Helen Baldwin,  —

Helen Baldwin lives in Jefferson, North Carolina, with her husband, Randy plus their two dogs, a cat, and untold wild critters outside. Their firstborn’s family, including two delightful children, lives just down the road, so she enjoys lots of MomMom time. Helen and Randy have a rental cabin and bees, among numerous other endeavors, so they’ll never be bored. Life took a drastic twist in 1997 when their third baby, Jeffrey, was diagnosed with SMA type 1. Although their active stint with SMA was brief, Helen hopes that sharing and connecting experiences after Jeffrey’s death, usually with optimism, helps others endure the unpredictability of loss and recovery.

Articles by Helen Baldwin

Dead Skunks, Flashbacks, and COVID-19

Last Friday was a full moon, Friday the 13th kind of day, although officially it was neither. The stink bugs in the house and the dead skunk in the road summed it up perfectly. The day stank. But let me back up. The rental cabin my…

Eyes Opened and Eyes Closed

I spent a school year substituting in various special education classrooms in Fort Worth, Texas, before returning to school for teacher certification. I’d already worked with young children with developmental disabilities and loved their (usually) carefree and good-natured dispositions. My first assignment as a substitute teacher at…

Powering Up (and Out) for Another Year

Goodness, that didn’t take long. We’re already closing in on the middle of the first month of another new year. For most, 2021 felt like a tedious extension of the calamitous year before it. Oh, 2020, I hope never to see a year of your ilk again.

Year’s End Brings a Little Bird and Memories

Our baby Jeffrey snagged his wings in early November 1997, ending the brief active-duty portion of our SMA assignment. A few short months later, my husband, Randy, and I opened a bakery and sandwich shop in one of our county’s tourist hot spots. The business bustled with out-of-towners…

Not All Gifts Are Wrapped in Shiny Paper

December is replete with giving opportunities in the form of holiday presents, donations, and volunteering with myriad charitable causes, making its designation as National Giving Month apt. It’s a natural extension of Thanksgiving. Virtually anything can be a gift. Any time. *** My husband,…

Giving Thanks When It’s Not Easy

November is a month of personal celebrations and Thanksgiving, a favorite holiday. We’re prompted all month via marquees and commercials to give thanks. We shouldn’t need prompting. And it shouldn’t be a one-month effort. Granted, life isn’t easy for many. However, it usually takes little effort to…

Some Special Signs Appear at the Perfect Time

The topics in this column tie in somehow to the death of our baby Jeffrey, as that is our connection to SMA. I’d like this column to provide even a spark of hope to others finding themselves in devastating circumstances. Consequently, I’ve purposely tried to gravitate toward a sense…

When This Column Merges With Memory Lane

Kevin Schaefer was a cute, spunky, almost-4-year-old when I lucked into a plum friendship with his mama, Cindy. My third baby, Jeffrey, had just been diagnosed with SMA type 1. Kevin, her third child, had a milder form. Cindy and I became fast friends. With three hours’ distance…

I Love a Heart Day Any Day of the Year

According to the World Heart Federation, World Heart Day encourages global participation in activities to improve heart health. The effort to unite people from all walks of life across the world is a worthy one. With endless stressors hurled our way these days, a focus on…