Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Happy Birthday, Helaine!

Today, June 12, would have been my friend Helaine's 48th birthday. She was a Gemini and a pretty strong believer in astrological stuff. She once told me that because I was a Libra (the scales) I was naturally attracted to similarly "balanced" signs such as Gemini (the twins) and Pisces (the fish). Well, although I don't really believe that stuff, it is true that my best friends were all born in February, March, May, June, September, and October. My wife was born in March. So....although I don't actually *believe* in Astrology, I don't really DIS-believe, either! 

Astrology doesn't have anything to do with anything except as an example of how much I miss my friend. Thinking about Astrology makes me think of Helaine. Like so many other things! Out of the blue I'll see or hear or think of something, and that triggers a brain pulse memory and that triggers something else and that makes me think of that time....with Helaine. You know what I mean, right? When she died in December 2005 for several weeks I teared up ALL THE TIME because some song on the radio or some movie or some article would remind me of her, and that would remind me that she was gone. The hurt now isn't as raw as it was then, but still, if I am in a certain mood I won't listen to anything by Prince or Steely Dan or to "California Dreaming" by the Mamas and the Papas because all those songs can evoke fun memories BUT remind me that she's gone.

Don't mourn that she is gone; rejoice that she was ever here. (sigh)  

Recently I was at a conference or meeting at some off-site event. I didn't feel very comfortable when suddenly in the background I heard a Steely Dan song. I smiled to myself thinking maybe Helaine was watching over me, and I got through whatever it was I was doing OK.

Helaine LOVED music. She had music on ALL the time. She sang ALL the time. In the car we would sing to the radio on the way to friends' houses or to pick up Chinese food. She was one of the great car radio-changers. She loved going to concerts, too, although I never wanted to spend the money to go with her so I only went with her once. It is one of my true regrets that I never did get to see Prince with her. 

To help celebrate my friend Helaine, and to represent all the others who are gone (too soon), here is a song that we enjoyed back when we were in high school. It's a remake of a song originally done by Dionne Warwick, but it was not a *huge* hit for her, so I would argue that now, forty+ years later, this version is just as well known if not better known than hers is. I do remember that both Helaine and I knew that it was originally a Dionne Warwick, song, though. It was written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David. Yes, I'm talking about "Always Something There to Remind Me" by Naked Eyes from circa 1983.

Happy Birthday, Helaine!
 I'll choose a Steely Dan song next time, I promise. ;-)


  1. It is just amazing how much that crazy quirky friend of ours impacted our entire lives?! We wouldn't be what we are without her! I wonder if other people have a similar experience of someone who wasn't famous but an infamous part of forming so many people? Hmmm....

  2. You are so right! I often wonder if I have had a similar effect on others, and whether people will miss me when I am gone as much as I miss people like Helaine. ;-)