I have been very aware this week that Rahima cared for herself in a that I would not every have been privy to had I not worn for three days this week a pair of yoga type pants that had been hers. They are literally the most comfortable pants I have ever worn, hands down. She valued herself and her life enough to want the tactile message to follow her through the day. It is weird, I dont know how to express that most clothing, I put on and that is that, I dont much notice how they feel unless it is to notice the discomfort of jeans that are too tight or a belt that is scratchy. These pants held me in this silky soft way, they were like wearing lavendar or wearing a rocking chair located next to the woodstove, like wearing a good book on a rainiy day, like wearing warm goat milk on a cold day.
Each time I see your names on an entry, my heart leaps. I always want to send awe, love, & support. Keep up the virtuosic job you are doing, Andy. With gratitude,Sharon Thomas, Iowa City friend
Thanks for your encouragement, Sharon. I appreciate your commenting here. ~Andy
In a recent January when the pavements were slick with ice, there was a gathering of clans at 62 Haywood Street in Greenfield for Andy's birthday party. Rahima had planned a high-spirited evening of entertainment drawn from the talents of those attending, which included Quakers, Amandla chorus members, Contra dancers, family members and friends from the commingled communities that Andy and Rahima had brought to their relationship. Boots were piling up the foyer and people were mingling in their sock feet. At Rahima's request, snacks were to be "healthy," so people did their best. The box of nuts and the vat of popcorn were popular, as were the healthy desserts, including the carrot cake that had been ordered for the occasion. Someone had brought a bag of avocados, which remained unopened. The Amandla people sang a version of "Happy Birthday" that must have been composed recently by Mozart.During the entertainment portion of the evening, everyone found perches as musicians and story tellers claimed the stage under the arched entrance to the living room. Rahima had downloaded scripts for a couple of short skits that she asked people to work up. When a couple of cast members got an urgent call and had to leave, she recruited substitutes on the spot and stepped in herself for a pivotal role as the proprietor of a shop in a Middle Eastern country who thinks she is trying to sell a souvenir to a distracted American tourist while the shopper's interpreter has match-making on his mind. Andy's contribution was a skit from "Gilligan's Island," the 1970s television show that apparently was a childhood favorite. When I arrived, Andy asked me to portray the Captain and handed me a dog-eared script. It came off charmingly as something more or less made up on the spot, which it was -- not much different from the original TV version.In short, it was a wonderful evening, snags and all. The lesson, in case we need one, is that those who work hard to enrich the lives of others find blessings.
A snapshot of a fun evening at 62 Haywood St. Thank you, Loren!
Just a quick note to say I'm still following this vibrant, living journal and loving all the beauty that continues to appear here in these pages.Emma
Hey Andy,Pray this finds you well and dry.Just a quick note to say I AM thinking of you and sending you Love and Blessings.In Joy,Enjoy,STORM
I am so glad to know this, Andy. I will be thinking of you all for sure, and sending up a prayer.And thanks for directing us to the blog; it just gets better and better. I absolutely LOVE your whirling photo of Rahima at contra-dancing. If only there could've been one like it with you... :)I created an herb garden in Rahima's memory (before our service), but haven't found a mermaid for it. In the meantime, I have a pottery angel and a copper mold of a fish. :)I will so love picturing you all in kayaks (one being hers?), and sending love to each dear heart scattering her ashes. With you all in Spirit,Sharon Thomas, Iowa City
Savouring with gratitude the blessing of a dear soul and a life lived with the vibrant power of love.A gift and example I take inspiration, strenght and instruction from. I am touched by the life that lives when we share love for one another and connect by treasuring someone and therefore each other too.Thank you Sani
Dear Andy,I've thought of you many times, wanting to write or call you. The time difference and life with twin toddlers hasn't allowed me the time I would have liked to thoughtfully connect with you along your journey here and express my condolences. I have, though, had a few moments to read some of your blog entries and felt moved with warmth and joy, hearing your thoughts and feelings. What a blessing you are to the family and all of your friends as you've shared what's going on and following through with Rahima's wishes. With love and gratitude to you and Rahima,Cornelia
Dear Andy,What a sacred role you have just completed-honoring Rahima's desire to merge forever with the sea she loved so dearly and to be reunited with her mother at her final resting place. She is one of the ancestors now..telling stories from the other side -her spirit not tethered to any place or time....and alive in the hearts and memories of her beloveds and of all those whose lives she touched and enriched. I wore her flowered garden skirt at our garden party and received many compliments about how beautiful it was and told people it was hers... and it felt like I was bringing her to the celebration-I could picture her dancing in it and felt wrapped insoft joy on a lovely summer evening.Love and BlessingsDorothy
Hello Andy,This morning I realized that we had already come to the end of August, and that you might be closing this site soon. It is so hard to find the right words. I haven't really known you or Rahima beyond your friendly faces at the Grange dances. But when Rahima's last dance was announced in February, I began to follow your story. I have been deeply moved and inspired by the profound eloquence of the words that each of you have shared.I remember after I read of Rahima;s passing , how I stood at my kitchen sink, so acutely aware of the fragility of life, and at the same time so immensely grateful that at that moment I had the privilege of participating in a mundane task like washing dishes, a grateful reminder that I am still a participant in life.I thank you and Rahima for sharing your hearts, your questions, your courage, your sadness, your reverence. The impact of your story has reached far beyond the circle of people who might know you well. I hope you have some sense of the value and importance of this impact on those of us who have felt so touched. With Rahima's dancing spirit by your side, I wish you well, as the next chapters of your life reveal themselves to you.With gratitiude,Pat Joyce