Luella Jane West was an angel. Oh, not the invisible, up in heaven, strumming a harp kind of angel. She was one of those angels you see down here. You know the kind, one of those everyday angels in street clothes. Oh, they may look just like you and me, skin and bones, shoes and hair. But there’s just something about them, the way they live, the love they show, that makes you certain they are hiding a pair of wings underneath that winter coat. That’s what kind of angel Luella was.
She was a mother of ten. That is not a typing error. She brought ten children into this world. Nine of them were boys, only one girl. That also is not a typing error. She and her husband raised all ten in a small house in Mason City, Iowa. She lost one son in Vietnam, and buried another son last year. One of the nine boys she raised became my dad. She outlived her husband by over twenty years. She outlived her own diagnosis from the doctors about nine years ago after suffering a stroke and a heart attack. She wasn’t done yet. And an angel doesn’t leave until she’s good and ready.
She must have been ready today, because my grandmother, Luella Jane West passed away New Year’s Day, 2009. She’s in heaven now, the only place truly fit for an angel. She’s with her husband who she outlived. She’s with her son, Jim, who she had to bury too soon. After 89 years, her journey has ended, and she’s finally home.
And it is with a heavy heart that I write these words to today. You see, I should have written that letter. Which letter? The one I started writing a few months ago. It had been on my mind to send my grandmother a letter and tell her how thankful I am for her example, and for her love. I never finished that letter, and now I regret it.
So, I hope to encourage you with this thought at the beginning of this a new year:
Write that letter.
Make that call.
Say you’re sorry.
Love your enemy.
Be about a cause bigger than yourself.
Have No Regrets
Don’t go through the motions.
Do these things, and you just might make people wonder if you’ve got a pair of wings hiding under your coat.
Have a blessed new year,