On Thursday, April 16 a friend of mine passed away at the age of 96. Her name was Helen M. Everitt. She and I used to work at the Scott County Public Library together in Scottsburg, Indiana when I was a page there. She was one of my favorite people with whom to work. She was fun-loving, kind, smart and just an all-around nice person.
I think it was on Tuesday (or was it Thursday?) that we got books back from the local nursing homes. There used to be a program where the Library would take books to read to the residents of area nursing homes. It was Helen’s job to check the returned books back in. As a page, it was my job to reshelve them. I normally dreaded that day.
I would load up my cart with books and start the reshelving process. Initially, as I would be shelving the books, Helen would come by with an armload and pile them on my cart. It seemed that I’d no sooner finish with a stack of books until there’d be another stack replacing them. Also, I would have arranged the books in a certain order to make the process easier for me. When new books were added, it messed up my system. I would soon get discouraged. It seemed like I’d never finish.
One day, I explained to Helen that I preferred to load up my cart and completely clear it before getting more books. I asked her if she could just wait for me to come by with my cart when I was ready for them. Helen readily agreed. She was very accommodating. This one little concession made my job a lot more bearable. Of course, it meant that the books stacked up on Helen’s table until I came by. She didn’t seem to be bothered by it, as long as it was helping someone else.
I remember too, that I really enjoyed talking to her. She usually had some fun story to tell about her younger days. She also really loved puns (as do I). The more apt they were to make people groan when the punchline was told, the better she liked them.
She also really loved chocolate. She told me several times that when she died, if she found out that they didn’t have chocolate in heaven, that she didn’t want to go! Well, Helen, I hope you’re getting your fill of chocolate even now, as I write this! Thanks for sharing yourself with us all.