Tribute to "Hyper Helen"
LWW Founder Wil Howie writes a tribute to his mother in honor of Mother's Day.
Photo: Wil (second from left) and his mother Helen (third from left) are pictured with their family at the Clean Water U reunion celebration.
Almost ninety-eight, Mom still thoroughly enjoys working with the “old folks” - most younger than she - at the lovely place where she lives. She has slowed down some, voluntarily handing over her car keys several months ago. Now it’s Uber getting her to church, the several nursing homes to visit friends on Sunday afternoons and to play bridge elsewhere during the week.
All my life it’s been that way, always on the go! Some of my earliest memories are my brother and I serving as helpers as we visited the Old Ladies Home out on West Capitol Street, normally bringing flowers and some sort of goodies to share with the residents.
Mom, Dad, we four kids were always at church; Sunday mornings, nights, Wednesday evenings. I learned the art and science of setting up and breaking down a fellowship hall full of chairs and tables from the pros. She is the only person at Trinity Presbyterian twice elected to serve as President of the Women of the Church.
As a child of the Great Depression, growing up poor and female in the south-western corner of Mississippi, she has long lamented her lack of opportunity to go to college. But that really hasn’t slowed her down much. Her voracious curiosity about love and life and all things therein insures that. Always reading and thinking, she’s probably taken every Explorer’s Bible Study course there is. Now she’s excited about the new, six-month course starting up exploring the life and presence of Moses in the Old and New Testaments.
Some years ago I told her my nickname for her was ‘Hyper Helen.’ At first she wanted to be offended. But by the time I had gotten home from our visit, she had used her on-line dictionary to check out this word ‘hyper.’ Proudly she informed me it “was a perfectly good word. It just means that I’ve got lots and lots of energy!” Indeed! As well as an amazing amount of joy, intelligence, generosity, imagination and love!
How eternally grateful and proud I am to call Helen Grace Dale Howie my mother, I love you!