Thursday, October 29, 2015

In Memory of Bernice and Helen

Grieving is the last thing I want to be familiar with, but I have come to accept that I have to be. Facing death is a reality of having a beautiful circle of senior friends in my life.

It was only one blog post ago when I shared with you about the passing of Gogo; I recently found out that two more of the seniors I have held the closest to my heart have passed away, Beatrice and Helen. They started telling me their stories in 2009, back when I started this group as a little six-week workshop during my lunch hour. Beatrice was there on the first day. Helen joined soon after and was the person who looked me in the eye and asked if we could keep the group ongoing because all of us loved it so much and couldn't imagine it ever ending.

There are many lessons that I have learned from the content of my senior buds' stories, but there are also lessons I have learned from simply being in the room with them and soaking in their presence. Beatrice was one of the funniest people I know I will ever meet; Helen was one of the most graceful people I know I will ever meet. I will never be half as funny as Beatrice or half as graceful as Helen. To me, in very different ways, they were rockstars. It made me feel cool just being around them.

There are many stories I have loved of theirs and many moments I have loved sharing with them. Here are some that will always keep their presence alive for me.

Bernice, I miss you.

Meeting Bernice

Black and White Grits

Different Like Flowers

My Aunt Massengill

On the Bus

Helen, I miss you.

Meeting Helen

One of the Happiest Moments of My Life

My Lovely Parents

I Have Happiness

Letter to Our Readers