1. Reverend Robert Carlson - introduction BOB CARLSON: Welcome all to the Church of the Nativity. Our gathering here today for a memorial service is really not what Pearl Harper wanted. I guess she didn‟t want it for basically three reasons: First, that there is a certain humility about Pearl that really didn‟t want a bunch of her family and friends getting together and talking about her. And second, really such services historically (in taste) have the flavor of really getting together to intercede for some poor sinner who really didn‟t deserve to go to heaven. Well, Pearl didn‟t believe that, and I don‟t believe it either (that that‟s why we‟re here, or that… …that doesn‟t really help that much!). And thirdly, she really didn‟t want a religious service. Pearl considered herself to be an Agnostic and didn‟t want to be a hypocrite. She had either too much intellectual honesty to… to buy into any particular brand of religion, or perhaps it was just pride, or just that she was too much of a free spirit really to say “I might be an Episcopalian,” or a Roman Catholic or a Buddhist or something like that – she was just too free to really be that way. But yet, I am an Episcopal priest; I‟m happy to preside at this memorial service. Because… well… let me say this in a way that Pearl would approve of (I hope): (It would sound something like Inside the Actor‟s Studio - you know - where you ask: “When you get to heaven, what will the Spirit Almighty say;” if there is a God and so forth) If there is a God, and if there is a Heaven, I really believe that that God has reserved a special place for people like Pearl (and for the quality of life she led)! And so, Pearl‟s family and I decided that this service would have to be different. It would be a memorial service, meaning that, in it we would spend most of our time remembering things about Pearl which we valued, and then giving thanks for those qualities or events. We‟ll begin with a minute of silent reflection, and then listen to two or three readings which I think speak to Pearl‟s special qualities. Then her sons have a few recollections to make. And then we‟ll have an opportunity for all of you to speak, before we end with prayers of thanksgiving, The Lord‟s Prayer, and a committal. Let‟s begin with the first lesson (our lesson being the silence) and then we‟ll go on to hear the readings. 2. All - a moment of silence ALL: (silence) 3. Olivia Harper - reading OLIVIA HARPER: If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clashing cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things. Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. For we know only in part, and we prophesy only in part. But when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end. When I was a child, I spoke like a child; I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. For now we see in a mirror, dimly; but then, we see face to face. Now I know in part; then I will know fully, even as I have fully known. And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three... and the greatest of these is love.” 4. Carolyn Harper - reading CAROLYN HARPER: The lawyer wanting to justify himself, asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him; he passed by the other side. So likewise, a Levite - when he came to the place and saw him - passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan while traveling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to the inn, and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper and said, „Take care of him, and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.‟” "Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed him mercy." Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.” 5. Geoffrey Harper - recounting GEOFFREY HARPER: I‟m Geoffrey, Pearl‟s youngest son. I‟m sorry, I don‟t speak very well off-the-cuff, so I wrote this this morning, off-the-cuff. I didn‟t want to write it too far in advance, because I wanted it to reflect the way I feel today. It‟s not as long as it looks, I have big fonts so I can see it without my glasses. It‟s actually fairly short. These are my feelings: My mother really didn‟t want to have any kind of service for her, as Bob mentioned. She just wanted to be cremated at minimal expense, and be done with it, and have everyone move on with his or her lives. I recall just a few years ago having this discussion with her, and I pointed out that funerals and such are for the living; they are not the business of the deceased. She appreciated the logic in this and just said, “whatever you want to do, but don‟t get me involved.” So, here we are. Who was Pearl Harper to me? First, she was my mother. She loved me, and I always knew that, in good times and bad. I rarely thought about her as anyone but my mother, and it was not until many years later as an adult I began to appreciate who she was, and all of the things she had done, and all of the people she had helped. What did I get from my mother? She instilled in me a true compassion for my fellow human beings and to give all I encounter a fair shake, regardless of outward appearance. Before I was old enough to understand what prejudice meant and all the societal problems we have today with prejudice at their roots, my mother, by example through her actions, taught me to love all and hate no one. I learned about hate and pre-judging by the actions of others. This isn‟t to say she raised me to be naïve; it is to say that before the inescapable human