Friday, December 21, 2012

Until we meet again, may God Hold you in the palm of his hand

Remembering

In the community computer room, we sat side by side viewing one computer screen and taking turns in selecting our favourite you tube artists.  It is her turn and she asks for her favourite group from the 60's Procol Harum and "Whiter Shade of Pale".

 As the tune ends, she enthuses "Isn't that just marvelous Helen;  I never knew what they looked like.  Her wheelchair she brings closer to the screen as we watch her late father playing with his orchestra and always, always she says "now Helen it is your turn to choose a song.  During my weekly visits we travel the world, listen to concerts, laugh at comedians.  Following a formal afternoon tea, with bone china cups and  cakes we return to her beautiful room.  As we wheel along the corridor we always stop to acknowledge the pen and wash portraits of her seven brothers and sisters, all painted on their second birthdays, then a painting of her beautiful father and mother.

Rose Ann, from childhood was a regular patient at various hospitals where surgeries were numerous.
Her glass is always half full.  Her needs simple.  She is generous, thoughtful and caring.  Possessing a photographic memory she can recall events and meetings with precision.  I first met her on our wedding day more than thirty years ago, she came to the church to extend her good wishes.

In Ireland, she is what we used call "A Black Irish Beauty".  Jet black hair, blue eyes and porcelain skin.

Rose Ann died on Friday, December 14th at the age of three score and nine.

I know I will miss her very much and the joy and fun we shared on those weekly visits.

Tomorrow is her funeral and snow is promised.  The poem "In memory of WB Yeats" by Auden comes to mind:

He disappeared in the dead of winter:
The brooks were frozen, the airports almost deserted,
And snow disfigured the public statues;
The mercury sank in the mouth of the dying day.
What instruments we have agree 
The day of his death was a dark cold day.

104 comments:

  1. Helen, what an amazing tribute to this lovely woman who is gone too soon.

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    1. Hello Marsha

      Thank you for your kind words. I will miss her

      Helenxx

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  2. I'm sorry. I know how hard it is to lose a dear friend. This is a lovely and loving tribute.

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    1. Hello Jen

      Thank you and yes Rose Ann was angelic and original.

      Helen xx

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  3. You are very fortunate to have spent so much time with Rose Ann, and shared a beautiful friendship.
    Your memories of her will always remain in your heart.
    I'm sorry for your loss.

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    1. You are so right, I treasure all the time spent. She enriched my life. Her brother Bud is Mike's best friend from childhood.
      Thank you for your good wishes
      Helen xx

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  4. Oh Helen, you made me pause here..thank you for that.
    i am so sorry for your loss of this special person your friend was and I am sure will always be remebered.
    God bless and wishing you peace and comfort
    With love
    Colette x

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    1. Hello Colette

      Your beautiful thoughts and good wishes are truly appreciated.
      She was one in a million.

      Helen xx

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  5. Dear Helen - what a beautiful and moving tribute to your dear friend Rose Ann.
    Sometimes people grace our lives, albeit briefly, rather like a beautiful butterfly, but then we have to open our hands and let them fly away, but their memory remains with us forever.

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  6. Hello Rosemary

    You say it so beautifully with this analogy to the butterfly. To add, to this the perfume remains on the the hand of the rose picker.
    I consider myself very fortunate to have met her.
    Many thanks for your thoughtfullness

    Helen xx

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  7. Helen, I am so sorry that you lost your friend. Your visits must have been very special with her.

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    1. Hello Chania

      Thank you for your kind thoughts. Visits were indeed very special and I shall miss her greatly.

      Helen xx

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  8. May your dear heart be eased in this time of sorrow Helen...my thoughts and prayers are with you at the loss of such a beautiful friend.

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    1. Hello Jacqueline

      Thank you for your beautiful kind words and for your prayers.
      Rose Ann was authentic and one of a kind.

      Helen xx

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  9. A poignant and touching tribute to a special person in your life. I know she loved spending time with you and performing those rituals of listening/watching artists on you tube. It so happens that "A Whiter Shade of Pale" is one of my very favorites from days gone by. I get chills each time I listen. Now when I hear it I will have an additional association -- that of your story about Rose Ann.

