I was 21 when I first met Angela. Her very friendly, bubbly, outgoing nature impressed me right away as she showed me to my bedroom and showed me how to use the shower, bidet (the first one I’d ever seen!), and then ran off to get me another type of shampoo. She made me feel like she was truly happy that I had come.
Over the years that I knew her she was almost always cheery; even if she was in a low slump herself she would always put a smile on her face to greet you. She was affectionate, warm, natural, and made everyone feel at ease. She really had the joy of the Lord and lived to help others and make others happy. She thought of others before she thought of herself.
She was one of the most giving and unselfish people I have met in my life. She was constantly giving to others, putting a chocolate on my bed, offering me mascara or eyeliner that she’d bought but that ended up not working for her, and on the list goes. She gave to others not because she wanted anything from them, but just because that’s the way she was. She loved to give. She loved to see other people happy. I must have hundreds of encouraging, uplifting e-mails from Angela. That’s just the way she was.
The last time I saw Angela was in September of 2004 after a series of meetings. Five or six of us had gotten together late one evening for a glass of wine in Angela’s bedroom. Most of us were parting ways the following morning, so this was our “goodbye” fellowship. By the time Angela arrived we were short on chairs. I offered Angela mine, but after a few attempts she insisted on sitting on the floor—she said that was the perfect spot and that she was comfortable. She pulled out a bar of gourmet chocolate that someone had given her and insisted that we all share it with her. We did, and enjoyed happy conversation and many laughs together that evening. As always, Angela brightened up the evening in so many ways. Her sparkling eyes, her lilting laugh, her animated storytelling, her complete honesty without pretense. Finally it got late. Some in our group had very early morning flights, so our fun came to a close. In parting, Angela hugged and kissed each one of us. She said something to me about how it was a privilege to see me again, she felt it was so special and it made her so happy. I didn’t really understand what she meant, but I felt touched nonetheless.
Looking back now, I guess Angela knew all along the importance of making every moment count, of living every second in love, and giving to others in such a way that every moment of her life was meaningful and brought happiness to others. My last moments with Angela will always serve as a remembrance to me of the way she was every day of her life. She lived her life in love and giving. She never missed an opportunity to bring cheer to another. She told people about Jesus whenever she had the chance.
I can only smile when I think of Jesus repaying Angela 100-fold for all the love she gave, for all the sacrifices she made, for all the joy she shared, and for all those she introduced to our Savior. Angela made a world of difference on this Earth. She was part-angel. She’s now returned to her Heavenly home where I’m positive she will reap, for eternity, dividends of love and happiness immeasurable.