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His Last Call

Updated on October 20, 2015

On October 19th, 2015, at 4:22 a.m., retired United Airlines Los Angeles crew scheduler, Norm Bettke, received a not unexpected call from the “Sky Desk.” For decades, he had been the one calling others for flying assignments, but this time, as he picked up the phone, he heard a soft gentle voice say, “It’s time to go, Norm. Job well done!”

He smiled as he hung up the phone, thinking back to all those early morning assignments he had given to others, and he wished he had kept track of them all. He was sure it was over a million, maybe enough to be mentioned in the Guinness Book of Records. As his thoughts continued, he realized how blessed he was to have been in a career field he so thoroughly enjoyed. He loved his “Stews,” and they loved him back because of his sincere kindness and his clever humor. It seemed he always had a twinkle in his eyes.

Though his illness was his greatest challenge, he was thankful for all the cards and calls he had received in his final days. Even as the darkness engulfed his room, a light began to appear over his bed. His spirit knew it was time for his assigned departure. Leaving his tired and worn out body behind, he began to feel vibrant and young once again. The light continued to brighten as beautiful angels surrounded his bed and he reached out to them.

Suddenly, Norm was aware that the scenery around him had drastically changed. He was flying on his own through one brilliant rainbow after another. It was a freedom he had forgotten. It was a freedom he was now remembering. His work on earth was done. He had passed with flying colors which were now reflected in the rainbows he was passing through.

As Norm's journey continued, he was amazed at the surrounding beauty and his deep feeling of contentment and peace. Off in the distance he heard joyful Hawaiian music mixed with laughter. Norm had no doubt he was now in paradise among his many United friends and loved ones who had left before him. There was no doubt that these elevated souls were celebrating his birth back into spirit. It was time to welcome Norm home.

We will miss you, Norm, but know you will not be forgotten!

With a loving heart, BJD


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