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    1. Hello Sanda

      What a joyful coincidence that you share the same beautiful song " A Whiter Shade of Pale". She remembered dancing in the basement of their home with her siblings when that song hit the charts. You would have loved her Sanda

      Helen xx

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  10. Helen, I am so sorry for your lose. It is difficult to let go of dear friends. I will hold you in my heart and thoughts. Bonnie

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    1. Hello Bonnie

      Thank you for your kindness. Her death was sudden and unexpected. She gave more that she received.

      Helen xx

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  11. Oh my, Helen, this writing is inspired. What a lovely tribute to a lovely woman in your life. May she rest in peace.

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    1. Hello Rebecca

      It is indeed a minute tribute in comparison to all she gave. Going to visit her brought me so much joy it never felt like a chore. She died on the same day as all those beautiful children in Connecticut.
      Helen xx

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  12. Helen, What a beautiful tribute to one who was such a gift. I lost a dear friend this year as well and although he left on the warmest of summer days, your poem's line, "The day of his death was a dark cold day" rings so true of that July memory. So sorry to read of your loss~ Jackie

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    1. Hello Jackie

      Thank you for your words of kindness. The poem speaks of the bleakness surrounding death. I am also sorry for the loss of your great friend in July. May they rest in peace

      Helen xx

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  13. Dear Helen,
    On the day of Ron's (my husband) father's funeral in Dublin - years ago, a friend of Ron, who was at the time a member of the Irish gouvernement, just shook Ron's hand saying "sorry for your trouble". It certainly stuck in Ron's mind to this day.

    I can only tell you that my heart goes out to you in your sorrow.
    And in my mind I'll be with YOU tomorrow at the funeral, may the snow cover silently some of the sadness.

    Very fondly, Karin

    May Rose Ann rest in peace.

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    1. Hello Karin,

      What a beautiful comment at the funeral of Ron's father. I had forgotten that beautiful expression which means so much in so few words.

      Thank you for your kind thoughts and good wishes.
      Happy Christmas to you and your family

      Love,
      Helen xx

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  14. Wow Helen, what a beautiful bond the two of you shared... certainly she is in paradise now.
    You were both so fortunate to have connected in such a profound way on this earth and one day will be reunited again.
    I want you to know how much I cherish your friendship and all the lovely communication that you have gifted me with this past year. I treasure you my sweet friend and want to wish you a Merry Christmas and blessed New Year.
    Much love always,
    Terri
    xo

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    1. Hello Terri

      Your kind and beautiful words are beautiful to hear today.
      A beautiful thought that Rose Ann is in paradise. She lived in a paradise of her own making and all who stepped into her world felt it.
      I thank you for your beautiful friendship, support and gifts.
      A very Happy Christmas to you and your family and may 2013 bring much joy.

      Helen xx

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  15. Helen, I am so terribly sorry for your loss. Your loving tribute gave us all a glimpse of what the best friendships can be. Please know that you will be in my prayers and I am sending you thoughts of hope and strength at this difficult time. Your comment to Rebecca made me wonder...if her time had come to help shepherd those poor little ones home.
    Wishing that I could also send a hug,
    H.

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    1. Hello Heather

      Thank you for your words of comfort. That is a beautiful thought of Rose Ann being a shepherd to those dear children. I know this is a job she would have taken very seriously and with tenderness.

      Wishing you a very Happy Christmas

      Helen xx

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  16. Dear Helen,
    What a lovely tribute to your friend, Rose Ann. A beautiful friendship you shared. I'm very sorry for your loss. Take care!
    My very best ~
    Loi

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    1. Dear Loi

      How kind of you to take the time to comment at this busy time of year. It was, as you state, a beautiful friendship which meant very much to me.

      Wishing you a very Happy Christmas and I hope you get some free time to enjoy your beautiful garden

      Helen xx

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  17. Dear Helen,
    Rose Ann is now resting with the angeles. It is a very sad time when we loose a friend.
    You will have such lovely memories to remember her by..
    I feel from your words that she touched your soul, and was a wonderful person.
    You will miss her.
    Take care Helen.
    wishing you a blessed peaceful Christmas..
    val xx

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    1. Hello Valerie

      That is a good way to phrase it "she touched my soul". She was indeed a very rare and special person and gave so much to all who encountered her.

