But now, suddenly time has hurled forward and she is far ahead of us. Gaye lived like a comet. She burned bright and strong. She made herself into a light and brightened and strengthened our little hamlet in a special way. A person who had almost no family, she cultivated our community as if everyone was related. She made a family of friends. Between her many profound commitments, to Bunnell, to the Pratt, to ARTrageous Homer, to Public Art, to the diverse and wonderful creativity of our community, She truly nurtured and fostered, labored and mothered our hamlet.
To me, Gaye was more than a friend and mentor, she truly was family. She loved and advised and confided and counseled and watched over me. Sometimes it drove me crazy. Initially when we began working together, when she joined Bunnell’s Board, I had more family in town than most. I was overwhelmed with the responsibility of caring for so much extended family, for a young child and growing Bunnell Street Arts Center. I felt at that time my energy and inspiration were finite, that I had to choose between how much I could give versus how much I needed to sustain myself. From Gaye, I learned that the solution is to give more, to be bigger, braver and more generous. Her respect for family and her ethic of giving softened and stretched me. She taught me that if you give 100% you’ll get back a million.
Homer is going through a lot these days – that’s how we are. Exposed like our landscape, at the edge of our comfort, a bit weather beaten. It is hard to be away from Homer at this time, a time when need to stand close together. I would like to be standing with those who are grieving, at a time when the love in our community is so needed and so evident. Now, as I try to make sense of her timing, I’m certain that was intentional. She chose to cross the great divide, to bring us together precisely now, to remind us of our strengths, to remind us to feel our love and celebrate it.