When Angels Fly
Growing up, Sarah dodged her mother's blows. She often hid in her room crying about her life. Still, she believes in her future and the happiness it can bring. In their book, When Angels Fly, authors S. Jackson and A. Raymond tell Sarah's story - their stories. The authors use their journals to describe Sarah's experiences of family dysfunction, strength, courage, faith, abuse, grief, and so much more. You'll read how, like many, she attempts to escape from her mother's abuse through marriage. And like many, she learns it is not a viable alternative. Then Sarah experiences a parent's ultimate tragedy twice, the deaths of her sons, Joshua and Eli.
When Angels Fly is about much more than the telling of a family's tragedy. It is also the story of finding faith after it has wavered. Most of all, it's a story of love lost and found.
After reading When Angels Fly, I realized how fortunate I am that my two children are alive and well. ~ J. Thayer McKinney, author, Haunting of LaBelle
I can honestly say that no book that I have read in recent times has had the emotional impact on me that this book has had. I rode right alongside this mother from the first diagnosis of her child's illness, right through to the conclusion. Even before her child's illness, I had to keep asking myself; are there really parents out there who treat their children as horrifically as this woman's mother and her family had treated her? She went from an abused child, to a loveless marriage filled with physical, mental and sexual abuse, to losing her first child to a stillborn birth and then finally reaping the rewards with two beautiful young boys. Then little Eli was struck down with cancer. We follow his journey, step by step as the young mother attempts to keep her sanity, split her time between one child in hospital and one 250 miles away. You can feel her anguish and pain. The very people who should have been helping to ease her burden; her mother, her siblings and her soon to be ex-husband were so busy plotting and planning on how they could benefit from this turn of events, she was left to struggle along with support only from some special friends.
This book is a harrowing read, make no mistake, but it is also incredibly rewarding. To anyone who has ever complained about how hard their life is - I say; read "When Angels Fly". To anyone who has ever said their life sucked - I say; read "When Angels Fly". The courage, fortitude and the immense challenges that this woman and her beautiful son faced, you can't help but be uplifted and reminded just how much we all have to be grateful for.
The book is in a large part a daily journal of Eli's time in hospital and I totally understand the need the author felt to document every day - every day with her son was so very precious. The writing style was at times slightly hard to read, but nothing can take away from the powerful impact it had on me as a reader. I was truly moved by and genuinely felt everything this poor woman had to endure... mostly alone. Any other book that had these editorial issues would have only garnered four stars from me, but there's no way I could not give this five stars. The memories of Sarah, Noah and Eli will live in my memory well after I've consigned this book to the "read" shelf. I feel privileged to have shared Sarah's harrowing journey. When Angels Fly does exactly what it sets out to do I believe - it reminds us that "There but for the grace of God, go I". I recommend this book to all.... it will make you cry, but it will also uplift you. Well done.
~ Grant Leishman, Author, The Second Coming
This book is listed as a memoir, death and grief. But it’s really not. It’s about life and how to fly no matter what one’s circumstance. At first I was hesitant to read a sad story about a child with cancer. But this is one of the best books I have ever read. I learned about strength, family love, and how to strive for joy in the darkness that life can bring.
The author begins her memoir by giving us a picture of her early growing-up years and the beginning of her marriage. Sadly, her life was filled with mental and physical abuse, by the people who should have given her unconditional love- her mother and husband. Instead of giving up, the author focuses on the positive and is blessed with her desire to have children.
Most of the book is the story of her younger son’s struggle to beat cancer and the author’s courageous love and care for him and her older son. The author presents a day to day account of her time in the hospital caring for her son. A reader might wonder if it is interesting to read a diary of a sad event. Yes it is! It is captivating! The author’s clear writing style gives the opportunity to truly feel what each day brought. Readers will be inspired by this mother’s ability to cherish each day, do her best for her children, complete hard tasks and then do it all again the next day. She is a brave and steadfast woman.
Sometimes it seemed like the days were one big blur and that neither Eli nor I had a life prior to the hospital.
It was painful to know that love could only do so much.
Maybe it was time for Eli to go to heaven.
At the end of the book, Ms. Jackson shares her words for those who have not lost a child or children- You see we are moving on with life, we just do it one hour or day at a time, re-writing life as we go along.
This book is pure gold and is for anyone who is trying to live an authentic, meaningful life. Highly recommend.