tendency to pre-judge occurs at the intellectual level, my natural tendency is to be warm and welcoming and collect all the facts first. It is my nature. For this I am grateful to my mother. I recall many stories about my mother and myself about which I could spend hours speaking. Let me just touch the surface here, as we have many people who would like to speak. I remember the Watergate hearings in 1973. I was just 11 years old. How I hated those hearings! I was too young (or not smart enough) to be interested, or even try to understand what was going on. I remember being very annoyed that my television shows had taken a second seat to all of this “adult” stuff. My mother insisted on keeping the television on the hearings all day – at full volume, while running around the house doing housework and periodically yelling accusatory remarks back at what was being said, from various rooms in the house. At the time, I thought I had the strangest and craziest mother of all my classmates and “why can‟t she just be normal like the other mothers?” but I would remember those times fondly many years later. I remember going places with my mom when I was a child: shopping; to the museums in downtown Washington; to Henson Creek golf course to drive the golf cart for her (once out of site from the clubhouse) as she played a few holes; to the Arena Stage to see a play. Wherever we went, someone would invariably commit some act of unfairness or unkindness - either to us or around us - and my mother couldn‟t resist pointing this out to him or her, and trying to make right what was wrong. Does everyone remember “All in the Family?” (a show my mother loved). Remember when Archie Bunker would get upset when someone began stirring things up and he‟d say “Oh, geez!” No matter where we went, she would always stir something up and I would feel just like that. I would remember those times fondly many years later. My mother helped many people, but she did always put her family first. The greatest gift my mother gave me was my sobriety. Although my mother was not an alcoholic, and never drank alcoholically, she could see it in me. She was always afraid that I had been passed the curse of alcoholism somehow, as she knew her family history. She was right, of course, but, like any good alcoholic, I denied this for many years and always felt my mother was unfairly persecuting me when she would bring up the subject for discussion. She helped me find my way into treatment by way of a wonderful program, which has become a welcomed way of life for me. She helped me realize that, for me, there is not sobriety in my life, but life in my sobriety. All that my mother ever wanted for me was for me to be happy, and she knew, for me, I must be sober in order to be happy. The greatest gift I have given to my mother upon her death is for her to know she has a clean and sober son, who is working his way in a positive direction in his journey of life. My mother was a dear, sweet woman, and I loved her greatly. I am grateful that she is no longer in any pain, which she had endured for the last few years of her life due to rheumatoid arthritis. She certainly didn‟t deserve such a fate, but I have learned that life is neither fair nor unfair – it just is. I know she understood this as well, and accepted her fate as luck of the draw. Although certainly not religious, I am very spiritual today, and know my mother will always be with me in some form or another, and will be there to help me with my GOD – that is to say, G. O. D. – Good, Orderly Direction. I will remember her fondly for the rest of my life. And finally, here is a short reading for all of us. It is consistent with my mom‟s general philosophy about moving through life, and I like it. This is from Timeless Wisdom by Karen Casey: Letting go is a process that is seldom easy. For many, its meaning is elusive. How do we "let go"? Letting go means removing our attention from a particular experience or person and putting our focus on the here and now. We hang on to the past, to past hurts, but also to past joys. We have to let the past pass. The struggle to hang on to it, any part of it, clouds the present. You can't see the possibilities today is offering if your mind is still drawn to what was. Letting go can be a gentle process. Our trust in our higher power and our faith that good will prevail, in spite of appearances, eases the process. And we must let each experience end, as its moment passes, whether it is good or bad, love or sorrow. It helps to remember that all experiences contribute to our growth and wholeness. No experience will be ignored by the inner self who is charting our course. All are parts of the journey. And every moment has a gentle end, but no moment is forgotten. My journey today is akin to yesterday's journey and tomorrow's too. I will savor each moment and be ready for the next. 6. George Harper - recounting GEORGE HARPER: My brother and I would like to thank Father Carlson for making the arrangements to have it where you could come here today. You all don‟t really know how lucky you are that he could exercise such divine intervention because if it had been up to the organizational abilities of myself and my brother, we might be in a tobacco warehouse right now. My mother passed very peacefully, very painlessly, and very quietly. She ignored the poet‟s advice and she did go “gently into that good night”. But that‟s not how she lived her life; not at all. Many people here never knew her