Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Goodbye Helen


It is really hard to lose a parent; we are never ready. I lost my last parent yesterday. As most of my readers know, I lost my Dad at the end of February. He and my step-mom were living at home (with help). They were the sweetest couple. My Dad had A LOT of trouble getting around—it took him a LONG time to get from place to place with his walker. But, every time he FINALLY got to the living room, where Helen (my step-mom) would be sitting on the couch, he would come over and give her a kiss. She’d say, “I think I’ll have another” every time. They would always hold hands and sit by each other. I think this is the last picture I took of them together. (Notice their hands?)
Helen had Alzheimer’s. She couldn’t do much for herself, but she always asked, “Can I help you with that?” Dad tried to do as much as he could for her and she for him. They were married 40 years. This is my favorite picture of them.
When they were more able bodied, they spent time traveling. They traveled the country in a BIG RV and wintered each year someplace warm. Dad never got used to the cold winters here in southern Indiana after that. They both still talked about their travels and smiled as they remembered “the good times.”
After Dad died, Helen was never the same. She would say, “Papaw Gene (what she called my Dad) went away, and I didn’t want him to.” Later on, she would cry and say, “I’m really sad, but I don’t know why.” She just didn’t want to go on without him. She stopped eating and drinking—something she could control. She passed away yesterday—two months and one day after my Dad died. I truly believe she died of a broken heart.

Helen helped me so much when my Mom died. Things were really tense between my step-dad and our family. He kept everything that belonged to my Mom along with the things my Mom had inherited from my grandparents—things of a sentimental nature, not of much monetary value. My sister and I ended up with no physical remembrance from my Mom or my grandparents. I remember going to Dad and Helen’s after I had spoken to my step-dad about those sentimental things. It was a very difficult situation. Helen cried with me and comforted me. There was never any doubt that she loved me and my family. She was Grandma Helen to my kids and Grandma Helen to my grandchildren. She was always there for me—for us. She was special.

I’m glad she is now with my Dad. She will be missed.

10 comments:

D Cresanto Quilting said...

A very special lady to you and your dad...

Robbie said...

Oh, Beth...I am crying as I read this post. You have been blessed having Helen in your life as well as your extended family. It is sad but I think you are right...she and your dad are together again...as it should be. You've been so lucky to be able to share these stories and pictures and I know you'll keep both Helen and your dad's memories alive.

Unknown said...

I'm so sorry for your losses and so close together. I just can't imagine how hard it has been for you. Sending my love and hugs.💓 Debbie E

Dana Kroeger said...

Oh my...I'm so sad for you and your family. After having Helen in your life for so long she really is a big part of your life and that of your kids and grandkids. Being a second wife, I hope Steve's kids and grandkids remember me fondly as you have Helen. Sympathies to you and all your family.

Sara Buchwald said...

What beautiful memories and what a beautiful life for both your dad and Helen: to love and be loved, the meaning of a successful life. Would that we would all be so blessed. Thank you for sharing your memories of both these people who are so precious to you.

Unknown said...

I eemember you telling me how difficult your stepfather was when your mother died.
It is wonderful to know that your father and his second wife were so dedicated to each other. I hope that it will comfort you and your family to know how good they were together as a couple. I know there will be many great memories of how wonderful it was to have this second mother and grandmother in your family's lives.
Debbie W

Anonymous said...

Oh, Beth, I'm so sad to read this! I know it is good for them, but I am so sorry for you and your family. How hard it is to lose our anchors! Thank you for sharing so many beautiful pictures that show they had the kind of partnership we all want to have. What a great example they set for you. Big hugs from E. Tennessee.

Lisa Greenbow said...

How sad Beth. You have my deepest sympathy. Just remember the love.

Beth@IHaveANotion.com said...

It is so hard losing family, especially the family that is the "right" family, not the 'blood' family! Too bad about the stepdad, it hurts too. Sometimes more!

Cedar Ridge Studio said...

Hugs Beth. You had so much love from your Dad and Helen. Keep that love in your heart and you grieve your loss.