      Wishing you a very Happy Christmas Valerie and let 2013 be the best year ever

      Helen xx

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  18. What a lovely tribute to your friend. May your wonderful memories of Rose Ann sustain you through this sad time.

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    1. Hello Loree

      Thank you for your kind words of support. They mean very much to me. Wishing you the joys of the season

      Helen x

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  19. Dear Helen,

    So sorry to hear of the loss of your dear friend. What a beautiful tribute to her.

    Take care!

    Madelief xox

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    1. Hello Madelief

      She was indeed a great friend and I thank you kindly for your thoughtfulness.

      Wishing you a very Happy Christmas and goodness in 2013

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  20. Dear Helen,
    I am so sorry to hear the sad news that you have lost a friend. I can't say anything that will make you feel better apart from the fact that you were very lucky that she came into your life and that you will have so many happy memories of her.
    Am thinking of you Helen and hope that you can have a happy Christmas despite your loss.......I'm sure that you will be thinking of Rose Ann and that she would want you to enjoy the festivities. Much love Helen. XXXX

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    1. Hello Jacuqeline
      Yes you are right I am very fortunate that she came into my life and I have benefited from knowing her.
      Thank you for your support and I wish you and your family a very Happy Christmas and may 2013 be marvelous

      Helen xx

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  21. Dear Helen,
    So sorry to hear of the passing of your dear friend. She sounds an amazing lady and this is a beautiful tribute to her. Thinking of you.
    Sarah x

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    1. Hello Sarah

      Many thanks for your kind words of support. I wish you and your family a very Happy Christmas and may 2013 be brilliant

      Helen xx

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  22. What a beautiful tribute to your friend - it is always so hard to say goodbye to a loved one - have a very good xmas and thank you so much for your lovely message to me and frank xx

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    1. What a delightful surprise to see you here today and thank you and Frank for your good wishes and I return the greeting of a very Happy Christmas and may 2013 be the best ever

      Helen xx

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  23. My dearest Helen,

    What a heartfelt tribute to your friend Rose Ann. My sincere condolences to you and I'm thinking of you at this difficult time dealing with a great loss of a beloved friend. But the happy time that you both share will always live on in your memory and in your heart. This, no one can take this away from you. Let this be a very small consolation. Reading about your friend, I felt that I wish I could have met her as I know that she would have been the most interesting person to talk to...

    Talking about friendship reminds me to thank you also for your warm and kind friendship. Thank you for being YOU, my dearest Helen. You brighten up my day. I hope you would have a good Christmas and a peaceful new year. May God bless you. With love, ASD xxx

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    1. Dearest ASD

      Rose Ann was very special and I am sure she would have loved to have met you and also would have loved your stories and music suggestions.She loved to learn and as I said her memory was photographic She did not gossip. The closest I heard was one time she said "oh I wish she had not done that" then said: "I should not talk about her, as I am far from perfect".

      Wishing you a very Happy Christmas in your beautiful new home and may 2013 bring unceasing joy to you. Your friendship means very much to me and may God bless you also.

      Helen xxx

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  24. I am so sorry for the loss of your friend, Helen.
    It sounds like she was a very, very special person.
    May your memories of her bring you comfort at this difficult time.

    xo.

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    1. Hello Lisa

      Thank you for your kind words. Rose Ann was one in a million and I count my blessings that she was in my life.
      I wish to take this opportunity to wish you a very Happy Christmas and may 2013 be the best ever (that sounds like a Taylor Swift album....(the best ever)

      Helen xx

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  25. Very sorry to hear of the death of your special friend Helen. I hope you have a peaceful Christmas:)
    Anne xx

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    1. Hello Anne

      Thank you for your kind message and wishing you Nollaig Shona

      Helen xx

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  26. Helen,

    What a beautiful tribute to you special friend. It is always difficult to loose someone but it always seems just a little harder at the holidays. My thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time Helen. I am sure that your beautiful and happy memories will be of comfort to you as you think of her.

