Thursday, December 9, 2010

Among Angels

As many of you know, my brother, Randy passed away On December 2nd. A week before he died, Randy was fishing and took a lovely picture of clouds with his cell phone. The photograph, however, captured a remarkable image: Angels in the sky! My heart likes to think that perhaps these heavenly hosts in the clouds had gathered to safely lead my brother home.
Angels were on my mind when I attended Jane Seymour’s book signing event at Barnes & Noble Oak Brook on December 5th. Over 200 people were lined up to greet Jane and purchase an autographed copy of her latest book, Among Angels (Guideposts, 2010). This lovely gift book features Jane’s beautiful paintings with inspiring quotes and stories about ministering angels and even everyday “angels” we encounter through our friends and family. This books makes a delightful hostess and holiday gift. A few remaining signed copies are available at Barnes & Noble Oak Brook.

Jane Seymour is a genuine and gracious soul. She gave me a hug from her heart when she learned about the death of my brother. Jane is one of those women who seem to have it all. She’s an actress, an artist, an author, a mother, a philanthropist, and even a jewelry designer. She was given much, and in return she gives so much to others. At age 40, Jane was nearly bankrupt when she attended a charity event to help abused children. With limited money remaining, she bid on painting lessons in the silent auction and won. The artist came to her home to teach her to paint with watercolors and noticed a finger painting that Jane had done with her children. He remarked that she had real talent. Painting became a healing process for Jane. Three of her paintings were even shown at The Guggenheim. I first met Jane in person at Wentworth Gallery Woodfield when I purchased a copy of her painting “Peace” which depicts two sisters dancing with a white billowy sheet on the beach. The young girls remind me of my own daughters, and the painting provides daily inspiration in my writing alcove. Jane has a unique gift to transform an empty canvas with the fullness of life, reflecting the intangible in the tangible, the inexplicable in the explicable, and complexity in its utmost simplicity.

Jane has a heart for charity and listened with interest when I told her about Pearl Girls and how the proceeds benefit a Safe House for Wings and build wells for school children in Uganda. She even signed my painting: “To Margaret McSweeney and her love of sisterhood.”  Proceeds from her painting also benefit charities. At the book signing, Jane announced the plans to establish Open Hearts Foundation, a non-profit which will help other charities. Her late mother would always tell her “If your heart is open, love will always find its way in.”  Jane has designed a successful Open Hearts jewelry line with Kay Jewelers.

Jane’s heart is also full of love for her family, and she is a proud mother. At the book signing, she promoted her teenage son, Johnny Keach who is in a band called PT5 which stands for Plead the Fifth. And of course Jane provides a link to a free music download on her website. The band has a great sound!  And as a mother, I will always treasure the moment when Jane spent several minutes with my youngest daughter, Katie to encourage her and provide advice about fashion design. Jane has such an open heart!  

One of my favorite quotes in Jane’s latest book, Among Angels is on page 91 in her book:
“Friends are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering to fly.”  
Thank you to all the “angels” in my life who have lifted me to my feet during the difficult times in my life. Who have the angels been in your life?  Leave a comment and you might win an autographed copy of Jane Seymour’s Among Angels.


  1. Jane Seymour continues to inspire!

    My aunt (grandmother's sister) died nearly 15 years ago. She never got to meet my husband or our children, but I named my oldest daughter after her. She and I were extremely close and was devastated when she died, but I continue to feel her guiding presence. I think of her as an angel and know she is watching over us with a smile on her face.

  2. An angel in my life is my first grandchild. She was born 14 weeks premature, and only lived for 8 days, but she taught us how precious life is. At 1 pound, 5 ounces, we could see the perfection of a child not-quite-ready to be born. Yet babies at this age are being "thrown away" every day in this country. Once you've seen a child like Korryn, you could never destroy a life. She's our tiny angel, waiting to greet us in Heaven.

  3. Hi Margaret,

    I'm a fan of Jane too. I love her philosophy of life and the way she share it.
    All my condolences for brother.
    Jane's book Open Heart helped me a lot two years ago when my beloved grandmother passed away. To have my heart opened's helped to let her go and to keep in my soul her love.
    Blessings from France

  4. Cecile - congrats! You won the copy of Jane's book. Please send your mailing address to my assistant Amy (



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