Happy birthday, Helen.






My Dad used to tease my Mom. Her name was Grace. Well, her name was Pearl Grace, but she didn’t want anyone to know that.

One of my favorite memories is Dad’s perpetual joke to Mom:

At least we still have our minds, Helen. – Dad

And she typically responded with a playful, “DELMAR!”


Another favorite memory:

Mom and Dad were taking care of my dog, Natia. Natia always gets a treat when she goes out to “do her business.” So one evening when I was visiting, Mom had to go “do her business” and excused herself from the table. As soon as she left the room, Dad got up from the table and retrieved something from the top of the fridge, if I remember correctly.

When Mom returned to the table, in the middle of her plate was a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, her favorite. Again…


Dad said she needed a treat.

Image result for reese's peanut butter cups


Memories for which I am grateful. Here are more from the middle of my head, the bottom of my heart, and the recesses of my soul:

  • Taco Johns and Taco Bueno, her favorite fast food, and our random meet-ups, just the two of us
  • Worsh, worshrags, and Worshington
  • Her original Christmas poems that included every member of the family
  • Saving and always worshing plastic zipper bags, even when they no longer zippered
  • Cardinal sweaters
  • Estee Lauder Beautiful, her favorite perfume, and my LEAST favorite perfume
  • Homemade noodles drying on the worshing machine
  • Cheers and Becker and The Gods Must Be Crazy
  • Sudoku puzzles everywhere
  • Her penchant for licking her fingers when she was cooking or baking
  • Gideons Auxiliary Member
  • Miniatures with Delores for their shadow boxes
  • File cabinets full of every possible written/typed article/clipping/card/letter in the history of the world, all categorized and alphabetized
  • Plants and flowers in every kind of pot
  • Big purses
  • Watching her hold her two oldest great-granddaughters for the first time
  • Our shared love of Dairy Queen Peanut Buster Parfaits
  • Children’s church crafts made out of things normally put in the garbage
  •  Neighborhood organizer for annual weiny roasts
  • Feeding the ducks with day-old bread at Carey Park
  • Member of the Haviland sextet
  • Accompanying her as she sang “Grandma’s Feather Bed”
  • Surprising her with surprise visits
  • Yahoo!s louder than the entire crowd at every grandchild ballgame
  • Mom’s chocolate dessert, a staple when company was coming for dinner
  • Alto for many years that would slide down into the tenor part during hymn-singing
  • Love for her Johnson and Ferguson families and insistence on attending every get-together
  • That signature tablecloth
  • Lack of self-control in holding her tongue
  • Being her “date” to the concerts and shows at Convention Hall when Dad didn’t want to go
  • Wadded-up kleenex in her purse or in the pockets of her coats
  • Cinnamon rings in a mason jar
  • Making sure every phone in every room was used and every possible family member was on the line when Steve or Ron or Pam called during holidays
  • Her hugs
  • A refrigerator COVERED in grandchildren everything, and gaps were filled in with magnets of every sort
  • Helping Aunt Arlene, Bill, Alta Rice…
  • Clipping her fingernails in public – oh, Helen.
  • Board games, everywhere and always
  • Women’s Missionary Society Mother Daughter Teas and Christmas programs
  • A cardstock sign that always hung in her bathroom by a straight pin, now in the middle of my Bible:

Image result for for every minute you are angry

Happy birthday, Mom. Thanks for a lifetime of memories.


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