when she was younger in her prime; I think the best introduction to the way she was, was given by a lawyer who is no longer young; his name is Joe - Joe Gibson. He is a lawyer in Upper Marlboro, where my mother raised cane many, many times. And he knew her when she was younger. A couple of months ago he was inquiring after her, and he said, “Your mother was a rabble rouser!” And he was right! She was a mover, she was a shaker, she was a troublemaker, and everyone who met her was very lucky to have done so; she made their lives much richer. And it was because of her many good qualities she had; her rightness about her. One was never in doubt as to what position she was taking; her many friends never doubted what she stood for. She was very sincere in her beliefs. She was a strong advocate for them, but only for things that she believed in. She had a great deal of independence of thought, as Father Carlson has said – she was a free thinker. She was very receptive to new ideas, and that was important in those decades of the sixties and the seventies, when she was in her prime. She brought a great deal of credibility to her personality from her many accomplishments; she was a very accomplished woman. She was born in twenty-nine, and by fifty-one she had received a Bachelor of Science degree at Dalhousie University; it wasn‟t in canoeing, it was in Geology. She was working on her Masters degree in Geology when she met and married my father. In the early nineteen-seventies, just for fun, she decided she was going to learn Russian. And she did, she poured herself completely into learning Russian. She would stay up late at night learning to read and write Russian. She may have been anticipating an alternative ending to the Cold War; we really don‟t know. But shortly after that, she decided she would learn computer programming and she self-taught herself computer programming. She learned machine language; all those zeroes and ones that machines use to communicate (some people are nodding; some people have some idea of what I‟m talking about). She learned that back in the seventies when the Internet was just a dream of Al Gore‟s at the time. She was right at the cutting-edge; she learned that very difficult species of computer programming and she went to work for Computer Sciences where she worked for twenty years as a computer scientist. And we would see her late at night - sometimes early morning hours - poring over reams of paper with nothing but zeroes and ones on them! And she could track all those zeroes and ones and write, and tell the computer what to do. She was an artist. She wasn‟t merely mathematical, she was very artistic. Holidays were filled with projects, papier-mache, colored paper. She painted murals on my brother‟s walls; a story about a tailor, a giant, and some sort of medieval romance, swatting flies – I can‟t remember what it was, but it told a story on all four walls. So, she was very artistic. She was an accomplished grandmother. She loved her grandkids; she got a big kick out of them. When her oldest grandkid was only two or two-and-a-half, and Olivia decided that it was time for everybody to do their exercises, grandma did as she was told, and she marched along with Olivia, lay down on the floor and did her sit-ups, as she was told. She knew that her role as a grandmother was to provide her grandkids with the things that they couldn‟t get at home, namely candy and television. She gave them plenty of it. When it became obvious to everyone that Carolyn looked so much like her (such a spitting image of her) that we began to call her “Little Pearl,” she said, “No, Carolyn‟s too pretty,” which, of course, was false-modesty that was part of her charm. She, in those days, had a sincere desire (that she acted out) to make a difference in other people‟s lives. I remember several occasions where - and I don‟t know how these people came to her; I don‟t know whether she sought them out, or they sought her out, but - she would help young mothers (often unwed mothers) find apartments, or a house. She would help them make ends meet. My brother and I went on forced marches trying to help them move. And, this was more than merely an ideal for her, this was something that she wanted to practice, so she didn‟t wait for an organization to take care of these people, she acted on her own. And very often she was a maverick; that was part of her charm. I think it had something to do with her own personal history. She was one of five children, but they were all separated when she was eleven, through circumstances beyond her control. When she was sixteen, she was taken into the home of George Aubrey Chudleigh (a dentist in Halifax) and Bertha Chudleigh, and George and Bertha raised her from the age of sixteen on. She became the son that he never had; he took her fishing; he took her sailing. She kept the hip wader boots that they used to wade into the streams for years and years and years; they hung up in the garage. He took her – rescued her! He sent her to college (Dalhousie University); he sent her to grad school; he made all the difference in her life! And I think she carried throughout the rest of her life the idea that individuals really can make differences (on large scales) in other people‟s lives. She wasn‟t willing to wait for other people to make that difference; she took it upon herself to do it. She told Geoffrey and me over and over again as many, many times as she could that it wasn‟t just enough to help