And If You Did Know?

In Memory of Sharon Michele McAvoy Nichols .:. December 24, 1949 – October 10, 2005

October 31, 2005

In Her Own Words

Filed under: her words — mark @ 2:41 pm

Beginning in 2003 Michele had her own web site, named for her favorite phrase, “and if you did know?” I have decided to re-add the postings she made to her site in the final years of her life. These were the thoughts important enough to her to share through writing. An intensely verbal person, Michele wrote reluctantly and only when strongly moved by the message she had to deliver.

Each posting is complete and unedited and has been saved with the original time-stamp and date. Click on any of the archive links to view the postings from that time period.

October 30, 2005

A Million Points

Filed under: goodbye — mark @ 12:11 am

From the very beginning of our time together Michele and I played games together. Trivial Pursuit was a favorite, as was Monopoly. We altered the rules to suit us. We wanted to play for fun and shared experience, not to beat each other. For example, in Monopoly we took out all the bad cards from the Community Chest.

Perhaps our favorite game was Gin. Over the years we kept a running tally, the stated objective was to get to a million points. I’m afraid we had a long, long way to go. The final Gin score was: Michele 9,550 to Mark 8,808.

Today I was cleaning the apartment and rearranging some furniture. In the process I had to move all of the game boxes. Scrabble, Monopoly, Movie Trivia, Trivial Pursuit (6 versions!), and the cribbage peg board. Growing up I didn’t like playing games because I didn’t like losing. Playing with Michele was always fun and light hearted.

Sweetie, we didn’t get to a million points, but I’ll spot you the 990,450 you need on the next hand.

October 26, 2005

Remembering Michele

Filed under: goodbye — mark @ 9:46 pm

I met Mark when I began working at USDA in July of 2004. Since then, Mark and I have become good friends. Earlier this year, my wife and I invited Mark and Michele to dinner way, way up in the Northland and to our house afterward for some dessert. Prior to our visit together, Mark had spoken often and very highly of his wife, Michele, so I felt like I knew her before I even met her. With some people, it takes years and years of conversation and getting to know them before you figure out who they are, what they are really about, and who and what matters most to them. It takes this long because many of our day-to-day conversations are about things like the weather or how this or that sports team is doing – we rarely get to talk about the true, meaningful things in our lives. That wasn’t the case with our visit with Mark and Michele. Suffice it to say that my wife and I felt comfortable with them from the very start, and the topics we discussed and the conversation we had flowed with honesty and openness that you usually only encounter with someone you’ve known for a long time.

Although I personally only met Michele face-to-face this one time, I can tell you from that one experience that a few things meant the world to Michele: Her marriage to Mark and the love they shared; open, candid, and honest conversation with good friends about a multitude of topics; and a respect and appreciation for the simple things that matter most in life. I got this out of that one evening we spent with Mark and Michele as our guests. Like Michele, if we can all focus on the few things in life that really matter the most, we’ll all live richer, fuller lives with whatever time we have here on this earth.

Keith Bennett

October 23, 2005

Her Favorite Picture

Filed under: goodbye — mark @ 9:40 pm

Michele 12/2003

Like one, that on a lonesome road
Doth walk in fear and dread,
And having once turned round walks on,
And turns no more his head;
Because he knows, a frightful fiend
Doth close behind him tread.

Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner,
Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834)

October 22, 2005

For My Little Sister, Sharon

Filed under: goodbye — mark @ 7:09 pm

This is the saddest time of my life… Michele was and will be one of the strongest influences in my life. Even though we were not as close after she married Mark, we still had our connection. She was so happy with him.. and I just loved that for her. When we were young our family moved a lot and we were uprooted time and time again. So we became very close as we had to constantly leave our friends behind. I am missing her more and more each day and find it so very hard to be without her.

Here are some pictures that express my love:

various family photos

Bye Cutie,

October 18, 2005

Tales of Friendship

Filed under: goodbye — mark @ 9:40 pm

I remember when Michele and I would get together after work once a week. We would meet up at the local resturant (usually a mexican one) enjoying a very filling meal in which we would talk about the day’s trials and tribulations. We would then venture out to a movie and Michelle would always drive, naturally.

