Tolkien, artist

An Ode to Helen

 I was unsure about my topic today until I remembered Helen. And chocolate cake. And an enjoyment in the experience of life that left many of us affected for our lives.

Helen B&B 2004

Helen at our dinner in 2004.

Helen was a cyber friend who I was fortunate and blessed to have met in person. She posted on a computer board of beaders that I belonged to, made jewelry for sale at shows in the Southeastern US, and had a heart of kindness that encompassed the world. Her heart also was failing as a result of treatments for cancer. This congestive heart failure made activity chancey and certainly more restricted. But even though her physical activities were more restricted, her heart was as large as the ocean and her joy in her daily life was infectious.

I had the opportunity to meet her when attending Bead & Button Show in 2004, many years ago. Her smile, her laugh, the various aspects of her personality enchanted me and made me thank the Spirits that we had been able to meet in person. She was never able to make it to Bead & Button Show again, but that one meeting still resonates with me.

Helen with Dolphin

Helen with the dolphins shortly before her death.

One of the last activities that she did was a cruise with her husband, Joe. One of the optional activities was swimming with dolphins. She forgot to pack her swimsuit with her that day, but was not about to miss out on this opportunity, so she wore her T-shirt and shorts and swam, happily. She died shortly after that, collapsing on the stairs of her home.

Today I and my fellow beaders who remember her will eat chocolate cake in her honor. I encourage all of you to think about those people who affected your life, celebrate them in your thoughts, and do something today to honor them.
Oh she was. She was one of those rare people who enriched the lives of everyone she touched.

- Erulisse (one L)
She looks and sounds like a wonderful lady! Your story about her reminds me of a lyric from a Buffett song in which he says 'I'd rather die while I'm living than live while I'm dead.' She sounds like she truly did 'die while she was living,' like she lived every moment to its fullest.