They were not the trendy couple in the world's definition of it. Addicts, drug dealers, prostitution, those words do not appear on the resume of the most admired couples. But yet, these two, there was something very special about them from the very beginning, especially when Sheila would finish Will's sentences.
They would tell their stories but even that was together, seemed like everything they did was together because their love and faith had been forged in the battle of addiction recovery and finding the Lord, and they were completely united in their walk in life.
Several years ago I went to visit Will in the VA hospital and was struck with his incredible faith and courage. We had a long conversation, and throughout it all he spoke of his beloved wife. Suddenly he passed away and this couple who seemed to be joined at the hip was torn apart in life, but not in spirit.
Sheila carried on, but you could see the spark missing in her eyes despite all her attempts to connect with others. I remember in one of our meetings someone trying to "hit" on her and she quickly rebuffed him saying that Jesus was the only man she wanted besides Will. It was always as if Will was still here, just not speaking those sentences she would finish.
Yesterday, Sheila passed from cancer complications and was rejoined with Will again. We will miss her courageous spirit and steadfast love of both the Lord and how she loved Will. And we will also remember the tremendous battle they both fought to find freedom from addiction - we will remember those huge smiles when they described their victories and we will remember that they showed us you don't need to be trendy to be heroic.
Rest in the peace of the Lord Sheila, and thank you for blessing us with your enormous presence!
Glenn is an ex-Marine Viet Nam vet who is also a recovering alcoholic, clean and sober for 30 years. He has been involved in start up and ongoing recovery ministry at North Atlanta Church and Campus for the last two decades. He has a passion for outreach and to spread the message that the answer to lasting and fulfilling recovery from addiction is in a relationship with Jesus Christ. He and the ATB team are available to assist in your questions or needs on an individual basis and will do so maintaining complete confidentiality. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.