Friday, January 12, 2007

Holding You In My Heart

Joann, my love -
When I ventured to Haven some 15 years ago, all by myself from
Nashville, Tennessee, I only knew the instructions I was given by an
acquaintance, "Take the Come Alive with Ben, Jock, & Joann." Like a
dog following a scent, I signed up for the course and, like a good
student, took diligent notes! It must have been in my 2nd or 3rd year
of taking that same Come Alive that you said to me, "Laurie, put away
your notebook." Do you remember, Joann? I froze! I slide my notebook
and pen under my pillow and prayed that I wouldn't be one of those
participants "in the middle." I couldn't imagine that I was worthy of
that attention (which I later learned from you was "recognition")!
Under your gentle, warm, caring and confronting guidance, I ventured
out of my shell and my protection. How many times did I huddle into
your bosom? How many times did you rock me while my tears poured out?
Do you remember the lullaby that you sang just for me, Joann? Verse
after verse with my name, words of loving and caring just for me! You
showed me what being loved is - how to feel it, create it, be in it.
In Phase I, you presented me with the hardest lesson, the most
difficult confrontation, and the most challenging and exciting
invitation. It was as if you could see ahead the choices I might make
and the consequences of each path. My dear and loving friend, mother,
mentor, teacher, you know the choice I made on that day of our most
difficult discussion. I chose life and am here living it. I am a
testament to your inspiration, literally the breathing in of being
As the years of our relationship have gone by, I allowed myself to be
with you in new ways - we were friends, sharing gossip, good food and
drink, and giggles. You let me treat you to a bit of queenliness in my
home. Thank you for letting me feed you, nuture you, spoil you. I
enjoyed every moment!
I look in the faces of my children, Grace and Kelley, and see you. You
provided me with lengthy consultations on their development and gave me
assurances of my skills in parenting. They know you Auntie Joann and
you live on in their souls and especially in their delight during daily
"naughty, messy time" (which you insisted we create!).
Joann, may this journey you are on now be fabulous and, to use one of
your favorite words, JUICY!!!

I hug your spirit and gently kiss your soul, Laurie
Laurie Kelley


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