A Call From Mary Helen

I received an unexpected phone call the other day. It was from one of Mama’s friends, Mary Helen Brown. What a sweet woman. She just called to check in on me. It was such a blessing to me. When I was in North Carolina, trying to stay sane and get Mama’s affairs in order, Mary Helen checked in on me more than my own family. Hardly a night went by during the two weeks I was up there that Mary Helen didn’t come by Mama’s apartment or at least call to see how I was doing.

I’ve been meaning to write some people. There are some long overdue thank you notes that need to be written. I wrote and mailed one batch, but could never seem to face writing any more than that. In a way, I think maybe I’ve been hiding from it. Writing the first batch of notes was hard. I’d sit there sometimes with tears streaming down my face, thanking people for what they’d done to help me when I was up there, or just thanking them for being a friend to Mama. Mary Helen is one of those people I’ve meant to write, and just haven’t been able to.

She took one of the plants from the funeral that I brought back from the rest home. They sat in the foyer in the apartment building, and Mary Helen asked me for one of them. She said that the plant is doing good, and that she put it back in the foyer as a memorial to Mama. She told me she had given it a name. I asked her what she called it, and she said, “Peggy. So I can still go talk to Peggy.”

Thank you, Mary Helen, for thinking about me. I sometimes feel forgotten. And sometimes I feel like people are forgetting Mama. It was nice to know that someone still cares, for Mama more than for me. When I hung up the phone after talking to Mary Helen, I sat in the den for a few moments and cried. It wasn’t pain. It wasn’t joy. It was just appreciation. Mary Helen was a good friend to Mama. And anyone who was ever good to my Mama will always be a friend of mine.

Thank you, Mary Helen. Your sweet spirit and thoughtfulness was greatly appreciated. I love you. And I promise I’ll mail you that blog post that you wanted me to find on Mama’s web site.

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