people, and it wasn‟t just enough to tolerate other people, that all people were people. This was a belief that she acted upon; she had a strong sense of social justice that many of her friends became familiar with in her various activities. She made us understand as often as she could what the significance of The Civil Rights Movement was in the sixties. And this was during a period when these ideas were not popular - in the late sixties/early seventies when Geoffrey and I were in our formative years. She was ahead of the curve on many of these issues and she was very receptive to new ideas. She was in league with The Age of Aquarius, so to speak. She took us kids to anti-war rallies, to peace demonstrations. She really embraced the whole philosophy of that “Age of Aquarius.” She was extremely interested in all the new philosophies and the new ideas that were racing around at that time. We went camping at Assateague very often during that time period. And this wasn‟t backcountry camping, but this was pretty primitive camping. There weren‟t many facilities around, and we were at the beach, and there were horseflies, and there weren‟t many toilets around, and it was pretty primitive. But she loved it. She had some fishermen in her family. In fact, her brother later became a fisherman, fished for forty years (Halifax, Nova Scotia, of course, is a seaport); there was fish in the blood. And she loved the ocean, so she‟d take us on walks at night. Well, at that campsite in Assateague there was a VW Bus full of hippies that came to park very close to us. When the hippies came (of course this is the early seventies, nobody was really interested, the other campers weren‟t interested in these hippies) she invited them over to the campfire! They brought their long hair and their acoustic guitar and we sang songs (you know: peace, love; that sort of thing) and for a brief moment in my life I felt “cool.” She was the kind of person who was extremely receptive to these new ideas. During that time, growing up in her household was very exciting to be around her, because you had the feeling you were on the cutting-edge. Some of the friends who are here remember the parties that she would have. These were basically political parties, and groups that she belonged to would come over, they would have discussions, wide-ranging discussions on all issues of the day: The Viet Nam War, The Civil Rights Movement. And I used to linger as often as I could to listen to this because it was really very exciting; it was like being in a Periclean Athens, or a Medicean Florence, or watching the whole Scottish Enlightenment befall before you. And that‟s how I felt, that I was in the presence of somebody who really was at the cutting-edge, and it was extremely exciting. She spent most of her time at home, not lecturing us, but really educating us. She, while doing her housework, would speak to us about the issues of the day, and these new ideas. She was engaging us constantly. She was a teacher at home, and I‟m very grateful to her for that. She placed a premium on independence of thought; she was always careful to remind us that the popular idea is not always the right idea. She didn‟t claim any originality of thought, but she did place a premium on us standing for what we believed in and then deciding on our own what we believed in. One of the important ideas that she inculcated in us (and she thought this was very important) was to question authority. If she were a bumper sticker type person, that‟s what her bumper sticker would read: “Question Authority.” She told us a lot about her beliefs in Civil Disobedience. Of course she took us down to The Mall for the demonstrations. She always had books like Thoreau‟s Civil Disobedience around, she had Bertrand Russell around, and the latest (my brother mentioned Pentagon Papers). If there was a book on the injustices that our government committed upon the Indians (Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee) she would be the first on the block to have that, and the only one on the block to have that book around. She spoke out against that war as often as she could; this was an important passion of hers, and we heard about it every day. If she were here today, she would say that… well, she would be extremely angry at the policies of our president, Dick Cheney. She would tell us that before we export democracy to Iraq, we should export it to Florida. She would ask how our oil got under their sand. She had a very interesting way of thinking about things. You had to pay attention when you were growing up in her household. We took some trips across country; we went out west a couple of times. Of course, when you go out west you pass through mountains and mountain passes, and, every once-in-a-while an engineer gets tired of a switchback and he just cuts right through the mountain. And so, of course you have… to the right and the left you‟ll have huge rock formations. Of course, she was a geologist. So you had to be paying attention because she would tell you all about the rock formations and she would tell you, “Look! Look, see the sedimentary layers? See them – like a wedding cake.” And she would tell you about the theory of Superposition. She would say, “The older sedimentary layers are at the bottom; the younger ones are at the top because you can‟t build a wedding cake from the top down.” She would tell you about Ockham's razor. You know, a lot of parents – they tell their children about folk