By the time I met Jaci, she was 32 and I was 22. She was already a daughter, a wife, a mother, not a wife, a lover, an artist, a writer, a lover of animals, an incredible friend, a life long learner, a reader, a feminist. She was a woman on the journey of exploring the meaning of her own existence and the sense of her life. She embraced her vision with great passion and an urgency. She had beautiful hands and nails. She did not like the color pink. She did not wear lipstick. She really liked rootbeer.
She loved her two sons and fought to make them good and free men, responsible for taking care of themselves. I remember thinking she was tough on them, but understanding at the same time, that if the world were going to be a different place for our daughters, our sons would have to change. Jaci died of cancer when my daughter was 4. Her sons were young teenagers. She never got to see the men they would become. It never would have occured to her that it would be her own son that would be a feminist, a teacher, a partner, a writer, an artist. The one in the family, or the world for that matter, that would carry her vision and dream forward. The one that would work to change the world. The one that would cherish and understand her art and writing and share it with all of us.
Many years have passed since Jaci's death. I will be 53 this year, so Jaci would be 63. I wish she could be here with us. We held hands around her casket and sang "Rainbow Womyn". She would have so much to say and share. And, she would be so proud of Steve. She would be amazed. And as our children are a reflection of our selves on the good days and a reaction on the bad, she would remind us all that life is art. Jaci made great art.
Our good friend, Ann, died before Jaci. She killed herself by jumping from the 11th floor of her art studio. She left us all behind, including 2 young sons and a husband and other family. She was an incredible spirit, but had a serious problem with depression and abuse issues. I was the last person to talk to Ann. We were going to get together for lunch that day. Something happened. Do you think she could have just accidently fell out the window? I don't know why I still ask myself that question. I think it is my wish that somehow talking to me should have kept her alive. The last thing she said to me was how much she was looking forward to getting back into her studio. There was art to make! I guess life got in the way. Ann made great art.
After Ann and Jaci died I stopped making art and focused on my life as my art. Life is grand and good. I am a daughter, a big sister, an awesome mother, a wife, not a wife, an ex-widower, a teacher of children, a lover of music and science fiction, the proud mother of a dyke, a friend. I love to dance. I love to paint. I love to teach and be inspired by my children. I love to visit my daughter in New York. I still love to eat to much and when I think of who my special friends are I think of Ann and Jaci....
My love to all of you, Char