July 29, 2014

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The real meaning of a 'winning smile'

By Jim Langham

After 41 years of serving as a pastor and 20 years in Paulding County, there are many endearing memories of many beautiful people that I have encountered, many in some very difficult circumstances. Recently, I was thinking about a lady named Helen, truly one of the most encouraging people I ever met in difficult circumstances. To this day, my heart does a “warm fuzzy” when I think of the smile that she maintained during her final days on earth.

For weeks prior to her passing, Helen was wired to a bed in a tiny dark area of the cardiac care unit of a local hospital. She was suffering from an irreversible degenerative heart condition that was rapidly taking its toll on her heart muscle. At times, her condition would weaken and it appeared that she wouldn’t make it through the day. Then she would surprisingly rally. Soon she would be wearing a tender smile that had melted hospital staff and those around her throughout the final days of her illness.