"Pay forward all the goodness in life to everyone you meet. Be kind, be loving, share music and joy, take care of each other, and Mother Earth." This a direct quote and final message from Noel, who, among numerous and diverse accomplishments, was one of the first female percussionists at Crane, a teacher, a librarian, a self-described word-smith, and someone who adored life. She is just one of the many extraordinary voices that we lost in 2020. The distinguishing feature of this particular wise being is that I had the great privilege of calling her a friend for over a decade. And, because she was one month older than my mother (another WWII baby), at times, I referred to her as my second mother.
Noel was diagnosed with dementia several years ago and was on the downhill side of that diagnosis. However, it was COVID that stole her from the cruelty of that particular fate amid her 77th year, in May. She lived life with an "attitude of gratitude," and those are the specific words she gifted to me. Whenever I feel like the world is holding a grudge against me, I think of my dear friend Noel and scrounge in the depths of my funk for at least one thing of which to be grateful.
The list of people we lost this past year is long - folks like Noel, whose life directly impacted the beings with whom she spent her days. And others who lived on a much larger stage, influencing the lives of many.
For the remainder of this year, we will pay homage on the Deep Root Center social media pages by sharing individual quotes from just a few of the unique, insightful, and fiercely passionate voices whom we miss, without measure. Goodbye, and thank you for your work, your words, and your spirit.
*Follow and stay tuned to the DRC Facebook and Instagram pages for the daily remembrances. Below are the posts from this past Friday and Saturday.
Happy Solstice, Blessed Yule, and Merry Christmas from the Entire DRC Crew. May you meet others with kindness and share the gifts of insight and gratitude throughout the year.