They saw each other rarely after 1950 but they wrote lots of letters and they spoke on the phone as often as possible; phone calls were expensive in those days. I can remember listening to Mom and Helen talking on the phone from the time when I was a young girl. They laughed a lot and those phone calls always made Mom happy. Mom got to NY a few times during the years before she stopped flying and I'd guess she actually got to visit with Helen about 4 or 5 times after moving to California.
Everything I know about Helen, I know from Mom's stories about their friendship. No matter where Mom lived and no matter how life events changed them, Mom and Helen considered each other best friends. I met Helen once, maybe twice. I did talk to her a few times on the phone after Mom developed Alzheimer's and had to move to a care facility. Mom forgot a lot about her own life in her last 3 years of life but she never forgot Helen. One day, about 6 months before she died, I brought her to my house and I called Helen and then put Mom on the phone. The two of them chatted for some time. Later Helen told me she thought Mom sounded great, just like her old self with only a few memory lapses. I just remember hearing Mom laugh like her old self for the first time in years. I cherish that memory.
The last time I talked to Helen was the day Mom died in September, 1998. She was so kind and told me how much she cared for my mom, how smart my mom was and what a good friend she was. From then on, Helen sent me a Christmas card every year, usually with a kind comment telling me how she missed my mom and how proud mom would be of me and Debra.
A few days ago, I suddenly realized I didn't get a card from Helen this past Christmas. Of course she could have just decided not to send cards but a quick google search revealed to me that Helen died last May. I will miss Helen's cards and I will be imagining those two best friends having a lovely reunion.