The critical part of the evening would be my reading the personal ads (singles seeking dates) in various accents. I would add my own commentaries because it would provoke such a howl of “belly” laughs from Michele. There was nothing greater ! Sometimes the two of us laughed so hard, we would cry. My objective was always to up the ante each time. One time I did a rendition in an exagerrated island accent that required Michele to pull over her car, she was gasping so hard. She would always say “you are so silly!” in that playful voice of hers.

I think of that is what I miss most about Michele. She had a childlike accessibility despite her brilliant mind. I sought her out as my first clinical supervisor because she exemplified a powerful woman with a genius in understanding humanity. We became friends because she had a lion’s heart, a gentle soul and infectious laughter.

To my friend , Michele. I was honored that you allowed me in your life. You have been a teacher, a support, a loyal listener and a fun playmate. May you find peace…


October 17, 2005

Thank you, Michele

Filed under: goodbye — mark @ 7:31 pm

Thank you, Michele, for making my friend “whole,” for sharing your smile and your infectious laugh, for asking “how are you doing?” and really caring about the answer, and for forcing those who met you to look deeper into themselves, even when that wasn’t comfortable–holding their hands as they looked.

You were unique in many ways. Challenging, but not obnoxious. Serious but not stuffy. Committed but not inflexible.

I learned some lessons Friday at your memorial that I don’t understand yet, and may not for a very long time.

I’m not sure how seriously I had considered reincarnation and past and future lives, but I thought about it a lot on my 9 hour drive home. I had heavy doubts about whether such a thing as a “soul” existed, but the appearance of a single monarch butterfly when Mark and I were alone by your pictures that flew a figure eight around our heads, hovered over what we had laid out in memorial for you, then disappeared…and the gust of wind that came 1/2 way through the bag piped “Amazing Grace” that pushed over the floral arrangement and both of the framed pictures without damaging either makes me wonder.

I didn’t say goodbye Friday, and I won’t today, either. I don’t believe that your leaving us physically meant you have left us. You gave of your life until the last day, and we will carry that on.

Or another way:


Pete Van Dyke

October 15, 2005

Goodbye to Michele

Filed under: goodbye — mark @ 6:25 pm

Stop… wait…. breathe, take it in…. that is for you….. that is your’s sweetie!

I just said hello to you Michelle, and now I have to say goodbye. I am richer for having known you for any period, even though the period was chosen for me to know you was during the sunset of your life. I am truly grateful.

You are right Mark is wonderful. I have appreciated the web site he has chosen, so that I have been able to see you through his eyes. It is like I get to have you one more moment of time. You are such a teacher of the soul and I am glad that my soul has had some of your lessons. I felt like there are so many things you were going to say to me, and now I am afraid I won’t get to hear them. You haven’t been gone from my sight for less than a week and I already miss you more than anyone on this earth can imagine.

You are such a legend and I love you. I haven’t known many legendary people who had the power to influence life like you have. My eyes have been opened as a result of the light you had in your soul. Thanks for sharing it with me. I look forward with anticipation in seeing you again. I didn’t know you would mean so much………. I can’t say goodbye just yet.

With much love and admiration Sandee.

Quotes She Loved

Filed under: goodbye — mark @ 9:54 am

One of the nice features about Apple Mail, is the random signature. Michele read an eclectic and varied collection of books and web sites, and delighted in adding quotes that moved her into her Mail program. Without further ado then, here are her favorite quotes.

“In October of 1945 President Truman placed on his desk a plaque which bore the statement: “The buck stops here.” In response to Cidy Sheehan’s request for an audience in August of 2005, President Bush stated: “I have to get on with my life.” I think this about says it.” ~ Michele Nichols

If you live in poverty of spirit you will never have comfort.
If you live in fear of fear you will never have joy.
If you live in denial of self you will never have chocolate.
~ Michele Nichols

“When the government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.” ~ Thomas Jefferson

“You cannot simultaneously create peace and prepare for war.” ~ Albert Einstein

“War is only a cowardly scape(by politicians) from the problems of peace.” ~ Thomas Mann, Nobel Prize recipient.

