Saturday, August 25, 2012
My Angel Has Gone to Heaven
By Stan Wilson, Editor of Southwest Kansas Faith and Family
Special to ASSIST News Service
DODGE CITY, KANSAS (ANS) -- It was with teary eyes that I informed readers of my newspaper, Southwest Kansas Faith and Family, and especially Linda’s many friends, that my lovely bride and co-publisher of Faith and Family now dwells with our Lord and Savior in heaven.
I brought Linda back to our home August 10 where she was able to smile and acknowledge her visitors until about 11 a.m. Saturday. At 6:15 p.m. on Saturday, August 11, Linda made the short trip to heaven.
There is no question that God put Linda in my life 17 years ago. I thank God for those 17 wonderful years, and especially for the last 5 years when we worked together to publish Southwest Kansas Faith and Family. I am also grateful that she died quickly and did not suffer.
Linda and I were as different as night and day, but we meshed together perfectly. Her likes and strengths offset my weaknesses and dislikes and I was given talents in areas where Linda was lacking.
When you look at our meeting and the events of our lives together, there are just too many “coincidences” for them to have been coincidences. Our relationship started in Atchison where I was publisher of the Atchison Daily Globe and she was an advertising representative for one of my competitors, KNZA radio station. One of my sales people played matchmaker and we had our first date the Friday after Valentine’s Day in 1995. On our first date, we were taking a walk and with all of my romantic skills, I asked if I could hold her hand. Her reply was, “I guess.” Thus the Beatles song “I want to hold your hand” by John Lennon and Paul McCartney has always been special for us.
I initially hired Linda to sell advertising for the newspaper and we worked together until the Atchison newspaper was sold and we were both terminated by the new owners.
We moved to Dodge City in January 2000 where I was advertising manager for the Dodge City Daily Globe and Linda obtained employment with the Dodge City Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. I left the Globe in early 2001 to accept the advertising manager’s position with the Derby Reporter. I told Linda that I didn’t know why, but “something” told me to take that job. She Ok’d the change, but she elected to stay in Dodge City until I found out why I felt so strongly that I should take that job.
Shortly after moving to Derby, I stumbled across the Wichita Chronicle, a Christian newspaper serving the Wichita area. The lights started going off in my head and I returned to Dodge City to start Faith and Family. (Do you think that “something” that told me to move to Derby was God?. I know it was.) The premier issue was November, 2001.
The purpose of our moving to Dodge City came to a head when Linda left her job at the CVB to join me in publishing Faith and Family in January 2007. I was serving about 20 towns with a distribution of about 5,500 at the time. Linda always loved small towns, so she started “expanding my territory” by visiting with churches, businesses and community organizations in the surrounding towns and, thanks to Linda, Faith and Family now serves 53 towns with 309 churches and over 600 secular outlets with a distribution of 9,100.
I have no doubt that Linda was sent as my angel to do just that for Faith and Family. I started calling Linda “my angel” about a year after she joined me at Faith and Family.
Linda told the story that shortly before meeting me that she sent a prayer to God to send her the right man. She said that I met every one of her requests including “no black hair.” Thus, I told people that I was the answer to her prayers.
I have cried and I know that I will continue to cry, but I am comfortable that God will give me a peace that surpasses all understanding because I know that He put Linda and me together, and I plan on joining her for eternity.
Many people and organizations have helped Faith and Family during our 10 ½ years. One organization, Arrowhead West, had been absolutely invaluable with their assistance in packaging papers for delivery and in delivering papers to almost all Dodge City outlets. Linda loved the clients of Arrowhead West and she even called them “my kids.” In light of this, I suggest that memorials be sent to Arrowhead West in care of Burkhart-Ziegler Funeral Chapel, 1901 N. 14th Ave., Dodge City, Kansas 67801. This way, Linda will be able to continue to love and help her kids.
Thank you, Linda, for being my angel! Yes, we have an awesome God!
Stan Wilson is a lifetime journalist after graduating from college in 1970 with a B.A. in journalism. He worked in various positions in newspapers in Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Kansas prior to starting Southwest Kansas Faith and Family in 2001. Faith and Family is a monthly Christian newspaper serving Dodge City, Garden City, Liberal and 38 other surrounding communities. He can be contacted by email at email@example.com
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This story is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of the ASSIST News Service or ASSIST Ministries.