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In Angels' Arms

D. J. O'Connor had spent most of his adult life trying to find two Union Army officers that his family had assigned to have been from the ranks of the heavenly host because of help that they had provided to members of the family during the Civil War. Both men had done God's work on earth to benefit not only his family but the whole idea of the greater good.

Following a clue, DJ went to a home in Biscay, Colorado, where he was welcomed by the family of not only Second Lieutenant Devon W. Labatte, the man he had been told he would find there but the late Major Dr. Earl Townsend, the other officer he had been looking for. The family invited DJ to sit with them to watch over Devon while he slept because they knew that his time was near. As he was seeing the man that he had so much appreciation, DJ's curiosity was racing. Surveying the room, DJ saw the evidence of a life well spent with tokens of travel and remembrances of special people and events. One special event was remembered in a very large painting with both men's families along with three other families, and on a small table near the bed was the photograph that the painter had used as a guide. DJ asked about the painting and how all the people in it had become intertwined into one family.

For the rest of the day, DJ listened intensely to the story of how these two men who had been raised in different parts of the country and with very different financial backgrounds had overcome many obstacles, lived through the war, become friends, fought inner demons, and raised their families together, all the time treating everyone with respect and giving assistance to others as second nature.

--Cheryl Venable

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