Thursday, September 28, 2017
Basking in the warmth of her spirit...
Tap images to enlarge
Allison often joked that: "She was the curator of friendship..." and on Sunday afternoon at the gathering of three hundred or more of her students, friends and family who gathered to celebrate her too short... but wonderful life... that description seemed ever so obvious and appropriate.
The setting for the event... The Ivy Restaurant and Resort was chosen by her mother Joan because Allie so enjoyed the combined ambiance... food and closeness to the River and The Thousand Islands which she knew intimately and loved so dearly. Even the unusual presence of the muggy heat wave added an additional surreal and unexpected flavor which further set the mood for this special event.
The intimate evening of sharing revealed and interfaced the many facets of Allie's academic and personal lives. It seemed that the gathering knitted together the lives of so many seamlessly of all of those attending into a tapestry of love... humility and thankfulness. Each of us departed with a better understanding and the immensity of our good fortune to have walked that short distance in her company.
While all of us as Allison's family were abundantly familiar and aware of her generous spirit and her unbridled and often irreverent sense of humour... few us (including myself) outside of her academic circle of peers and colleagues fully understood the respect and prestige that her academic world held her in. Allison rarely spoke of her accomplishments, preferring to minimize recognition and singling out. It was her "work" and her students that mattered most to her.
I believe that the quality of her person which meant the most to me... that I will sorely miss most... was her unique ability to blend her vast gift of intellect and her sense of inner child. She never ceased to value nor to display that child openly and proudly. It was that difference that set her aside in the hearts of all who met her... and came to love her.
Here is a gift that Allison presented me with in September of 2008. Little could either of us known how closely the course of the theme of the book by Professor Randy Pausch would run parallel to Allison's own journey in 2017. Perhaps... at that specific moment, the Universe offered a glimpse into her future. I could entertain that thought...
Her other gift along with that book... were the words she chose to pen to me on the fly page within.
Today... those words...
"Leadeth me beside still waters... and help to restore my soul."
Thank you dearest Jemima... "I" love "You" Forever!... and I shall honour my promise to live for you
"I see your face... in all the old familiar places..."