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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Love (04/27/06)

TITLE: Iron Angel
By April Bailey
04/28/06


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Until I became a teenager, my grandmother was the only Christian I knew whose faith was reflected in her life. She spent her days reading the Bible and singing soft hymns, while modeling modesty, gentleness and patience.

My mother called her “Iron Angel” because she did not question who she was in the Lord — an arched-backed warrior for Jesus. She would ask the homeless to recite scripture before she gave them money and her eyes could pierce a soul. Once, while we were crossing the street at night, a group of hoodlum boys jumped out of a car and rushed toward us. Not knowing their intent, I stepped behind my then 70-year-old gramma. I knew she would take care of them — with love and without fear. She did.

I cannot recall a complaint ever crossing her lips. Through sneezes and coughs, she’d never confess to having a cold. The eternal soldier marched on. Shopping still brought a glint to her eyes and annual sprees downtown with Mom and me didn’t tire her. Year after year, she would simply sit and rest a little more frequently.

She intentionally put on pounds, “a little insulation,” in winter and stretched each morning to loosen the joints. The Iron Angel fought on. A quarter Choctaw, Gramma’s long black hair grayed as her steps slowed. But she kept smiling, even when she couldn’t maintain her winter weight.

When the diagnosis was cancer, she kept it quiet until the secret could no longer be concealed. Near the end, I visited her in the nursing home. It was January.

Small and frail, she lifted her head. Absent was the spark. Gone was the glint. She spoke but a few words. “I am wore out. I am wore out.” Iron Angel no more.

A life well served. God took her home on Valentine’s Day—the ultimate romantic act from the Author of love.


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This article has been read 676 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Debbie OConnor05/05/06
I like this picture of your iron angel of a grandmother. Well done. I would love to read the details on how she overcame the hoodlums with love. Beautiful! I've got some Choctaw in me, too.
Lynda Schultz 05/05/06
Beautiful. Short, but very sweet. Well done.
Sherry Wendling05/06/06
The title drew me right in, and your story did not disappoint! I, too, would dearly like to know how she handled the hoods...Thanks, great piece!
Virginia Gorg05/08/06
Very well done! A keeper.
dub W05/08/06
Nice and tight, well done.
Dr. Sharon Schuetz05/09/06
Good job. I especially like the phrase, "Gramma’s long black hair grayed as her steps slowed."
Rachel Rudd05/09/06
I liked this description of a Christian warrior in the faith. Very sweet. I join with the other two comments about the curiosity to know how she dealt with the hoodlums.
Phyllis Inniss 05/11/06
What a beautiful tribute to your grandmother. Her life has certainly been a blessing and an inspiration to you and your mother. There is so much pride in your writing of her. So very well done.