Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Love (04/27/06)
TITLE: Iron Angel
By April Bailey
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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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