Helen is my next door neighbour. She is remarkable. She is calm, peaceful and wise, just like Papa. Yet, she knows and remembers everything, like Nana. In their absence, Helen has become a surrogate grandparent. I confess that I am a little in love with Helen.
Helen, like me (and Nana), has three children whom she is devoted to. She meets each day with a smile and a reverence that is awe inspiring. She makes her way around on her little red scooter and is more independent and outgoing than I ever have been. I hope that if I am privileged to make it to 86, that I may be half the woman that Helen is.
Helen gave me these buttons when I told her I was creating loopylocks. They are very special to me.
Blog Update – Helen passed away on August 22, 2010. She passed away peacefully in her home right next door to us, surrounded by her family. She passed at the exact same moment that I went into labour with our fourth. I know this because Helen’s youngest son and daughter-in-law came over and knocked on our door with the news as we were getting ready to go to the hospital.
A few weeks earlier, on one of my visits to see Helen, I asked her if you knew what the sex of the baby was. No one knew, myself included. She told me that I was having a son.
We gave birth to our son and our wish came true. Moments after William was born at Mt. Sinai Hospital in Toronto (where Helen also had her three children) and surrounded by my husband, Mum, younger sister and our three children, a nurse walked in the delivery room. There was a change of shifts and she was our new nurse. She walked right up beside my bed and said these words:
“Let me know if you need anything. I am here to help. My name is Helen”.