    I wish you a merry Christmas and a blessed new year, Elizabeth

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    1. Hello Elizabeth

      Thank you for your support and kind words. Thank you for your prayers which will comfort her brothers and sisters and all who knew her.
      Wishing you and your family a very Happy Christmas

      Helen xx

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  27. Helen,
    Such a moving a beautiful tribute to your cherished friend. Wishing you and yours joy this holiday season.
    ~R

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    1. How kind of you to send your good wishes and thoughts.
      I return the greeting of a very Happy Christmas

      Helen xx

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  28. Wishing you a blessed and Merry Christmas. I have so enjoyed your wonderful blog! Gina

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    1. Hello Gina

      A very Happy Christmas and thank you for your support and friendship. Looking forward to 2013

      Helen xx

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  29. Dear Helen,

    What a beautiful and moving tribute to your friend. I am so sorry for your loss.

    Wishing you a very Merry Christmas filled with light, love and joy. Thank you so much for your wonderful blog!!

    All the best,
    Louise

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    1. Hello Louise

      Thank you for your wonderful blog and I always feel I learn so much from you.

      Your kind wishes and I wish you and your family a very Happy Christmas

      Helen xx

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  30. Thoughts and prayers are with you Helen, so sorry for the loss of your dear friend.
    Peace and love for your heart this Christmas...and many blessings in the New Year. ♥
    Hugs,
    xo J~

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    1. Hello Jessica

      So lovely to hear from you and your beautiful prayers and good wishes are much appreciated.

      Wishing you the joys of the Christmas season

      Helenxx

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  31. Thank you for leaving a comment on my blog. It allowed me to find you. I read your loving tribute to your friend. What a gorgeous soul.

    I see that you mentioned Ireland. My grandmother's homeland. I had several cousins that were "black beauties", too; porcelain china doll skin, black hair and eyes the color of cornflowers. I was always so jealous of them!;>)

    I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and I will be back. I am your newest follower and looking forward to getting to know you better- xo Diana

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    1. Hello Diana

      A big warm welome to my blog and thank you for such kind words and good wishes.

      I love your description of Irish blue eyes "cornflowers" that describes Rose Ann's eyes perfectly.

      Wishing you the joys of Christmas and may 2013 be very special

      Helen xx

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  32. Dear Helen, what a poignant post...it's a reminder that each day is a precious one and one that is not repeated. We should enjoy each moment we have with loved ones. Wishing you and yours a wonderful cheerful Christmas. x

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    1. Hello Sharon

      A warm, hearty welcome to my blog. You point out that each day is precious, we certainly need a daily reminder of this.
      Thank you for your beautiful Christmas wishes and may I return them to you and your family.

      Helen xx

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  33. Dear Helen,
    What a beautiful tribute to Rose Ann (or Sam, as many of us call her). Perhaps we have met? I am one of her many nieces, and she was my godmother. We would have spent today with her celebrating Christmas at my parents' place (Jack and Anne West). My uncle Bud forwarded your post to all of us. I have posted the eulogy (http://gator213.hostgator.com/~idamae/?p=2191) I wrote for Saturday on my blog as a tribute to her beautiful life, and will add a link to your post to it. Thank you so much for the gift of your memories of sweet Sam.

    With gratitude,
    Ida Mae

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  34. Hello Ida Mae

    What a delightful surprise to see you here this morning. I have heard lots of great things about you from Rose Ann when she spoke of you so affectionately. Now I am rushing over to your blog to read your tribute to one of the most beautiful and gentle human beings. I am sorry for your tremendous loss. There are not many young women who can say that their God-Mother was an angel. I hold you in my prayers.

    Helen xxx

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  35. Helen,

    In our lifetime we know many people but only a select few we call our friends. How lucky for you that Rose Ann was a "special friend" and constant in your life. The sweetness that leaves us lives fully in our mind. No matter where you are or may go Rose Ann can share in it by simply bringing her to mind. Prayer to all who know her and will miss her.