“If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do no bring forth will destroy you.” ~ Jesus from the Gospel of Thomas

“The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.” ~ George Washington, Treaty of Tripoli, 1976

“If this were a dictatorship it would be a heck of a lot easier – so long as I’m the dictator.” ~ George W. Bush, December 19, 2000

“To announce that there must be no criticism of the president … right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, it is morally treasonable to the American public.” ~ Teddy Roosevelt

“My goals are outside the control of anyone except me.” ~ Michele Nichols

‘They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” ~ Benjamin Franklin

“He who knows only his own side of the case, knows little of that.” ~ John Stuart Mill

“A man has to be Joe McCarthy to be called ruthless. All a woman has to do is put you on hold.” ~ Marlo Thomas

“If you think equality is the goal, your standards are too low. It is not enough to be equal to men, when the men are acting like beasts. It is not enough to assimilate. We need to create a world worth assimilating into.” ~ unattributed

“For Europeans, freedom is not found in autonomy but in community. It’s about belonging, not belongings.” ~ Jeremy Rifkin, Common Dreams 8/18/2004

“Many things are not believed because their current explanation is not believed.” ~ Nietzsche

“… the ethic of ‘balanced reporting’ in which two sides, regardless of the evidence or their credibility, are allowed to use the ‘unbiased’ reporter as a stenographer.” ~ David Swanson, August 27, 2004, ILCA Online

“No wonder scoundrels find refuge in patriotism; it offers them immunity from criticism.” ~ Bill Moyers, Address to the Society of Professional Journalists, 9/11/2004

“Serious, careful, honest journalism is essential, not because it is a guiding light but because it is a form of honorable behavior, involving the reporter and the reader.” ~ Mertha Gelhorn

“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen…” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The unexamined life is not worth living.” ~ Socrates

“Sure we’ll have fascism in America, but it’ll come disguised as 100 percent Americanism.” ~ huey P. Long.

“Since war itself is the most extreme form of terrorism, a war on terrorism is profoundly self-contradictory. Is it strange or normal, that no major political figure has pointed this out?” ~ Howard Zinn, November 2004 issue of The Progressive

“If there be one principle more deeply written than any other in the mind of every American, it is that we should have nothing to do with conquest.” ~ Thomas Jefferson

“War is in fact the true nurse of executive aggrandizement. … the strongest passions, and the most dangerous weaknesses of the human breast; ambition, avarice, vanity, the honorable or venial love of fame, are all in conspiracy against the desire and duty of peace.” ~ James Madison

“In moments of solitude and quiet we may be able to strip away our carefully constructed artifice and touch the world with our true selves.” ~ Mark Nichols, posting on, 11/1/2004

“Great social inequality creates an ustable equilibrium, The swelling numbers of poor and resentful come to rival the power of the rich. As grievances and restlessness grows, government worsens, becoming tyrannical. Eventually a critical point arrives. Wealth will be redistributed, either by politics, or by revolution.” ~ Julian Edney, ‘Greed An Essay’

“Courage is not the absence of fear, courage is the acceptance of fear.” ~ unattributed

“Reality was on the ballot on November 2. It seems to have lost. ~ Bush’s “Perception Management’ Plan, Robert Parry, 11/18/2004

“There is no freedom without freedom from fear.” ~ Joel Agee, The Price of Fear is Paid in Lost Freedom

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.” ~ Upton Sinclair

“The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function. One should, for example, be able to see that things are hopeless and yet be determined to make them otherwise.” ~ F. Scott Fitzgerld

“Bush may have claimed that ‘Jesus Christ changed my life,’ but Jesus doesn’t seem to have changed his politics. As the carol reminds us: “And a man at war with man hears not the love song that they bring, O hush the noise ye men of strife and hear the angels sing.” ~ Reverend Dr. Giles Fraser

“Of all forms of tyranny the least attractive and most vulgar is the tyranny of mere wealth.” ~ Teddy Roosevelt

“If you want a really easy way to stop terrorism, it is truly quite simple, stop participating in it.” ~ Noam Chompsky, Power and Terror

“Men: God’s beta version of humans.” ~ Michele Nichols

“The problem with the Bush Administration is that they have their head so far up their ass that it looks like it is on their shoulders where it belongs.” ~ Mark Nichols, 1/28/2005

“What are you going to do today?”
Mark: “I am going to throw three bricks into the Grand Canyon.”
“What are you going to do tomorrow?”
Mark: “I am going to throw three bricks into the Grand Canyon. Then in about one hundred years I might be able to see the pile.” ~ conversation with Mark, 1/28/2005

