Monday, November 2, 2009

An Angel in Your Life Contest

Some have asked how I came up with the idea for my story, An Angel on Main Street. As I've mentioned in previous blogs, when I was a little girl my mother suffered a heart attack and almost died, so I know how fearful having someone you love become critically ill can be to a child. This is why I have the character, Annie, in my book suffering with heart trouble due to rheumatic fever. When Mom had her attack we lived in an apartment above my father's store on Main Street in Rigby, Idaho. Many times, when I was fearful for my mother, I would gaze down on the street watching the cars and people below. It's no coincidence that I have the characters in my book looking down on their fictional street, for I know how they felt as they worried about life and death situations. Also as I've mentioned before, my dad worked part-time as a police officer. Sheriff Anderson in my book was modeled very closely to my father and the other officers in our small town. These events and people played a strong role as wrote my book.

But...what about the angel?

Well, there have been many angels in my life. Really! Okay, I'm speaking metaphorically. I believe people can be angels in our lives sent to us at a time when we need them most. Our challenge is to recognize them as such. Let me explain...

Many years ago when my children were teenagers we had an angel come into our lives. I was having a difficult time feeling as though I was part of the ward in my church. Several things had happened and I felt disassociated with most everyone: our ward had been split, which meant many of my close friends were in a different ward; my children were going through their rough and rebellious teenage years; and going to church was a struggle. Still we went hardly speaking to anyone. One Sunday everything changed.

An older couple moved into our ward: Ken and Ruth. I remember hearing Ken's voice before I saw him. He said to his wife, "Look Mother, heavenly angels are sitting before us." Immediately, I wondered what kind of nutcase had sat down behind us. I turned around and there was Ken with a big smile on his Santa-like face (without the beard and mustache). A light shone in his eyes, and I knew he meant what he'd said as a compliment. My husband, son and daughters turned around also. At first I believe they, too, wondered what planet this guy had fallen from, but something magical happened. Smiles came to our faces. That was the beginning of a long friendship for our entire family. Ken and Ruth made us look forward to going to church. They made us feel valued at a time when my entire family needed friends. In fact, they became our guardian angels.

Ken asked my husband to serve with him in the High Priest Group Leadership. When my oldest daughter, Kristina, got married, Ken and Ruth were there. When my youngest daughter, Tricia, served her mission, Ken sent her letters. Many times he sought out my son and asked how he was doing. As the years went by Ken and Ruth moved from our ward, but they stayed in touch. When Ruth died, I watched as this humble man greeted others with genuine concern about them always deflecting their concern over him.

A little over a month before Ken died, he called and spoke with everyone in my family. It was November, before Thanksgiving. He never told us he was ill, but wanted to know what was going on with us. A week later we received an early Christmas card from him. Still we had no clue that we would never hear from him again. A day or so after Christmas my husband was reading the paper and suddenly gasped. He showed me Ken's obituary. A sadness befell our home. Ken had died on Christmas day surrounded by his loving family. Christmas was Ken's favorite holiday. He was a man with a very strong testimony of Christ. I firmly believe that God sends people into our lives when no one else can help us and when we need them most. Ken was an angel in my family's life.

As I planned for the release of my book, An Angel on Main Street, I became reflective about the angels in my life. And I knew that if I felt as though many of the people in my life were angels, so did others. That is why I'm holding a contest...An Angel in Your Life Contest. It started October 15, 2009 and runs until December 15, 2009. All you need to do to enter is write down an experience when someone was an angel in your life and email it to me ( The winner will be announced on my website and here my blog December 16th. The winner and the angel in his/her life will each receive a $25. gift certificate from either Seagull Book or Deseret Book Stores.

So, do you have an angel in your life?

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