    Seasons of change do help us remember how wonderful life is. Blessings to you Helen in this tender time. Thank You for sharing with us and for always sharing kindness on my blog as well.
    Virtual hugs to you.

    xoxo
    Bette

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    1. Hello Bette

      You express my friendship with Rose Ann so beautifully and I shall draw upon that beautiful thought "by bringing Rose Ann to mind I can share the joy". You remind us that we must continue to plod on and be joyful. Thank you for the prayers for her family they will be much appreciated.

      I am delighted to know you, through your blog, Bette, which like you brings much joy.

      Helen xx

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  36. Dear Helen...how fortunate you were to have Rose Ann in your life and I feel certain that she would have felt the same towards you...all your readers would agree. It is a blessing when we come across someone so special. Thinking of you and wishing you well..

    Jeanne xx

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    1. Good Morning Jeanne
      Thank you for taking the time to comment, as I know you are vacationing with your beautiful family in Vietnam.
      It is indeed a blessing when we come upon a person who is special.
      You are very very kind with you compliment.
      Happy New Year

      Helen xx

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  37. Beautiful tribute. I'm sorry for your loss - but happy that you have such lovely memories to hold on to.

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    1. Good Morning Rachel

      Thank you for your kind words and good wishes. How thoughtful of you to comment.

      I wish you the joys of 2013
      Helen xx

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  38. You are so fortunate & blessed to have known such a beautiful soul. You've written a lovely tribute. Thank you for sharing Rose Ann with us.

    You are in my thoughts and prayers Helen.
    Sam

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    1. Hello Sam
      You would have loved Rose Ann and she would have been so happy to spend time in your kitchen. She loved to learn and would have been fascinated by your culinary skills.
      Thank you also for your prayers Sam, I shall hold you also in mine

      Helenxx

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  39. What a lovely friend to have lost. My heart goes out to you dear Helen. You are in my thoughts and prayers...........

    Hugs,
    Emily

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    1. Hello Emily

      Many thanks for your sweet and kind comment. Your prayers are greatly appreciated.

      Happy New Year

      Helen xx

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  40. OH but such a lovely tribute to your sweet friend. Thank you for sharing her with us Helen.
    V

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    1. Hello Virginia

      Happy you approve of my tribute. There was so much to say about Rose Ann and her loving family.
      Wishing you the blessings of the New Year

      Helen xx

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  41. Good morning precious Helen; I have known some "Black Irish" people, and what gorgeous human beings.....that black hair with the light skin and light eyes is what wonderful paintings are made of!!

    And the way you describe this person, well, her character is what is the most memorable, isn't it?

    May 2013 bring you many joys. Thank you for visiting me! Anita

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    1. Hello Anita

      It is a beautiful combination - my nephew Colm has these looks and the girls love him!!

      Yes, Rose Ann was a most memorable woman and so giving.

      I return the good wishes for a superb 2013.

      Helen xx

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  42. Dear Helen,
    Thank You so much for your kind feedback! Now following You as well and I hope to come here as often as I can! I am sory for your lots and sinecerely wish You a bright, hopeful and positive 2013!

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    1. Hello Aida

      A heartfelt welcome on your first visit. I will look forward to seeing you again. Thank you for your words of comfort.

      Wishing you a very happy 2013.

      Helen xx

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  43. Oh Helen, I am so sorry for your loss. It sounds like Rose Ann knew the secret to a beautiful and rich life - a glass-half-full way of seeing the world, no matter what. Such an inspiration to us all. I wanted to also thank you for your kind words and prayers for my family. They mean so much. I'm sending you wishes for a happy new year and for a bright 2013. XO, Jeanne

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    1. Happy New Year Jeanne and thank you for taking the time to stop and convey your condolences, at this very busy time for you. You say it well when you say Rose Ann was an inspiration for us all.
      Keeping your father in my prayers and enjoy those visits with your dear mother

      Helen xx

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  44. Oh Helen, sorry I missed this post. But it's never too late to say I'm sorry for the loss of a friend.

    Sending you a hug and wishes for a peaceful, and bluegrass filled New Year.

    xo Jane

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    1. Hello Jane

      Thank you for your kind words and for visiting. Looking forward to this evening's party and the bluegrass will be wonderful.

