Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Some people just ooze sweetness

Some people just ooze sweetness and Helen Garwin was one of those people. It wasn't that long ago that both Helen and her husband Joe passed away. I only met Joe a couple of times but I knew Helen from her frequent visits to our bookstore. The fact that he was married to Helen was proof enough for me that Joe must have been a great guy, too. I have to confess that I really don't remember so much of what Helen bought in our store, I just remember her sweetness. Helen was a retired nurse who had cared for her husband for the 30 or so years since they were involved in an auto accident that took the life of their son and severely injured Joe. She had a kind but fragile voice, one you might expect to hear coming from a timid person but I expect that Helen was something more than timid. II Timothy 1:7 is a passage of scripture that comes to mind when I think about who was behind that voice. I imagine that along with that sweetness was the power, love and self-discipline that Paul wrote about.

Joe was a social worker, I think, and Helen said that he loved to tell people that the two of them met in a mental hospital (true) but he'd leave out the part about both of them working there. She giggled like a schoolgirl when she told that story and I loved that about her, too, her sense of humor. People like Helen only have to cross your path for a short time to have a lasting impact. I'm thankful, too, that I can relive some of my memories of her with her daughter, Lynette Patterson, whom I still run into from time-to-time. I'm glad that our paths crossed and I hope that some scent of Helen's sweetness may always linger with me.

Who are the Helens in your life? Who has left a sweet scent on you?

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