 year ago, I was going through one of my notorious holiday depressions. During this particular pity party for one, I was missing my recently departed Daddy, who had succumbed to cancer in 1995. As far as I was concerned, life would never be the same since he was gone. He had a way of making everyone he came across feel as though they were one of the most important people in the world.
At any rate, back to Julie. Here I was, in a state of feeling sad, and walking out to the mail box to get the mail. There in my wagon wheel mailbox was a little package from my angel, Julie. A nicely wrapped gift, "It's A Wonderful Life", just in time for Christmas. The gift made all the difference in what might have been a really crappy holiday. Julie is just one in a million. Some years later, I would again open my mail box and find a real, genuine, personally autographed black & white still from the movie "Its A Wonderful Life", penned by little Zuzu Bailey, herself. I treasure that picture, almost as much as the movie, and Julie.
Not just during this time of year, but all the other 11 months, I feel blessed to have a CLARENCE. An angel who watches over me, cares about me, and loves me, depression, rants, Republicanism and all. Julie can pay a compliment to anyone. It doesn't matter what you have done, where you have been, who you may or may not have got into trouble with. Julie is there.
The same could be said about my best friend Kris. She comes through like a shining star when you least expect it. She can be gruff, stand-offish and somewhat aloof, but personally she hasn't fooled me. That tough outside shell just hides what is one helluva a great human being. Ssshh, I don't want her secret to get out. One year I was down in the dumps about some trivial thing - so trivial that at this very moment I can't even recollect what it was. At any rate, once again the post office delivered a little ray of sunshine. See's chocolates - Bordeaux chocolates to be exact. Kris knows me all too well. My favorite See's candies on a crummy day. Yet, another CLARENCE in my life.
Then you have people like George. George Bailey. What a great Hollywood creation. Jimmy Stewart was the perfect man for the great task of bringing George Bailey to life. Bedford Falls could be Anytown, USA. And any person such as a George could bring a no-name spot on a map to life with the belief that there are truly genuine, decent people in this world.
During this time of year, when people are spraying the competing shopper in the face with pepper spray, all over an XBox360, or someone crazy dame has gone completely overboard with the tinsel on her festivus pole, or someone has flocked their tree just a little TOO much, it's nice to know that there are still George Bailey's in the world, Bedford Falls can be where ever you call home, and out there in the great vastness of the heavens...
A bell is ringing, and another CLARENCE has earned their wings.