A Special Woman Remembered
One year ago today I jumped into the driver seat for a very sobering and arduous, challenging yet rewarding, harrowing yet calming drive. A drive that I continue to navigate, sometimes traverse, day by day, at times moment by moment. There have been bumps in the road, but do tell, are there any roads without? Happy Birthday Mimi, this one's for you.
My mom was an extraordinary person. She was a beautiful daughter, a loving mother and sister, a dedicated wife, a gleeful grandma, and a true friend. She was an extremely talented artist, dancer, and gardener, as you can see in her property, which was her haven. But even more than all of these things, my mom was a teacher, a teacher of life lessons. I can’t tell you how many people wrote in their cards that my mom had taught them something that had changed their lives.
My first life lesson was when I was in 7th grade and I was complaining and upset about something (inevitably a boy) and my mom said “Dear, everything happens for a reason.” That moment has stayed with my vision of life ever since. My mom also taught by example. She lived with an open heart and an open mind. She didn’t judge, she gave and received only love. She had a deep understanding of the impermanence of all, the ever-changing rhythm of life, and was incredibly accepting of that. So she taught us to accept one another, how not to judge, and to live as a free spirit (which she had mastered.) She taught us to be creative, to love and respect our Mother Earth, and to open our hearts, our minds, and our doors.
My mom had a deep and everlasting love for plants and animals. Hers of which have now been passed down to the incredibly loving and nurturing hands of John, Nicole, and Willow. So as Avery and Willow grow up without their Mimi present, we will instill in them these lessons so that they can grow up to be an example, and maybe even a teacher, like their Mimi. As much as I miss her presence, I know that I must trust in life lesson #1, everything happens for a reason, even when you don’t understand why.
Barbara was loved and cherished by all who knew her. She had a profound influence on friends, family and even casual acquaintances. Barbara was and always will be a shining example of how a person can live in peace, harmony, and freedom. She gave more than she took, she loved more than she feared, and she nurtured everything and everybody around her. We will remember Barbara as a woman of strength, courage, compassion, and wisdom – a true Mother Goddess, treading softly yet powerfully upon this Earth.
A Song from John
Photos courtesy of Eben (2015)
(Pictures from Left to Right)
... a pic of the deck as it is currently. Visualize us sitting together out there, drinking tea and talking. :)
... a picture I took of Avery while she was over. We were sitting outside on a blanket, enjoying some sunshine and music. Avery picked up a feather out of a hat that was lying nearby and started doing this really beautiful dance for us. I called it her "feather dance". I felt like she was channeling Mimi for sure!
(Pictures from Left to Right)
... the tulips Mimi planted. They were beautiful again this year. This picture was taken just after a rain.
... a beautiful, miniature pink rose that I accidentally discovered while looking out the bathroom window onto one of Mimi's little gardens. I went out to look because I couldn't believe there was a rose there. Only peonies and hydrangeas are in that garden. So it's a little rose bush growing wild in that spot. So pretty ... We also noticed that the rose bush we planted for Mimi a couple of years ago, that died last winter, is back! Growing strong and tall. There are no buds on it yet but it looks healthy and beautiful!
Photos and Text by Nicole (2015)
To say that I miss you would be a lie. The truth is, you've never left me. I see you in the faces of your sons and daughter, in the precocious personalities of your granddaughters, and when you visit me in my dreams, as you frequently do. Your handiwork continues to surround us all, in your arts and the home you built. And in me, where those pathways to self-understanding you helped to carve into my consciousness remain, more firm and true than ever.
The garden you so lovingly cultivated in life continues to flourish and give forth the fruit of the many treasures you brought to this world. You abide forever in our hearts.
In undying love and gratitude,
I miss her physical presence in my life, of course, every time something happens that I want to share with her, at least a dozen times a day, and I have to remind myself again that she is no longer here among us. We had a 31-year conversation, probing heart and mind, exploring our humanness while aspiring to the higher levels of wisdom. I will miss that conversation like I will miss her gaze, her touch, her uninhibited laughter, her embrace, her kiss, and even those human foibles and faults that sometimes annoyed and frustrated me. There was never anything about her that could realistically stand in the way of my love for her.
Ours was a relationship founded on sacred ground, and therefore not subject to threat from something as wholly natural, commonplace, and ultimately trivial as death. We only borrow these bodies to play in this world for a time. This is why our relationship held together all these years despite some foolish lapses of dignity and the hardship of my incarceration. But Barbara was so sturdy, I always assumed I would be the one to go first. I’ve been caught off guard, and now I grapple with unaccustomed depths of emotion, mourning the loss of her, while knowing full well that she is not the least bit lost to herself.
Bobby's Remembrance of Barbara
In that place between sleep and awakening there came to me a vision from my beloved Barbara. So deep my grief, so raw the aching emptiness for my sister soul, I struggle desperately to make the connection, to hold the connection, to hear and understand what was being given to me. Words spoken I do not understand, symbols I cannot identify . . . here is my beloved Barbara, within and surrounded by shapes and forms unrecognizable.
She has traveled far, beyond time and space, back to this place of pre-history from where she came.
Here She is a Holy One, she has come home, back to this place of Holy's.
She came to our time to bless us and remind us of who we are. That we are the Magnificent Love that gives Life and Light to the Darkness.
She has returned a Holy Queen.
Then the mists and gases separate us and I awake. There is a sweet scent and a soft warmth that fills the room.
The vision, one a year ago today, the morning of March 31, 2013.
Live in Beauty and Peace my dearest sister.
I had the pleasure of meeting Barbara not long after she moved to Oregon. My daughter-in-law, Amy, was one of her first new dance troupe members when she put Raks Sarama together in Silverton. I also attended a few classes with her then as well. Over the years we would run into each other at various venues and events. My last contact with her was at a monthly show that I was hosting in Salem at Clockworks cafe. Unfortunately, this beautiful space has closed, but we were all treated to a beautiful performance by her and her dance mate just a couple of months before it closed. I had no idea what a treasure this video would be and the last time I would see her dance. It gave me such great joy to watch this lovely woman dance and appreciate the gift she is giving us when we can see that she is also enjoying sharing her beautiful art with us. It was very shocking news for all of us to learn of her death. We will all miss her and her special artistic gifts and talents.
I must say that I had not seen you much. I bet we didn’t say enough to each other to fill a paragraph, but you touched the life of someone I knew for many many years and even now - Bobby BeauSoleil. I know you through him and I’m grateful to you.
The Spirit within me salutes the Spirit in you.
Unfortunately I never had the privilege to met Her in person, but she was so kind in helping us a lot during our efforts in releasing some of Bobby's records. We had a few "e-mail exchanges" and she always handled the few packages that she shipped to me with extreme care. I'd feel "the sweet xhol" and warm vibes on the other side...and that day I was sad.
In loving memory
Family Slide Show
Mimi's granddaughter Avery, 2015
Mimi's granddaughter Willow, 2015
Avery and Willow with Eben's Vietnamese
applehead chihuahua, Bella
21 - 25
2014 Beth Hall | Images are copyrighted to their respective owners