wisdom, like “the moss grows on the north side of the trees.” Well, she would tell you about a fourteenth-century philosophical principle that you can‟t multiply the causes beyond that which is necessary to explain the effects. And this principle – she referred to it frequently – she would actually use it in public. She told us that if you‟re going to understand politicians (and this was her passion, to understand politicians), and if you want to understand whether they‟re acting as altruists, or in their own self-interest; if you could explain what they do in their own self-interest, well, that‟s all you need to know. She called it "The Principle of the Gored Ox" and she would tell us about this all the time. She would say, “Follow the money” whenever we were listening (as Geoffrey pointed out) to The Watergate Hearings. She gave us, with all her time and attention, a way of looking at the world, for which I am grateful, and did her best to make sure that we understood that she loved us and cared about how we developed as human beings. And I hope I‟ve conveyed a sense of what it was like to grow up in her household, and to be lucky enough to have known her. She gave me a book of poems. It‟s the only book of poems that I know that she approved of, outside of William Blake (and that would be too dangerous to read in this building). But, this book is by John Masefield who was a poet laureate from England, and it does express a great deal of what she believed. I‟ll only read the last verse: I must down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life, To the gull's way and the whale's way where the wind's like a whetted knife; And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over. 7. Bob Carlson - contributions (invitation) BOB CARLSON: And now I‟d like you all to make your contribution. Not quite as long as that, but, maybe one thing, or one memory that really strikes you about Pearl that you‟d like to share with the rest of us at this time. 8. Mark Jeschke - contribution MARK JESCHKE: I‟ll say a few words. I‟m a friend of George‟s; I grew up knowing George. Met him one night when he started college. So, I had Pearl… George had prepared me for the first evening at his house. He said I‟ll probably be grilled like a “Watergater”. So I went into the house – went into the kitchen and Mrs. Harper was sitting at the table having coffee; I think she was smoking at the time. So, I sat down and said “Hello,” and George immediately decided it would be appropriate to leave the room at that point. He was gone for about half-an-hour. And during that time Mrs. Harper kept asking questions about the local politics and national politics, and since we were just starting school, we were real versed in Plato‟s Meno so I was two-thousand years further back, and I tried to hold my own for half and hour until he came back, and we went off to do whatever we did. Then the point of the story really is that at that moment I think I found with Mrs. Harper that, it wasn‟t so much the grilling (which I really was kind of afraid of), but it was the sense of caring that she had. And, over the last thirty years, I have felt it every time I‟ve seen her. So, that‟s my recollection. 9. Margo Vollmer - contribution MARGO VOLLMER: Hi, I‟m Margo. And this is my husband, Tom. BOB CARLSON: We‟ve been trying to record this, so try to project a little bit towards the microphone… MARGO VOLLMER: Okay, my name‟s Margo Vollmer, and thanks to Pearl, my name is Margo Vollmer. I‟ve known Pearl for over thirty-five years, and she was responsible for introducing us. They – Tom and Pearl worked together, and Pearl and I worked. We‟ve been married now, thanks to Pearl, for… it will be 24 years. And I‟ll miss her. 10. Betty Crowley - contribution BETTY CROWLEY: I‟m Betty Crowley; I‟ve known Pearl since the mid-sixties, in the Mental Health Association. Pearl, as you all heard, believed in everything very strongly. Well, the Mental Health Association was too narrow for her, so she tried to change us, and she did a very powerful job getting us involved in every social justice issue from school desegregation to free housing to landlord/tenant; anything in that avenue, that she thought was important. But one of her interesting stories is she didn‟t know a whole lot about the mentally ill, so she went to Spring Grove Hospital. That tour of the hospital showed her how people can be so inhumanely treated. So, she came home and decided to legislate. So, she researched it; she came up with the facts and figures like: the animals in the local animal hospital had air conditioning and, per day, were getting more than people in the mental hospitals. She went to Annapolis, she went to the county, and she used these facts and figures over and over (as Royal can testify to); she was involved in everything. Not only did I become a close friend of hers, but, when I got married here at Nativity, she insisted that she make my dress because, not only was she tireless, she was a seamstress! And, she was a perfectionist. As I was almost walking up the aisle she was trying to remake the dress! And, as you talked to her in recent years, she was such a C-SPAN junkie! You‟d call her up, and “Did you watch this?” “No, I didn‟t.” And I would hear the whole dissertation and then we‟d have to debate it. She‟s a person who really made a difference. Not only to us as individuals who were friends, but to society, because she did the things that no one else would get into, and force the rest