Thursday, September 27, 2012

Honda Helen

Back by popular demand... Honda Helen!

Have you ever met someone that is so loud, has a larger than life spirit... So loud that after they leave a room you can still hear them? That is my grandmother. I don't actually think I've mourned her death yet, because I swear to you... I can still here her plain as day.

Growing up we would always dance to the Jitterbug. It drove her nuts that I never ate the crust of bread. So wasteful!

For a while she was my school bus driver. In fact, she once told me if I ever got bad grades that she would help dispose of the evidence. So one day, I got the courage to toss my bad grade papers down the street after exiting her bus of course it was a windy day and my Mom caught some of the papers blowing down the street. Mission failed!

I will never forget not long after she was diagnosed with breast cancer, she had her breast removed. The cancer society gave her a fancy bra with a fake boob in it. After a few tries, she gave up on the bra. She said it was too heavy. She preferred the prosthetic my grandfather made for her... WAIT FOR IT.... A BAG OF BIRDSEED. It would not be an abnormal occurrence to hear the following in their house.... "Tom!!! GO GET ME MY BIRDSEED PLEASE!"

She was touch and go for over a year. One day I got the phone call to come to the hospital immediately, things weren't looking good. I rushed there. My grandfather was so upset. I'm crying, he's crying, we're saying our goodbyes. All of the sudden she opens her eyes and sees me in her face crying. She had a look terror. I'm rubbing her hand telling her I love her. This continues for a few more minutes. She looks totally confused. Well it turns out the hospital called the wrong family. She wasn't that close to the light. Once we got her oxygen mask off she was talking up a storm. Comic relief!

One of her favorite movies was Pootie Tang. Yes, you heard that right. I'd also be willing to bet she has a VHS of every episode of PeeWee's Playhouse... NOW YOU SAID THE MAGIC WORD!!! AHHHHHH! (only makes sense if you watched PeeWees playhouse)

As she got sicker, we discussed her wishes. She wanted to be cremated but wanted a headstone. I remember her telling me that she wanted people to know she had lived. In hindsight, I wish she knew that it would be impossible for anyone to ever forget that.

Look at that picture of my grandparents! I die every time I see it! Love them.

The one of her and me in the pool with her butt stuck in it is my all time favorite.


  1. That picture of your grandparents is beautiful and breathtaking.

  2. Oh wow! I really love these posts (and the pics). She sounds like such an amazing woman. I am so glad that you have such great, vivid memories of her. The especially funny story was the one about her being close to the light. I can totally imagine that. Thanks so much for sharing!

  3. awwww what a cool story!

    Also, I LOVED Pee Wee's playhouse!

  4. Thank you for sharing Honda Helen with us. She was certainly an amazing character, which shows through not only in your words but also in those three pictures. I was dying at the first one, and then at the second, but in a completely different way. What a beautiful moment captured in that one.

  5. Hooray! I'm so glad you busted out some more Honda Helen. she sounds just so wonderful. Love the photos. How you are doing well. :)


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