November 30, 2007

Kernels of Debra

I did not know Deb as well as many of you out there reading and posting, but our lives were entwined in random ways, in particular this last year oddly enough. Away from the stunningly beautiful photographs of her and by her, and thoughts of her and her huge extended family and the pain, I'm left with a few kernels of Deb that shine brightly in my consciousness and that I am holding in my heart:


I happened to get an email from Deb one day when I was online looking at curtains on ebay. I'd found these hot pink velvet curtains that looked amazing and I was trying to get up the nerve to bid on them. My background is very New York Too Cool Black And Grey. I have overcome my upbringing enough to embrace green and yellow and orange, but hot pink velvet curtains are -- or were -- still a leap. So I emailed Deb back and told her about the curtains and asked if she thought I should buy them and did she think they would look good with my mustard-yellow living room.

Her reply: "OF COURSE!"

So I got the curtains and Deb was right (of course). They are magnificently wonderful to have and I will always thank Deb for encouraging Hot Pink in my life.


I keep thinking back to a group email Deb sent out a few years ago that began, "Come on people!!!!!! Together we can move mountains!!!!!!!!!"

Turns out that she was writing to a bunch of other parents from the preschool that Frankie Ray and my son, Huck, both attended. The goal of the email was to get everyone to pitch in on a goodbye gift for two of the teachers. No matter that task was a bit ordinary or mundane -- it is true!!!!! Together we can move mountains!!!!!!! and every moment is an opportunity to remind each other.

I don't think I ever got an email from Debra that didn't have a good number of exclamation marks. Obviously, her uninhibited use of the "!" was not the only way Debra expressed and spread excitement and enthusiasm, but it is one that I keep thinking about. With love.

-Amy Shelf

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