A week or two ago I had the fortune of meeting Jamie Wells, a delightful, optimistic lady whose 31 y/o daughter, Joann, was murdered 11 years ago in a most tragic way. How did she survive this tragedy I wondered. She then told me of the book she had written about her recovery.
Payment for Passage is much more than a story of recovery, it is an inspirational reading detailing her and her daughter’s philosophy of life and the love that held them together.
Her daughter was a much loved nurse practitioner in a small community in the North Georgia mountains. She came home one evening to find an ex-convict hiding behind her door in wait of her return. But, Ms Wells does not spend time dwelling on the tragedy itself, but writes about her reaction to it. Like any mother would, she experienced disbelief, anger, depression, and finally resolution if not acceptance.
She became angry with God. She writes, “The thought, ‘She’s in a better place,with God’, only made me angry. I wanted to say, ‘She was in a wonderful place here, and I needed her more than God!’” “I prided myself as being a woman of faith — but within reason. Faith is a limitless existence and generates miracles. Reasoning has strong limitations with its justification to explain any action with proven facts. Joann’s death eventually catapulted me from reasoning into pure faith.”
Joann was remembered by her friends and patients as an angel and Wells used that image to change her life. “Angels did not fix my pain; they touched my heart. Angels did not change me, they gave me what I needed to change. Angels did not control me; they cushioned my landings. Angels did not demand; they gave me opportunities to find heavenly answers for myself.”
I especially liked the part about angels, as in Messengers in Denim I speak of teens as being angels (Messengers) wearing denim. She talked about each of us coming onto the earth “with a special gift. Discovering that gift and sharing it with others is the greatest for of worship….” I called that gift a message.
She says she has experienced love but has also looked into the face of evil. “Evil is frightening and unimaginable. Love smiles and brings peace. Evil is never satisfied. Love is content. Evil has no expression. Love smiles. Evil is hollow with no substance. Love solidifies the soul. Evil destroys. Loves creates.”
She tells of many incredible things that happened which she attributes to her daughter, now a heavenly angel. I would call these miracles. I don’t think she would disagree.
There is so much more! I could go on and on talking of the wonderful experience of reading this inspirational book, but you must read it yourself. I guarantee you will love it!
Just one last thing; As I neared the end of the book, I began to avoid picking it up. I felt that if I finished it I would lose both Joann and her precious mother, Jamie. But I finished it and now consider Joann one of my special, favorite angels and her mother a great friend.