Thursday, February 28, 2008

From Jennifer Price in North Carolina

I met Lisa Heyman last September at the Live and Learn conference in Black Mountain, NC. She walked up to me, grabbed my hand, and asked, “Are you Seth’s mother?” When I answered in the affirmative, she pressed something into my palm and told me it was a gift to Seth from his secret pal.

It was the first night of the conference, and we were by the bonfire. I had been sitting alone, as usual, soaking in the free-spirited atmosphere and excitement of the gathering. Lisa sat with me for a few minutes, and we talked about how it was unschooling in New York. I can’t remember all of our conversation, but I remember thinking “what a cool person.”

I remember admiring her from afar throughout our weekend at the conference…her cool pinkish hair, her vibrancy, her easy way with people. She was one of those people who my introverted inner self sometimes wishes I could be like.

In skimming through my unschooling lists yesterday, I learned of the passing of Lisa Heyman days ago. I was stunned, and sat there for a minute, not knowing how to react. Then I began reading emails and blog posts from members of the unschooling community in remembrance of Lisa and in support of her family.

A friend once told me that there was something truly cleansing about crying in the shower. That’s what I did. I cried for Lisa’s girls and her husband Larry, because now they have to go on without her. I cried for the unschooling community in New York, because it has lost such a powerful advocate. Mostly, I cried for myself, though. For the health that I take for granted. For the precious time that I have wasted being too preoccupied to fully be present with my children. And for not getting to know Lisa while I had the chance.

Jennifer Price in North Carolina

1 comment:

Rue said...

I'm so glad that glow stick gave you a chance to meet Lisa. When I asked her to bring it over to you she had a very typical 'oh-what-fun!' reaction to the idea. A happy memory for me. ~Rue, aka Seth's secret pal