      Happy New Year to you and yours

      Helen xx

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  45. Happy New Year! Best wishes to you in 2013! Xx

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    1. Thank you for your kind wish. I wish you the very best in 2013

      Helen xx

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  46. Helen, this was such a wonderful tribute to a fabulous friend, Rose Ann.
    I want to thank you for stopping by the blog and leaving such lovely comments. Arms around you and may you have the most delicious New Year 2013 EVER. xxpeggy

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    1. Hello Peggy

      Thank you for your kind good wishes and approval of my tribute to Rose Ann. It seems shallow when I think of her and her incredible qualities and I know all who knew her, including her siblings are missing her greatly.
      Wishing you a Happy 2013.

      Helen xx

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  47. Helen,
    I am so sorry to hear of your loss...I have lost far too many friends, way too young. I feel their presence and love always around me...may Rose Ann always be there with you .
    Thank you for your inspiration and friendship this year, I feel blessed to have met you in this blogging world ~
    Peace and Joy in 2013,
    Nathalie

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    1. Hello Nathalie

      I a sorry you have lost young friends too. I love that thought of their presence and love around us.
      Thank you for your beautiful blog and friendship. I echo your wish for 2013.

      Helen xx

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  48. Helen, I am so sorry about your dear friend. She sounds like a really wonderful individual. I hope the funeral all goes well and that you won't be too sad.
    I wish you and your family a very special year ahead, I hope it is filled with fun and love and memories. Thank you so much for the lovely comments on my blog, I just love it when I see that you have called in. God Bless you, Linda x

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    1. Hello Linda

      Rose Ann was indeed a wonderful individual and her funeral was attended by loved ones and family. She leaves a big void in many lives.

      Wishing you and your family a spectacular 2013 full of joy and prosperity and peace.

      May God bless you also Linda

      Helen xx

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  49. Happy New Year Helen! Best wishes!

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    1. Thank you for your beautiful wish. I wish you a peaceful, healthy and prosperous New Year

      Helen xx

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  50. What a beautiful tribute to your friend, I am very moved by it. Some people's spirit stay with us for all our lives and I love the continuity in your friendship and the deep feeling you have managed to express here through you loss. Helen I have treasured your support and kind insightful words last year, I send you a big hug sweetheart. X

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    1. Thank you kindly for your words of encouragement and support.
      Rose Ann was a rare and beautiful human being. We are all missing her very much.
      I love your blog and you transport me back to Ireland and I feel at home when I visit you.

      Sending you a big hug from Florida

      Helen xx

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  51. Dear Helen,

    In your engaging narrative today, a small excerpt, from the life of an Irish beauty who left this world too soon, leaving it a little less full.

    Wishing you the best in health, peace and joy.

    Poppy xo

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  52. Hello Poppy

    I hope you are back to the sunshine of Greece.

    Thank you for your gift in summing up Rose Ann. How beautifully you have expressed this.

    Wishing you health, peace, joy and prosperity in 2013

    Helen xx

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  53. A beautiful and touching tribute. I hope that 2013 is good to you, Helen.

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    1. Happy New Year Jenny
      Many thanks for your kind comment
      Wishing you the best in 2013.

      Helenxx

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  54. I'm sorry to hear of your loss, Helen. Your friend sounds like she was a lovely person. And such a lovely tribute and poem. I hope you find solace in the New Year.

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    1. Hello Jacqueline

      Thank you for your words. Yes Rose Ann was one in a million and is missed very much. Thank you for your New Year wishes. I return the wish to you

      Helenxx

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  55. I just saw this, Helen. You brought tears to my eyes... sad and happy tears. Why happy? because your friend was lucky to be surrounded by so much love and also because I feel it's wonderful to see there are still good sensitive souls like yours in the world. Losing those we love is always sad, no matter their age. Love has no face, no body, no age and when somebody goes, we can't help missing them.

    THANK YOU, HELEN

    ANNA
    xxx

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  56. Hello Anna

    You have such a gift at expressing your feelings. Thank you for this beautiful reminder of what treasures friends truly are.

    Wishing you a weekend of joy

    Helen xx

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