A Mother's Day Tribute : MISS HELGINA GWATHMOOR.....

Miss Helgina Gwathmoor had never been considered a great beauty... or even a middling beauty. As a child, her devoted parents (who adored her!) had to admit they were grateful that little Geena's personality, charm, humor, and great loveliness towards every living creature she ever met more than made up for her lack of comeliness. When other little girls were picking out their favorite gingham dresses for the school picnic, Geena was busy heading the refreshment committee and making sure the cucumber and watercress sandwiches were perfection...that the pink lemonade was tart, and the vanilla ice cream had actual vanilla orchid seeds sprinkled through every luscious scoop. And she was only 8...! At 13, as a member of the National Girl Guides, when other girls were busy flirting with boys at the rugby and lacrosse contests, she was in charge of rolling bandages and running the first aid stations on the sidelines, or cheering them on to victory! At 17, when young ladies were thinking of proms and cotillions and glorious gowns that would only be worn once for each enchanting occasion, it was their good pal Geena who'd be crawling around at their feet pinning hems and attaching flowered trims or staying up all night sewing and finishing the alterations so everyone "looked just so!" Geena was so constantly busy with so many different projects that her twenties started slipping by before anyone actually noticed that she was single. There was no time for "courting and wooing" as her adoring grandmother would say as Geena would whirl through the room chatting and laughing, her arms full of blueprints for an animal shelter, or bolts of fabric for the new curtains for the community playhouse, or two dozen teddy bears for the children's hospital ward. Geena's grandma had been a great beauty herself as a girl, but she had been wise as well, and her brief sadness for her little granddaughter faded as she saw what Geena was growing into. And all her elderly friends marveled at Geena's "unsinkability".... it was as if she was made of cork, her Aunt Delia would say. Old Mabel Cravers marveled that nothing seemed to defeat or discourage her. And so the years slipped by.... Geena gave everything, shared everything, held hands, joined in the laughter, wiped away the tears, consoled, and celebrated, cheered and cherished the lives and loves of all those around her. Their journeys and adventures became the threads in the most wondrous tapestry....and one that she treasured, was honored by, and humbled to have had. How lucky, she thought! How lucky I am to have had my OWN wonderful adventure.... with all the wonderful people in it. Helgina Gwathmoor was much beloved by one generation after another. Other women's daughters and granddaughters and great granddaughters all knew her and loved her. ...as did their sons, and grandsons, and great grandsons. They were brought to her as a matter of course in their births, their christenings and upbringings, their engagements and weddings, and on and on. She lived to be 103.... or maybe more. No one knew. The facts of her own life had slipped away long ago.... and she was remembered and revered as a reflection and an illumination in the lives of all those who were lucky enough even to have known her.

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