Wednesday, August 06, 2008

ANGIE LONG: 19xx - 2008

**From the very day in 1967 that Betty and I arrived to live in Juneau, AK, we were loved, cherished, mentored, supported, encouraged, and fed - often - by Angie Long and her champion Maurice. Almost everything I know about hospitality I learned or saw confirmed in the character, good works, and home life of this precious Christian Woman of God. And now, following some difficult years of health and frailty, this special Saint has finished with this world and is a part of the life and promises to come for God's elect.
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**I don't have a digital image of Angie, and the photo shown is a picture of a picture, but it was taken after a wonderful visit as we were saying our good-byes on that day. As we stood at the door, not yet really ready to part company, Angie somewhat lightly remarked that we might not meet again in this life, but we did share a hope in being in heaven together someday. Oh, Angie! How many times I have recalled that comment as I have heard in times since of your struggles with health and disability. Oh, how I have clung for you to the promise found in that reminder everytime you have come to mind. Oh, how your smile and twinkling eyes will be missed here until we do meet again.

**Maurice and Angie became much like "parents" to us in those early years. We were still virtually newlywed, although we had a two-year-old who was really our best connection to Angie. By example, and advice, and soft comments in classes or general conversations, this couple showed what power there is in gentleness when combined with Godly wisdom. They were a wonderful demonstration of a Christian marriage built on mutual respect and love. Each was skilled at enabling the other to succeed and excel in every good deed or benevolent act. In fact, as a struggling young husband, I learned as much from the Longs as from my wife and a lot more than I learned in my entire upbringing. I believe the only time I ever felt like I had been "adopted" was under their care and guidance in the late 1960s, and it felt good. As two more kids came along for us, they also, in the same beautiful way, belonged to Angie and Maurice.

**There will be a host of tales, and remembrances, and honors about Angie (and Maurice) which will be shared in coming days in scores of spoken, written, and on-line tributes as we mark her passing and as we reflect on the blessings both have been to the rest of us. These comments will be full of great stories, good lessons, pertinant examples, humorous experiences, spiritual guidance, and plenty of "How-To"s about Christian Love in service to others. A wealth of family-building lore like this should be saved and shared. I strongly hope that someone will collect and compile these memories in a form (website?) the rest of us can access, so that "her story" becomes treasured "History" for it will be full of value and instruction to us, to our children, and to our children's children. What a gold-mine of beautiful memories she has created and left to us. Let's fill our poke with them and keep then nearby to display to others.

**And Angie, Thanks for the precious and personal Christian Memories you made just for me and for my family!!


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