THE P RTAL
Here am I Lord THE PORTAL talks to Helen
HELEN HAS been married to Michael for thirty-four years. Tey have three grown up children. One is a professional dancer, one a professional actor, and one hopes to be a professional sportsman. Helen and Michael live in the Home Counties and she is a member of her local Ordinariate Group.
Helen’s Father was a Yeoman Warden - that’s a
Beefeater to you and me! Tat means she grew up living in the Tower of London. Tis was not at all romantic. Te house had no central heating, no electricity, and slit-arrow windows without glass in the kitchen at any rate. Te rooms were tiny, and she told us, “I slept in a cupboard! Oh, and yes, it is haunted!”
“I used to be a Tax Inspector with three hundred
staff to look aſter. It was my job to take those who had evaded paying their tax, to court. One day I was addressing my staff, all of them, when my Dad walked in. “Where is my little sausage?” he boomed!” Oh dear!”
Helen is a vivacious lady, full of life and fun. THE PORTAL had a wonderful time with her.
A miracle She told us, “Recently we had a miracle. My Mum
had cancer and was given the treatment. She showed improvement, but we were told there were still three or four ‘hot spots’. I went round to our priest and told him. We prayed and celebrated Mass with a special Intention for my Mum. We lit candles and prayed the Rosary. When Mum went back to the hospital, what do you know? No hot spots! I went straight round to Father to tell him and we celebrated a Mass of Tanksgiving.” THE PORTAL thought “Oh that more of our people had such faith”.
Ministry with the elderly We steered the conversation towards Helen’s ministry
with the elderly. She became embarrassed, but did tell us that she just went to see her friends. Tey may be elderly, “But they are my friends,” she said.
With the children flown the nest, she was no longer
needed as she had been before. “It was a tough time falling pregnant: Eight pregnancies for three children. It was not good. I was a Mum the first time at thirty years of age. So when the children did arrive, I was determined to be a professional Mother. I had three children, and they were all awful babies with Measles,
Rheumatic Fever even a pituitary gland tumour. However; when they had grown up, I was no longer needed and I needed to be needed. I started giving talks about the Tower and my childhood there. I had Dad’s hat and other visual aids. Tey seemed to go down very well. I did them to raise money for Christian Aid, so maybe I could give one or two for local Ordinariate Groups?”
They needed help “At Church I began to make friends. I became friends
with those who needed a bit of help. Tey needed help, I gave it. I take them to the shop, to an appointment or for a day out. Now they ring me up and ask me to!”
“Really, I just fell into this ministry with the elderly. It
was not intended. I see Frances every day. She is ninety- four. I rub her shoulders, take her out, I entertain her when she is low. We are friends.”
Zest for life It was obvious that Helen enjoys life to the full. Her
zest for life rubs off on all around her. Indeed, she even infected THE PORTAL – hard headed hacks that we are!
It is not just the elderly around her own area and her
own Ordinariate Group that receive assistance from Helen. Her own Mother lives some way from her. It is a round trip of some one hundred and fiſty miles.
Helen tells us, “She was a pillar of her local Church
community. She was into everything. Last October she became ill. She had an abscess in her stomach, her bowel ruptured and she had a malignant tumour. She went through a terrible time. Five Doctors, and one Paramedic all assured us she just had diarrhoea and vomiting.
“We were assured she would be OK. Eventually she
was admitted to hospital as it was obvious she was not ok. Even then she was not admitted as an emergency.
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