Wrestling night has come and gone...and basketball senior nights are coming up quickly.  Senior night events are bittersweet moments for parents.  They are, without question, proud of their child and his/her accomplishments...yet, it also means that within a few months these kids will be on to the next stage of their lives...the stage where parents are no longer involved in their children's lives on a daily basis. 

We went to visit my mother-in-law on New Year's Day.  While Mike and Lexi were talking to the nurse, Makayla and I went across the hall to visit with Helen Strait.  I've heard about Helen all my life...the Strombergs...Caskeys....Eastmans...and Boteras...and others who grew up in Wrights, PA.  When I got to high school, I was friends with Helen's daughter, Julie.  I spent quite a bit of time at their home.  Later, when the Evangelical Methodist Church (formerly EUB Church) joined with the Trinity United Methodist Church, I once again would see Helen on a regular basis - at church, church dinners and church events.  

I had planned to go visit Helen from the moment I heard she was at Sena Kean...but days turn to weeks...and weeks to...well, you get the idea. It all worked out, though, and I did get to see her.  We had quite a visit.  She told me of the time she went with my Aunt Mariam and my father to New York city for the World's Fair.  My dad was only 17...I forget exactly who else went, but I'm pretty sure it was Carl Stromberg and Duane Ford...there were six of them.  I'll have to ask my Dad.  Anyway, I thought it was funny that she told this particular story as I had just heard about it from my Dad.  

I was glad to see Helen and visit with her.  It was in my New Year's plan to get around and do things sooner than later...and I was glad that I was starting out the new year in a good way.   Helen passed away a couple of weeks later.  It made that visit even more special as it was the last time I would see her. 

Her funeral was very nice.  With Pastor Randy in charge, you know services will be very nice.  This one was extra special as some of the younger members of her family did some readings. As I sat there listening to them speak, I knew it was nothing I would (or could) volunteer to do, no matter who it was we were speaking about.  On the other hand, I thought it would be such a nice tribute...I hope our kids and grandkids read this column.  I don't know why I would expect, when I couldn't gather the courage to do it myself, my family to participate in my funeral, but it would be something!

I've been told there are a few more DVD's of the Moments to Remember Show available.  Call the library to see where you can get your copy.  I also understand there is still time to get your order in for the great brooms the Lions Club is selling to raise funds for the library.  I think there is a display at the library for that fundraiser as well.

Don't forget - we're looking for nominees for the 2011 UNSUNG HERO program. It's not hard to nominate the Unsung Hero in your life.  Mail your nominations to Pam Fischer, 3786 Route #155 in Port Allegany or e-mail pamdfischer@gmail.com.  Include the person's name, address, phone number and the reason for the nomination. If you have anything else you'd like to add, do so.  You can sign your nomination or do it anonymously...just do it!