I followed the VP of the bank to my new desk and work area. She introduced me to Helen, my work space buddy. Helen sat at the desk behind me.
I knew instantly. I had met greatness - a truly genuine, caring, loving, awesome, beautiful person -- body, mind, and spirit. She would go on to touch my life, as she had the lives of many others, in numerous ways.
Her name: Helen Noone, and she was anyone but no-one.
She embodied authenticity and truth, kindness and compassion, always showing up for those around her, known and unknown, for her family, friends, and community. She lived her life and did it with a smile, a friendly wave, and a gracious heart, never complaining, and always embracing.
She was unaware of her presence, unassuming of her greatness.
I had the pleasure of working next to this amazing person and spirit for almost 3 years at Merrimac Savings Bank where she worked over 30 years. My life is better in countless way because of my experience knowing her and although she only passed a short bit ago, I know I am not alone in missing her energy in the world.
Normally we have our featured daring spirit answer a few questions. Since I didn't get the chance to ask Helen directly our questions, I decided to share a few things I know to have been true about this magnificent person and spirit:
Helen loved to walk. On Monday mornings after I got settled (she was one of the first in the bank each day she worked), we would review our weekend mileage. Most of the time, she out walked me by several of miles.
Next we would review the weekend as she checked in with how each of my littles ones were doing and I would check in with her family and grandchildren. Often she would give me gentle advice about various topics related to parenting. I remember her telling me how to handle a diaper rash that would not clear up. I did as she suggested and it worked (of course)!
Wednesdays, Helen usually left before I did. As she was getting ready to leave, I would check in with the dinner menu. Each Wednesday, her son would come over for dinner. She would have taken his request and planned the meal. I loved hearing about her Wednesday nights.
Earlier this year, I made a picture of my four children my desktop picture at work. Regularly, when she stood up to pick up her printings or go up front for something, she would turn to my computer if the picture was up and say "Hi kids" and give them a smile.
That was Helen. She loved everyone and welcomed everyone into her life. She made each person she encountered feel as though they were the most important person.
Helen made my days at the bank fun and funny. She added humor and lightness and even a shoulder to cry on when the days got challenging. She listened without judgment and shared without ego. She gave without an agenda and showed up authentically.
For those that knew her, I'm fairly certain she will still be watching over and may even surprise us when and where she shows up to say hello. You may find yourself jump a little like she had a tendency to do when startled...
Thank you, Helen, for gracing my life and our world with your daring spirit.
photo: Helen Noone