Friends of the Upper Room: Winslow

It all changed the day of his open heart surgery. On December 24, 2016, doctors replaced his femoral artery and changed the course of Winslow’s life forever. For two days afterward, Winslow still swears that he could see heaven. After the surgery he called his wife Linda and, in tears, explained his radically changed life outlook. From that day on, he would make a change. He would devote himself to god, and spend his time helping other people. He hasn’t had a drink since.

Winslow has been a member of the First United Methodist Church since he moved to South Bend in 1966, and was a close friend to one of our founders. It was the same year he met his wife, Linda, at a bowling banquet.

Winslow has quit drinking before. Like many people, his journey has not been a straight line. For most of his life, he worked in sales, travelling a lot and doing a lot of entertaining. He says he thought of his drinking at that time as social drinking. Part of work. Never hard liquor, but he would often have a quart of beer on the way to work, or stop for a six-pack and drink it in the parking lot. After he completed an Emmaus Walk he quit for a year and a half before starting up again. Looking back with full clarity, he told me, “I was an alcoholic. I am an alcoholic.”

After spending a year in physical therapy recovering from his heart surgery and living an active, sober lifestyle, Winslow is a boon to those around him. By providence, he even met one of our residents while waiting for someone else on the stoop of the church, and formed a fast friendship that became a mentoring opportunity for both of them.

He is seventy-six years old and he will tell you he plans to live for another twenty (when I talked to him he was on his way to a kickboxing class). His life is a testament that it is never too late.

Winslow and his wife Linda just celebrated their 48th anniversary this year.

For me, I really needed time away from my old environment. I needed a place where people are in recovery and are serious about their recovery, a place where I could fit in and give my newly-found recovery a solid foundation.

anonymous

I’m finally getting better. I'm moving forward.

anonymous

Life is so much better. I had no idea the sweet life I could have.

anonymous

My alcoholism was so out of control and so was my life. I had a loss of trust with people who cared about me. It’s devastating. How do you regain that trust?

anonymous

I came here because of word of mouth about Upper Room. I’ve known about God most of my life, but I did not KNOW God.

anonymous

I've learned a lot about myself through this process. My character has changed. It's not easy, but with help, I know I can do it. It is God's will, not mine.

anonymous

The disease is arrested, not destroyed. Each day you have to decide whether you’re going to live or die – because it will kill you.

anonymous

When you’re in the midst of addiction, you’re also in the midst of loneliness and isolation. It’s hard to shake off. Your defense mechanisms are like a coat that you put on.

anonymous