“Certainly, history has taught us the lengths that people will go for order and the boundless will of the power to create scapegoats to exploit this fact. ~ Makani Themba-Nixon, ColorLines, 3/1/2005

“I refuse to accept the concept of reality anymore. After all what is reality, nothing more than a collective hunch.” ~ Jane Wagner, ‘The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe”

“The price of greatness is responsibility” ~ Sir Winston Churchill

“A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject.” ~ Sir Winston Churchill

“When the eagles are quiet, the parrots begin to jabber. ~ Sir Winston Churchill

“We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.” ~ Sir Winston Churchill

“Who is so blind as not to see that the right of the legislature to abolish the judges at pleasure destroys the independence of the judicial department and swallows it up in the impetuous vortex of legislative influence?” ~ Alexander Hamilton

“Fascism should more appropriately be called corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power.” ~ Benito Mussolini, Enclopedia Italiana

“Amy idiot can make war, a single person can cause chaos. But making peace, that’s where you need moral giants, real generals — and there are few few.” ~ Jeffery Mapendere, Monterey Institute for International Studies, Inaugural Conference of Global Majority

“Imagination is more important than knowledge.” ~ Albert Einstein

“All the leaders of groups tend to be frauds. If they were not, it would be impossible for them to retain the allegiance of their dupes…” ~ H. L. Mencken

“I would say nothing is going as planned if I thought anything actually has been planned.” ~ Chuck Van Way, “America’s Im-pyrrh-ail Nightmare, BushWatch

“I would remind Colin Powell that once we ‘broke’ Vietnam it pretty much stayed broken – until it broke us.” Chuck Van Wey, “America’s Im-pyrrh-ial Nightmare” on BushWatch

“The Soviets were a superpower until, quite suddenly, everyone realized that they weren’t…” ~ Chuck Van Wey

“As democracy is perfected, the office of the president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.” ~ H. L. Mencken

“News is what people want to keep hidden and everything else is publicity.’ ~ Bill Moyers

“See, in my line of work, you got to keep repeating things over and over and over again for the truth to sink in, to kind of catapult the propaganda.” ~ George W. Bush

“Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it.” ~ Andre Gide

“Not only is life a bitch, it has puppies.” ~ Adrienne E. Gusoff

“The world is round, it has no point.’ ~ Adrienne E. Gusoff

“The only difference between us (the military) and the Boy Scouts was, at least they (the BS) had adult leadership…” ~ MausMasher, posted on AlterNet, 6/27/2005

“Those who cast the votes decided nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything.” Communist tyrant and mass murderer, Joseph Stalin

“Cats are smarted than dogs. You can’t get eight cats to pull a sled through snow.” ~ Jeff Valdez

“In the beginning there was nothing. God said, ‘Let there be light!’ And there was light. There was still nothing, but you could see it a whole lot better.” ~ Ellen DeGeneres

“When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad, and that is my religion.” ~ Abraham Lincoln

“All war is deception” ~ Lao Tzu

“Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.” ~ Samuel Johnson

“For those who think prayer in school is the answer, remember that the generation in power now had it, and look where we are now. ~ Michele Nichols

“Why does the Air Force need expensive new bombers? Have the people we’ve been bombing over the years been complaining?” ~ George Wallace

“When Nazis where Nazis do you think they knew they were Nazis?” ~ Michele Nichols

“I have long been of the opinion that if work were such a splendid thing the rich would have kept more of it for themselves.” ~ Bruce Grocott

“Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich.” ~ Napolean Bonaparte, French general & politician (1769 – 1821)

“Our scientific power as outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men.” ~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Nothing succeeds like hubris, and nothing fails like hubris.” ~ Michele Nichols

“Most men pursue pleasure with such breathless haste that they hurry past i.” ~ Soren Kierkegaard

“We don’t know what we want, but we are ready to bite somebody to get it.” ~ Will Rogers

“If there were in the world today any large number of people who desired their own happiness more than they desired the unhappiness of others, we could have paradise in a few years.” ~ Bertrand Russell

“The scientific name for an animal that doesn’t either run from or fight its enemies is lunch” ~ Michael Friedman

“It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.” ~ Voltaire

“I’d rather die a martyr than live a slave!!” ~ stoney13 response to an article on WalMart on Alternet, 9/20/2005

