In the 29 years my brother Phil has been married to the former Helen LoMedico, I suppose I met her mother, also named Helen LoMedico, no more than a dozen times, including an engagement get-together, wedding, the christening and First Communion of Phil and Helen's son Greg, and birthday parties.

That's about a dozen times more than the mother of my wife, Jo Ann, ever saw Mrs. LoMedico, who died earlier this week at the age of 89.

However, my wife and I and her mother got to know what kind of woman Mrs. LoMedico was nearly 11 years ago when Jo Ann's dad, Joe Veach died.

The opening of dozens of sympathy and condolence cards produced one that was as surprising as it was touching. It was from Mrs. LoMedico, whose husband Philip had died in his early 60s.

Helen sent a kind note of encouragement and empathy to my newly widowed mother-in-law - a woman she had never met.

I don't know if Mrs. LoMedico was a member of any particular church, but I do know this. Such unselfish concern for another woman whose soul was severely wounded could only come from a good woman. It is proof that God is always there for us in our most painful moments.

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As God reaches out to us,

we can reach out to others.