There are times in life where you are forced to remember someone, and sometimes we have a tendency to romanticize those memories.
This is not one of those times.
Angela was one of my coworkers, and as I sit down to even attempt to describe her, I find it to be a task proving nearly impossible. With an infectious smile and laugh, you couldn’t be anywhere near Angela without smiling. We always knew when Angela was here, because the general feeling of the office was…different. Lighter. Happier. Easier. Her eyes had a genuine sparkle in them; a sparkle that danced when she spoke of her two sons. She was in love with motherhood and her children; it was a role that she fit into perfectly. She was there for every doctor’s appointment, field trip, Boy Scout meeting (which she was a Leader of). Angela was full of grace and radiated happiness and pride. Even when things were bad, she never let it affect how she treated people; even looking at her, you would never know that she was going through hard times that would make any other person want to throw in the towel.
Angela never did. In fact, on Wednesday, she said she had never been happier.
In the beginning hours of Thanksgiving morning, the world lost another light.
It’s hard to understand how something so violent can happen to someone so wonderful, so I don’t even attempt to try to understand. To be quite honest, I’m not sure I want to live in a world where I could even begin to understand something like this. These are times that faith has to carry us through, as we cling to the knowledge that while God doesn’t cause or create sin in order to bring about a greater good, He can create beauty out of tragedy.
Angela leaves behind two young sons, who have a seemingly insurmountable hill in front of them.
On the day of her funeral, the weather was unseasonably warm and sunny. I found a peace in that; a peace that can only come from God. The next day, they buried the man who took her life, and again it was unseasonably warm and sunny. While there’s no way to adequately convey the kind of person Angela was, this was a reminder. I felt another peace around me; one that reminded me that Angela so loved her boys that she would want a warm sunny day as they buried their father as well.
Jesus says in John 16:22 “So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.”
While we mourn Angela’s passing, we must cling to the belief that never again will anyone ever be able to take away her joy. There’s comfort in that promise.
We find comfort and hope in the people that have come forward to help in any way that they can. The hundreds that attended her services. The donation page that has been set up for her boys, who are now living with her sister and brother-in-law as they attempt to piece their lives back together. As we go into this holiday season, please keep Angela’s family in your thoughts and prayers. If you have the ability to give a donation, every penny counts; it can be one of your Random Acts of Kindness this year.
What the family needs most right now is prayer; prayer for God to comfort them and hold them close, prayer that they feel His comfort and presence now and always.
Most merciful God, whose wisdom is beyond our understanding, surround Angela’s family and friends with your love, that they may not be overwhelmed by their loss, but have confidence in your goodness and strength to meet the days to come.