Helen Balmer, 6/19/26 – 8/1/14

We lost my grandma this morning. I got the opportunity to talk to her yesterday, and was surprised by my words and how little was actually important in that moment. I told her I loved her. I expressed my deep gratitude for her. I told her how grateful I was for her influence and presence in my life. I told her I hoped she could feel my love.


Could that be it, then? Love and gratitude? I suspect so, although it seems too simple in moments that feel so big. Of course, when I think about it, I know that love and gratitude are hardly simple things.


I'm grateful to have gotten together with most of the family recently for her birthday. I'm so glad that I got to have her in my life so well into my adulthood. She loved my children. They called her "G G".


There are some people that I think you can just feel in your bones. My grandma is one of them. She *feels* like one of the women that I came from. Little things, like… I have her small hands. I inherited some of her fierce energy- no fear of confrontation in us, despite our gentle appearance. She was opinionated and yet also an endless well of love. You knew when she disapproved of something, but at the same time you also knew she was proud of you and would never let you go. Almost every time I saw her she told me to keep writing. She was a writer too. She's where I got my middle name. I don't know, it's strange to be thinking of her like this. She's just my dear grandma, and I'll miss her always.



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