Saturday, February 7, 2009

In Memory of Erma Bombeck and Helen Zakour

I always liked Erma, scarastic zinger thrower that she was. A lady whose unique perspective is one I can identify with and appreciate. Erma once wrote something like - life gives us a bowl of cherries, and then we choke on the stones - I remember chuckling when I read it. Then this month, I lived it. Everything was going great, life was good. Suddenly I had a wakeup call. In the midst of everything, BAM - a deep and sudden loss. For a few days I spiriled down into a dark place.
Simply put: a good woman in my life died suddenly.

She wasn't my BFF, not even a daily phone call/email friend. She was what I would call a periphial friend, someone I met through a close friend. Helen was a woman who, everytime I spent time with her I came away feeling better than I was before. Helen always managed to open my eyes. Helen always had something warm or positive to say to lift you up if you needed it. In this day of rush around stress, Helen was a truly gentle person. She was peaceful, loving and giving. She was also a human machine, getting anything and everything done, and then doing it with flair. Then she was sick. In little over a month she was dead. Her death threw me off course like I've never been before. After her funeral, all I could do was THINK. It made me question my own mortality. It made me re-evaulate how I spend each and every day. It made me challenge my faith. Helen was a truly faithful person, she lived it and relied on it, and yet... this. Why her, how could this happen? In the end, I realized it is not ours to know and understand everything. Part of humanity is the challenge of letting go when we need to. We need to have faith when we don't understand, when we can't see the reason, and when we are angry with the results.

When life has provided a big bowl of cherries for us, we need to be grateful when we don't accidentally hit a pit. When life batters us with lemons; we need to make lemonade.

The lemonade I've made from Helen's death contains the following things: trying each day to do something Helen would do for someone else, to enjoy each and every single cherry life gives me, to always remember if I didn't hit a pit now and then, I wouldn't enjoy, or be grateful for, the cherries nearly as much. Think of the "Helen" in your life; reach out to someone you know who least expects it. Be the lemonde to a friend bombarded with lemons.

Be Helen. From my perspective... the world needs a lot more Helens.

1 comment:

Jide Salu said...

Well written. Something to ponder.