“The danger is not that a particular class is unfit to govern. Every class is unfit to govern.” ~ Lord Acton

“It is said that power corrupts, but actually it’s more true that power attracts the corruptible. The sane are usually attracted by other things than power.” ~ David Brin

“I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.” ~ Albert Einstein

“Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction.’ ~ Blaise Pascal

And finally, one that was added just three days before her death:

“Things are not true because they are in the Bible. There were put in the Bible because they were spiritually true.” ~ Tom Harpur, ‘The Pagan Christ’, page 152

October 14, 2005

Eulogy for Michele

Filed under: goodbye — mark @ 2:14 pm

Eulogy for Michele Nichols

October 14, 2005

Good morning and thank you all for coming.

You are all here today because Michele touched you, or someone you love, in their life. I had the great privilege to know Michele for the last ten years, and the great honor to be her husband for the last eight. My name is Mark Nichols and I thank you all sincerely from the bottom of my heart for joining me here today.

I would like to tell you a little bit about Michele and her life, and then I would invite anyone here who would like to relate a story or say goodbye to do so. Remember that Michele loved a good conversation more than anything else in the world. She wanted to hear your truth, to see your heart, and to share her vision and her heart in return.

Her father, Joseph Daniel McAvoy was born in Glasgow Scotland, and immigrated to Rochester New York when he was five years old. Her mother, Virginia, was born in rural Currytuck County North Carolina, the last piece of land you traverse before crossing the sound to the Outer Banks and Kill Devil Hills, or Kitty Hawk.

Virginia was the oldest of ten children and so at a young age set out for the big city, and started working in the Naval yard in Norfolk Virginia. Dan, who had joined the Navy as a corpsman or medic, was stationed there as well. They met and were married shortly after World War II ended. Their eldest child, Terry Lee was born in Brooklyn New York shortly after.

Michele was born in Long Beach California on Christmas Eve 1949. Her father was away in Korea and didn’t see his daughter until she was about one year of age. Between the remainder of his service career and a shared itinerant nature, Dan and Virginia moved a lot. Before she graduated from high school, Michele had lived in California, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, New York, and Maryland.

Michele always talked about a small farming community in southwestern part of New York where she lived for about two and a half years. Canestio was one of her favorite memories of childhood. In the fall of 2003 we took a trip to New York and were able to find the house where they lived, the grade school she walked to, and the little town square that held the library and movie theater, both of which she loved.

She also talked of spending summers at her Grandfather Parker’s farm, working in the field, and playing with her cousins. But I think her most cherished memory of childhood was being a member of the Elizabeth City High School marching band. She often spoke of Mr. Calloway, who led the band, and his high standards for his students. More than once she said that he had a profound effect on her life and that she was very grateful to have known him.

Elizabeth City is also the site of one of her greatest regrets. Her family moved to Baltimore the summer of her junior year and despite her efforts to stay with family or friends, her father wouldn’t hear of it. So she lost the chance to complete her senior year with her friends, and never got to play first chair in the band.

After high school her family moved to Florida, near to where Dan’s parents had moved. It was the late sixties and a time of great turmoil and uncertainty in the world, and especially here in the US. Michele actually dropped out for a time, living on the beach in St. Petersburg for about three months. Deciding that she wanted more from her life she moved back home and went to work in her father’s gas station, learning how to perform oil changes, engine tune ups, and general mechanical work. To this day she still loved taking things apart and cleaning them and putting them back together. After a series of jobs she managed to get a clerical position with the Records Division of the Tampa Police Department.

In the first of several instances where she displayed her true courage, she fought for and won herself a position as the first female crime scene technician in that department. She went on to become the crime scene technician supervisor and training officer.

After ten years with TPD, she quit, took her pension money and put her self through college. She earned undergraduate degrees in Criminal Justice and Psychology, and a Masters Degree in Counselor Education. With her experience testifying in court and her connections to the law enforcement community, she was able to develop several highly regarded and successful domestic violence, anger management, and sexual offender treatment programs. As a result of her work she was invited to be a part of a task force that successfully drafted new legislation altering the manner in which the courts treated domestic violence participants.

