Today I got a letter in the mail from a familiar address, with familiar handwriting, but such sadness inside. There was a letter along with a card for a memorial service. My dear pseudo-grandmother passed away last month, Loni used to call her Grandma Helen. I never called her grandmother because I had 2 wonderful grandmothers in my lifetime that can never be replaced. Helen was the step-mother to my birth mother Kathy. I met her just before my 21st birthday, I think it was a lifetime ago. Helen was my connection to a part of my past that I have worked so long to understand and accept.
The gist of the letter said that it was one of Helen's daughters and she was writing to tell me that Helen had passed away. Evidently Helen saved all of my letters and was glad that I kept in contact with her. It was very sweet that these people that didn't know me at all, would send me something so I would know.
Obviously I am sad, but more than that, for the first time in 10 years I must not fully let go of that other life. The life that I still had 2 people grandparentish that cared about me, and were a tie to a family I will never know. Helen used to update me on how Kathy's sons were and what they were up to. Kathy used to tell me that she believed that we all share the same father so that would make them my true siblings. She used to tell me that Kathy had really wanted to keep in touch with me but her husband wouldn't let her. I think through Helen she was able to know that I am doing alright.
I will miss Helen, especially when I would get the random letters in the mail. I think of all the things lately that I have not had a chance to share with her that I think she would get a kick out of. She would be proud of all the things I am involved with and thought hockey would be scary. I was lucky enough to know her when I did, and am thankful she is not hurting anymore.