It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of our most treasured mother, sister and grandmother, Helene (Elliott) Henderson, on Sunday, May 7, 2023 at Colchester East Hants Health Centre.
Helene spent her last days sharing laughter and memories (99% good) surrounded by her son, David Henderson (Lana) and daughter, Pamela Lanthier (Jean-Marc); her precious granddaughters, Delaney Henderson (Jack) and Victoria Lanthier (Benjamin); and her devoted brother, Richard Elliott (Carol).
There are many that know the wonderfulness of our Mommy. The numbers go far beyond our comprehension. She was our light and her light was so bright it also captured many others. She is so much more than words can ever say but let us try!
Helene was born right before the beginning of the war and her mother started to raise her (along with her grandmother) while her father went to Borden for training. Such a line of strong women.
She is the oldest of three all wonderful, all different children.
She loved playing hookey with her grandmother in kindergarten!!
She loved sports, and if the number of school friends we have seen this week is any indication, she was pretty darn popular.
She wore poodle skirts and pierced her own ears!
She met the love of her life (Ned Henderson) in high school and that love has carried her through every day of her life, far too much of it without the love of her life. She went into nursing, adventured to Alberta and made her way back to Nova Scotia to marry Dad. She was a model military wife, moving at least 11 times in 22 years covering Germany, Scotland, California, and as far west as Cold Lake, raising three kids. As any military wife learns, she reinvented herself on the job front- obstetric nurse, long term care, jewellery store salesperson, medical secretary and real estate agent!!
1982 was a year no one should have to experience and as kids, she never let my brother and I see the excruciating pain she lived as she lost her husband and oldest son (Ted) in the same year.
Until this month, we probably had only seen our mother cry a handful of times. She was a pro at hiding it from us ‘being strong’. And until the past few days, we never imagined the depth of her love for my father and the seconds and minutes and hours and days and years of memories that she was finally able to share with us. Oh what a moment, when she heard that plane and knew Dad was coming for her.
Every song is a memory- 99% good
She always loved us and our friends. Our house was the place to be and our Mom was a surrogate mom, aunt and grandmother to so many. She gave, she listened, she helped. She raised us in a way that I always wanted to know the ‘secret’ because she made it seem effortless.
She kept her life busy and full of laughter and smiles and always happy memories.
She was very involved at Knox United Church and was so appreciated as a greeter.
She was artistic, always trying new things, tole painting and rug hooking filled many hours and decorated many homes.
She loved NASCAR and Dale Earnhardt.
She loved Alan Jackson.
She was fiercely independent and very proud to be busy around town on a daily basis.
She was a dear friend to so so many.
She was a beloved sister, sister-in-law, mother-in-law, aunt, great aunt, grandmother, step-grandmother and grandmother-in-law.
She was the listening ear, the understanding compassion that everyone should have.
She was our role model and so much more.
She was our champion, advocate and hero.
She was strong, caring, wonderful and magical.
She was called a paragon of positivity.
She was resilience.
She was love.
So many and yet not enough precious moments. Even some pretty miraculous moments that we will guard in our hearts. These 10 days have been so incredibly difficult and yet such a blessing. And yes, she faced it all with an inner strength that should not come as a surprise. Not that she wasn’t just a tad ticked off- she should have another ten good years!!
She has two devoted granddaughters, Victoria and Delaney, who treasured the precious time at her bedside and have had incredible times to spend with her while growing up. She was even able to have a vision of them in wedding dresses, appropriate after so many nights watching ‘Say Yes to the Dress’
She has two kids, David and Pamela, who know how incredibly lucky they are to have her for a mom. And darn it, she is going to leave an awful lot of broken hearts. But we’ll be okay. She has one heck of a reunion up there and she showed us how to do what we have to do. She set the bar pretty high.
Happy memories are what we will honour you with every day and we will always remember the silly ones. Keep looking down on us and smiling. Send us butterflies, hummingbirds and rainbows. Give everyone a big kiss and hug from us too.
Many thanks to the Palliative Care Team at Colchester East Hants Health Centre, Dr. Masoumi and assistant Trudi, and the many people who brought her joy by calling, messaging and visiting while she was at the hospital.
Funeral service will be held 11 am Friday, May 12, 2023 at Knox United Church in Brookfield, Reverend Michael Henderson officiating followed by interment in Brookfield Cemetery. No visitation or reception. Donations in lieu of flowers can be made to Knox United Church, Cancer Research or a local charity of your choice.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Mattatall – Varner Funeral Home, 55 Young Street, Truro. Private messages of condolence may be sent to the family by viewing Helene’s obituary on-line and selecting "Send A Condolence" at: www.mattatallvarnerfh.com
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