Growing wearing of dealing with one of the toughest populations in psychology, and taking an incident of breast cancer as a sign, she left Florida and moved to Colorado in 1995. She put what would fit into her car, including a reluctant cat, and drove her self to Colorado Springs. She literally started over with nothing. As a consequence of her willingness to move with nothing, I always made sure that I did the packing when we moved. Within three months of arriving there she and I met on America Online. We spent the next year talking on the phone, sometimes for hours a day. In what surely have been fate looking out for us, her long distance bill was mistakenly charged to a large company that didn’t notice until the last month she lived there. As neither of us could afford to fly, we agreed to meet half way, in Salinas Kansas. The two weekends we spent there in 1996 cemented our love for each other and we resolved to be together always.

In February 1997 she moved to Illinois to be with me, and we were married in July of that year. Due to my career, and the ups and downs of the computer industry, we moved from Illinois to Washington state, then to South Carolina, back to Illinois, and finally to Kansas. For those of you keeping score, that’s twelve states she lived in.

She delighted in the coincidences between my life and hers. Her father was born in September and served in the Navy. My father was born in September and served in the Navy. Her mother was born in March and worked as a nurse, my mother was born in March and worked as a nurse. Lee, her brother was born in Brooklyn in May, as was I.

Here in Kansas she had started to pursue her third career, as an Adjunct Instructor in Social Sciences for Kansas City Kansas Community College. She loved the atmosphere and the people there. The college is committed to cultural diversity and she was proud to be a contributor to that mission. She loved the interaction with her fellow faculty members, and with her students. She completed a course in, and was certified for online instruction. I always said it wasn’t fair that I had worked for two decades with computers and still had to drive work when she had a job where the commute was to the living room.

Along the way Michele accomplished some pretty amazing things. She was a ranked chess player in the early 1970s, reaching Master status. She was also a member of Mensa’s One percent club. She never talked about these accomplishments because she said they were just a part of her and not the whole truth of her. She was a woman of weight, who had an easy grace with her size. She always said that we all have differences; that the gift of her weight was that she couldn’t hide her difference from others. As a result she learned to be very accepting of others but also determined to help them discover their hidden difference and to come to terms with it.

Michele loved her cats and doted on them shamelessly. She was often moved to tears by great music. Her favorite piece was Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, particularly Ode to Joy. She had a wonderful sense of humor and wit, and could tell a good joke. Her laugh was infectious and made you feel warm inside to hear it. Together we shared a love for simple pleasures like making a pot of spaghetti sauce or baking a cake. Her favorite places were quiet corners of nature. She would have liked this garden very much. When living in Colorado she was just minutes away from Garden of the Gods and used to go there every week to sit in the splendor and quiet.

She was hugely interested in the world around her, avidly following politics and social issues. Where I am a liberal she was a social anarchist, fiercely committed to feminist issues. She sent money every month to Women for Women International, where it was used to provide education and employment opportunities to women in the Sudan, Afghanistan, Iraq, and trouble spots around the world. She was greatly concerned that we were ignoring warning signs about the impact our race is having on the planet, and that ever widening gulf between the haves and the have nots in the world was leading us to disaster.

Her favorite book was Illusions by Richard Bach, and her favorite movie was Harvey. She would always ask people what their favorite movie was, and was saddened when they didn’t know. She loved Vietnamese Beef Noodle soup, plates of raw veggies, and steaks cooked over charcoal. Her favorite desserts involved chocolate. “Why waste the calories on anything else?” was her motto. Even though her Christmases growing up were difficult, she had worked hard to make that time of year magical and filled with wonder and joy.

If she were able to speak to you all today, she would tell you that she had a rock solid belief in the essence or soul we each posses, and of its eternal nature. She believed we each had a purpose, a reason for being here. And, that once we had accomplished that lesson, we moved on. She also believed that we have many lifetimes, for there are many lessons to learn. She cherished the divine in each of us and didn’t like dogma that restricted or took away that essential piece. In fact at the age of eight, she was excused from church for standing up and asking the minister where in the Bible was the hurtful message he was giving his congregation. In the final weeks of her life we were reading a wonderful book called The Pagan Christ by Tom Harpur. It had helped her to reconcile some of the concerns she had about spirituality, and I think it eased her spirit.

Finally if she was here today physically, and not just in spirit, I would tell her again that I always loved her and that I always will love her. Michele, I am so blessed to have been your best friend, lover, companion, partner, husband, and love of your life.

I lov eyou Tinkerbell. Goodbye

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