Monday, December 17, 2012

In Aunt Helen's House

In Aunt Helen’s house, time seemed to pause in its endless journey, as if lulled into forgetting its usual sense of urgency.
Pale afternoon sun would arc across warm, wood floors and come to rest in the folds of a cardigan draped loosely over a chair. Logs would crackle gently in the  fire, filling the air with a familiarity that declared this was home.
The first thing one noticed about Helen was that each and every day of life was an adventure, a cause to exclaim, “Well, isn’t life wonderful”.

 At ninety-seven, she still  lived alone, yet she never had to fear feeling lonely. Family and friends, (of the two-legged and four-legged kind) dropped by daily to soak up the atmosphere of contentment in a life well-lived that Helen and her surroundings exuded. There was always a bracing drink for the humans and cheese and biscuits for the many dogs embraced as loving friends now that her days of pet ownership were behind her.


 With time, she weakened and could no longer get around as well as before...but she still missed little and continued to greet each day with anticipation.

 From her wing chair by the fire, Helen would tilt eagerly toward visitors. “Now tell me what you did today, dear,” she’d encourage us, her interest genuine, her focus centered on the response.   

When questioned about her own day, she’d beam widely and talk about the history article she’s just read, or give us her take on the latest news story. 

Of course, conversations inevitably came back to the widespread family she adored. It was clear we were all of us cherished.

 Helen’s life is the standard by which I’ve begun to gauge my own journey. I may or may not manage to write the book I’ve talked about for years, or finish getting my Fine Arts degree. Other interests may prevail, obstacles will no doubt demand my time and attention. 

But if I live each day to its fullest, and find joy in every one of them, as she did, I will be content. 

To the best of my ability, I want to be present in each moment , and if I’m fortunate enough to share my days with the people and animals I love, then I too will be able to say, “Isn’t life wonderful!”

We lost our beloved matriarch this weekend, when her tired body gave up the fight and led her to Heaven,  but we will forever bask in the light of grace that blessed those of us fortunate enough to be taken into her boundless heart.

Now it is in our hearts that she will rest with us always.
We loved you immeasurably, Helen. We will always remember your kindness, your generosity of spirit and your capacity to wring the best out of each day even when it seemed impossible. 

We will do our best to embrace life with the same vigour you did, and when we meet again, it will be to sit once more by a crackling fire and exchange the stories of our lives...



Penelope Postcards said...

I am sorry to hear of your loss, Lynette. But how reassuring to know of someone living to such an old age waking up with anticipation each day. We all should have a Helen in our lives. If we can’t have one it would be great to hold a similar outlook as hers was in our own hearts.

Kay L. Davies said...

I would love to have known your Aunt Helen, Lynette, but I am content because I know you.
With warmest wishes for the Christmas season and always,

Katy Cameron said...

Aww, she sounds like an amazing woman with a wonderful philosophy towards life!

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Condolences to you and the rest of Aunt Helen's family. Sounds like she knew the secret of how to live a long and successful life. What a role model!

foszae said...

that's a lovely memorial of dear Aunt Helen

Lonicera said...

What a lovely tribute. I love the cosy house and the warmth it exudes.

Whimsey Creations said...

I'm so sorry for your loss - she sounds like she was a bright spirit. I absolutely love all the pictures and especially the little water fountain. Hugs to you.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Such a radiant and joyous being! So sad she is gone, but in your hearts her memory will keep you warm. I love her cottage - I once lived in one so like it, only smaller, in Tofino.

Lovely memories you shared here, Lynette.

Pat said...

I would have loved to know Aunt Helen. She sounds like a wonderful, warm, upbeat person who found joy and contentment in each day. I'm sorry for your loss, but your memories of her will warm your heart all your days. Hope you are having a delightful Christmas with your family and friends.

Haddock said...

What a wonderful lady. The things that we see in the house says what sort of a person she was.

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