Human Interest Story Found in the Nantucket Observer

Helena decided to drop in on an old pal, on a day when the Storm of the Century fooled everyone and dumped three and a half feet of snow on her little hamlet.  They said it was heading out to sea, that is why she drove rather than call her.   Helena figured the weather was alright.  She rang the doorbell, but no one answered.  Five times, Helene rang it, five times she stood there with the bouquet to wish her a happy 86th Birthday. 

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It was cold and windy, and she did not trust her breaks or tires to make the drive back home, so she walked to the back to try the door there.  “Surely, Helena left it unlocked”, but she discovered that even on Nantucket, they lock up to keep danger out.  She reached in her purse, pulled out the phone and dialed her number.  No one answered and now Helena was becoming encased herself, as a frozen crust made it hard to see.  She wondered where Helena could be, it’s too nasty out to travel, but then thought that maybe she had left in this crazy weather.  She pounded the snow with giant footsteps and reached the front of the house for one last try at ringing the bell, but as she navigated the porch steps, she fell. 

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It was now 6:45, the next morning, when the snowplow was clearing the road in front of Mrs. Childers house.  The dirver noticed a red coat in the snow, concerned, he pulled over, and ran out to see if there was a person attached and sure enough, he found Helena, still holding the flowers and she wasn’t breathing.  He went back to his truck and told the dispatcher that an ambulance was needed, it looked like someone didn’t make it to the house for a birthday party.

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That afternoon, Mrs. Childers arrived at her house, none-the-worse for the ride back, as the roads were cleared and the sun was beginning to part the heavy cloud cover.  After shedding her boots and layers of clothing, the telephone rang, it was the hospital and they asked for Mrs. Childers, Mrs. Elaine Childers.  Mrs. Childers answered, “yes, I’m Mrs. Cjilders, but I’m her daughter, Samantha, my mother passed away three months ago.”  A little taken back, the nurse asked Samantha if she knew a woman named Helena.  “Yes, she is my mother’s sister, why?”  The nurse then explained that a road department man found her aunt, dead in the snow.  She also said that she needed Samantha to come to the hospital to pick up a few items that were found in her aunt’s possession.  Samantha said she would be right over.

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As she walked toward the nurse’s station, she had an eerie feeling, but took a deep breath and told a woman at the desk that she needed to speak with a woman named Brenda.  “I am Brenda, are you Samantha?”, she began to extend her hand.  After some small talk about the crazy storm, she took the bouquet of flowers from under the desk and handed it to Sam.  “There’s a notecard, I think you should read it”, Brenda whinced.

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The notecard simply said, “Happy Birthday Sis, Wish I could be with you more often than I have been lately.  I was thinking of moving back to the island.  How would you like a roommie?  All my love, Helena”.  Samantha got teary-eyed and said, “You are now Aunty Helena, you have your wishes”.

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-dld o2.o2.11-

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T10 – Words, Inc., Wednesday:  decide, drop, day

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One response to “Human Interest Story Found in the Nantucket Observer

  1. when you read this, be mindful of your elderly neighbors this winter!!!

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