Voice of an angel

Susan Flanagan
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A familiar tune in an unexpected place creates a magical memory

— Illustration

This past May I heard an angel sing. It was in Caplin Cove, a suburb of Hant’s Harbour, Trinity Bay. I had been lying in bed in our unfinished cabin relaxed after successfully settling two preschool boys. I had almost surrendered to the sandman myself when my husband arrived back from a walk in the harbour and said I should accompany him up the road to a neighbour’s house in Caplin Cove where a time was happening. It was dusk and definitely cool. I pulled on a couple of shirts over my pyjamas and a coat, hat and mitts, and with one last glance back at army-style sleeping arrangements I headed out into the fresh sea air leaving the two preschoolers in the care of a townie guest visiting our Shangri-La.

I wasn’t aware there was an angel present when I first entered the candle-lit saltbox near the back of the cove. Because he had no wings, nor a halo; I had no idea that we were in the presence of a celestial being. It wasn’t until his mother asked him to sing for his dessert and he stood in front of the wood-burning stove that I knew. I knew for certain that an angel was among us.

No sooner had the first words escaped his lips as he stood rim-rod straight before us that every inch of skin was goose bumped and I had to start stripping off the layers that covered my pyjamas. It was his profoundly moving voice that gave it away. A voice that carried me to a place I don’t often reach. A voice that there, in the hundred-year-old house, singing a cappella in the flickering light of the candles, assured me that life was good and I was privileged to be living it.

The angel has a name — Edward. The song he sang was “In My Life,” written by John Lennon. I have never paid much attention to this song of its lyrics. Until Edward sang:

There are places I’ll remember

All my life, though some have changed

Some forever, not for better

Some have gone and some remain

All these places have their moments

With lovers and friends I still can recall

Some are dead and some are living

In my life, I’ve loved them all

Edward sang the lyrics infinitely more beautifully than Lennon. He even sang the instrumental links.

Everyone from Crosby, Stills and Nash, Johnny Cash and Ozzy Osbourne have covered this song. But none ever sang it as beautifully as Edward, the angel, in the candle-lit house in Caplin Cove, Trinity Bay.

“That’ll stay with me for a long time,” said my husband as we navigated our way back to our shell of a cabin down in the harbour.

I didn’t have to reply. I just held his hand and breathed in the stars until the rays of the light in the bay guided us home.

But of all these friends and lovers

There is no one compares with you

And these memories lose their meaning

When I think of love as something new

Though I know I’ll never lose affection

For people and things that went before

I know I’ll often stop and think about them

In my life, I love you more

Though I know I’ll never lose affection

For people and things that went before

I know I’ll often stop and think about them

In my life, I love you more

In my life— I love you more

Susan can be reached at susan@48degrees.ca

Bobble-head moose feedback:


Bruce writes: “This is a wonderful story, both on your part for giving that lady your moose and for Newfoundlanders & Labradorians in general. It just goes to show that we are the best, friendliest and most generous people in Canada. That kindness and friendliness is, no doubt, a good part of why we are seeing more and more out-of-province license plates here every year. I was on the Northern Peninsula and in Labrador myself last week. While there I didn’t have any experiences like yours but I spoke to several people from outside the province (as far west as Winnipeg) and each one of them said they just loved the province and, more importantly, the people.

Thank you for keeping our reputation very much alive.

Proud Newfoundlander & Labradorian”


Lorin Everson Halfyard writes: “I just read your article, The Bobble-Head Moose in the Evening Telegram and my mom insisted that I send you a little note to reiterate how grateful she was for you giving her that moose. Her name is Kay (Everson) Fromm and she is originally from Flatrock, NL. She now lives here in Halifax, Nova Scotia to be closer to her only grandchild. She was home visiting family – and had been out with her sister, Maureen, on that day she saw your moose.

She was truly flabbergasted when you offered her the moose and so incredibly touched by your simple act of kindness. When she arrived back in Nova Scotia and presented Jakob with his moose and told us the story that accompanied it, she said ‘only in Newfoundland will you find people like that’! You really did make her day — and her trip home. I hope you were able to find another moose (of the bobble-head variety!)

Many thanks for your contribution to making my mother’s trip back home so memorable!”


Sadie writes: “Beautiful story. I'm sure u made her day.”

Geographic location: Caplin Cove, Trinity Bay, Hant Newfoundland Nova Scotia Canada Northern Peninsula Winnipeg Flatrock Halifax

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Recent comments

  • Nessie
    August 21, 2012 - 08:02

    When will it be possible to see Edward at an Arts and Culture Center near each and everyone of us? By the way what is Edward's last name, with a voice like you described he needs to have recognition immediately. Susan I am looking forward to having the experience you have encountered with Edward. I know there is incredible talent in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador and when it is discovered it, indeed, needs to be identified immediately just like you have done here. Thanks Susan!