My Darling Helen,
As I look back at you, I am filled with sweet love. Please believe that you are a beautiful, wonderful person. Fight those insecurities and self-doubt. I know how self-conscious and shy you feel. Try to understand it is only because Mom and Dad came from a remote mountain village in Greece and do not know how to raise you in Canadian ways, but they love you so very much.
Remember one day you will leave your limited Greek environment there in Saskatoon and be free to be yourself with no more loneliness!
One sad memory I will give you now. When you are 16, Daddy will die. He’s been ill and in pain for so long. It will be for you all a terrible sadness. Now, sit by his bed and make him laugh with all sorts of silly talk. Laughter will make the coming grief of his death easier for Daddy and for you. When he goes to heaven, comfort Mother, Diane and Mary. As the eldest daughter it will be your responsibility to stay strong. And you are!
Enjoy daydreaming, for it’s the stuff artists are made of. Continue sitting quietly in your bedroom drawing. Let your art always express what you feel, not what you think and feeling so alone is a good thing - really! One day you will be a professional artist. Today you are learning the beauty of the aloneness that the artist needs to work. Embrace it, don't fight it.
You will leave Saskatoon at 18 and come to the big city of
Toronto. It is every thing wonderful you hear on CBC Radio Toronto.
You will have a long good life.
How I love you.