Saturday, September 23, 2006

Goodbye Helen


Today Helen Craddock went home.
Helen lived for 98 amazing years. I knew her because she and my great grandmother Josephine were good friends. I only met her four years ago on her 94th birthday --which was April 12th of 2002, and I instantly fell in love with her. This little Chinese woman had the personality and the wit of a ninja. She lived in San Francisco and I would often visit her care facility. She lived with a very diverse popluation of senior citizens and would often introduce me to her neighbors. She made fun of how most of her time was spent listening to her friends talk about all their aches and pains--while she in her little apartment (which was barely a studio) would watch soap operas, talk shows, and game shows on her two TVs that usually were on at the same time--and of course super loud. She had a hilarious sense of humor and made me laugh every time I visited her. In a way, Helen was my Morrie-(Tuesdays with Morrie). God used her to grow my heart and value those aging people who can't get out and about. My unique relationship with Helen reminded me that God extends the borders of our "blood" to bless us with close relationships with people who become like family.

Every time I left her apartment building she would stand in the hallway and watch me out her window. She would always wave and say, "I love you." and I would tell her back the same.

Helen touched my life. She believed Jesus for who he was and what he did and I loved reading the Bible to her, talking and praying--always the Lord's prayer. As I reflect, we would often talk about the day she would go to heaven and be done with life here on Earth and now she finally has finished her life here. I treasure the memories I have with her immensely. Death is not the end. She lives on forever with God. What a gift she was to me.

1 comment:

sarah bivens said...

Tony, I just attended David Satterfield's funeral today with my family. David was my tipaw's godson. She was not aware that he was ill nor was anyone else until one month ago. At the reception my grandma millie showed me what you had written about my great grandmother. The time that you spent with her was time that she greatly looked forward to. You brought to her such joy and peace. Your unwaivering faith in the lord allowed her to continue to feel HIS love and strength when she needed it most. Thank-you for the love and care that you gave to my tipaw Helen. She is deeply missed. - sarah