For me, H will always be for Helen.
Helen was one of my sisters. She was the sibling closest in age to me, but she was 10 years older than me. Helen was born with hydrocephalus, a condition that failed to allow proper drainage of the fluid in her head while she was in utero. Because of the fluid, she suffered severe brain damage.
Helen defied many odds. When she was born, she had was fed around the clock with an eye dropper because she couldn’t suck on a bottle. She was one of the first children to receive a new kind of shunt at Boston Children’s Hospital. She underwent 21 operations in 23 years to move or replace the shunt.
Helen lived far longer than I think many people expected. But 2 and a half years ago, she died at the age of 48. I was the only immediate family member that wasn’t with her.
Someday I would like to write about Helen. Tell her story. I hope I can find the right words.