Preston Helgren
Memorial Candle Tribute From
Warren Cemetery
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Condolence From: Kelly Atkinson
Condolence: No words ever can adequately convey what someone means to you during the course of a lifetime. The many memories all seem to overlap and come flooding back and if you are lucky the really strong and good ones always stand out first. For me, that was simple and it is associated with March of 1981 during this week actually. I had just returned back to college after being home for spring break in March and the last big celebration we had was St. Pat.s Day at home. I went back to school the next day on a Wednesday. I continued my normal routine, until Sunday when my roommate told me I missed a call from my mom but I figured I would just call her back next week. Then Monday came, and I got back from work and duties at the college radio station only to discover multiple messages waiting for me to call home now. I did, spoke to my younger brother who told me that Dad wanted me back home and that someone would be there to pick me up within the hour. The only other thing I was told on the phone was that Mom was in the hospital and I was to come home. The surprise and shock of seeing Uncle Pres and Uncle Ed being the ones sent to pick me up from school made me realize that something serious was going on and that at age 19 I might want to really be worried about Mom. The car ride home however seemed only like a few minutes due to the care and concern given to a scared young woman by her uncle. The normal trip home was about 2 hours or so, and although I don't remember which way we went to get to the hospital that night, I do vividly recall Uncle Pres telling me stories all the way home, joking and laughing with silly songs and stories that had nothing to do with what was happening and doing whatever he could to make that ride seem not so long so that I wouldn't fear the worst. We got to the hospital, and by the next day my Mom was gone. But I am forever grateful to Uncle Pres for doing whatever he could to help me try to relax during that trip back home knowing what both he and Uncle Ed already knew was going on with my Mom. It made part of that week easier and less scary for me, and is something to this day that I treasure. Little moments like that often leave big impacts behind for others and I can honestly say that being able to laugh and hear his laugh during that ride home from Joliet that day made me feel the abundance of love from my entire family. there are a few other moments from that week every year that I always recall, and today as I await tomorrow to come (the anniversary of her passing) I am reminded that today March 23rd is an anniversary of itself--the day when 2 uncles came together to lift the spirits of one of their nieces and try their darnedest to make her feel less scared. I will never be able to fully thank Uncle Pres and my chauffeur Uncle Ed for their love and support that day, so instead I am choosing to smile and share a laugh with Uncle Pres today to say goodbye and that I am so lucky to have been one of your favorite nieces my entire life. Enjoy your reunion with my godmother your love Helen in heaven, and say hello to my Mom as well. I know she also appreciated everything you did that day for me, and was grateful to have you as one of her brothers in law for the time she spent with us. Rest now in peace, and I promise to laugh in your honor today and always Uncle Pres.
Friday March 23, 2018

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