of us to follow her. And so, I think we‟ll never ever forget the effect that Pearl had on us. 11. Ruth Harper-Axelrod - contribution RUTH HARPER-AXELROD: My name is Ruth Harper-Axelrod and I‟m Pearl‟s niece. I‟d like to tell you a story that is in part fact, and that is in part fantasy, but it is for me; it is psychological truth. I thought of the kind of things that I‟d like to say, and, they got all jumbled together, and I said, “You know, I can‟t figure this out,” so I‟ll go with this little story. And it‟s one of the earliest memories of my life when my family lived in Calcutta. Uncle Don and Aunt Pearl came back from… came through from Sumatra, and we were going to go to the airport and we were going to see them for a few hours. I don‟t remember that meeting, I don‟t even remember whether my brother Steve was born yet, I don‟t remember whether George was there, but what I do remember was the excitement of a little child, getting up in the middle of the night to go to the airport. And I remember the long ride in the taxi, and I remember the lights at the airport rising around in that typical pattern that now we all (as adults) know. And we met them there and I don‟t remember that meeting. But they gave me a present. And when I was thinking about what to say, how I recall; mentally I happened to walk into my living room. And there at the end of that living room, under the credenza, was this present. And it‟s the only think that I‟ve had for all of my life. Everything else has come and gone, and I still have this. So, I‟ve been a good teacher; I brought it from home to show you! These are Indonesian Shadow Puppets. This one is Rama, the hero of Hindu legend; the perfect man. And this is Ravana, who was his enemy. Now, Rama had a wife, Sita, whom he loved, and Ravana stole Sita and took her to Ceylon, now called Sri Lanka. And Rama, with the help of the monkey king, Rama and the monkeys went and rescued Sita. And yesterday, when I was looking at these statues I thought, “Hmm… Why did she give me Rama and Ravana? Why not Rama and Sita?” And I thought about it, and I don‟t know what the truth is; perhaps these were the only two left in the store! But then I thought, “Who was Sita? As Rama was the perfect man, Sita was the perfect woman.” And in ancient India, that meant that she was an utterly obedient and submissive wife. And it was not in Aunt Pearl‟s soul to set up such a woman as a role model for her niece! So I honor many things in my memory of her. I honor Don and Pearl for taking me in when I was hurt and wounded after a painful divorce. I honor them for many memories, but in particular, I honor the warrior. 12. Steve Harper - contribution STEVE HARPER: I‟m Steve Harper, and I was Aunt Pearl‟s nephew. And I was thinking about things that were said here today about her. And I remember an experience being ten years old, and coming to visit their house, and walking into the kitchen, and seeing this white phone on the wall that had a twenty- foot phone cord that was completely stretched out. It was scalded in several places. I couldn‟t figure this out until the next morning when it was time for breakfast. My Aunt Pearl was on the phone, taking breakfast orders from ten people, talking continuously, cooking everything, and getting everything right. And it struck me that here was a person who was passionately involved in the community, in local politics (I think she was involved in Prince George‟s politics at that time) and yet took the time to take care of not only her own family, but my family who were coming as visitors. And that combination of care for her community and care for her own family is something that I‟ll always remember about her. 13. Susima Abeyagunawardene - contribution SUSIMA ABEYAGUNAWARDENE: I‟m not a public speaker, but I have to tell you how much I loved Pearl! She had befriended my sister and myself and we admired her very much! So, today, we are sad that she‟s no longer with us. But we are happy that we got the opportunity of meeting her, and to know what a wonderful person she was! That‟s all I can say; I will remember her fondly, from her sons, thank you. And I will remember this day for the rest of my life. Thank you. 14. Bob Carlson - about tears and celebration BOB CARLSON: Yes, tears – tears - you know, this way you‟re celebrating Pearl‟s life today… but still there has to be sadness as part of that, and the tears are part of it, and, so if you get up and cry, don‟t be embarrassed, because that‟s… there is that sadness of loss as well as the celebration of a wonderful friend, a wonderful life. 15. Beth Carlson - contribution BETH CARLSON: My memories of Pearl go back… BOB CARLSON(humorous interjection): Who are you? BETH CARLSON: Oh! I‟m Beth Carlson, sorry. My memories of Pearl go back to the sixties, because our children were the same age as George (Joey, as they use to call him) was the same age as my oldest child, and Geoffrey was the same age as my youngest child. And, so, I remember Pearl mostly because we were young mothers together. And, we sort of supported each other; we were part of a support group because those were primitive, hard years for us. I remember her as a true friend, and I knew that - unfortunately we moved away in seventy-six and so I didn‟t get to continue my friendship with her up to the end, because by the time we came back, they had moved again. But, my husband and I often used to say to each other, “Pearl” (although she doesn‟t consider herself a Christian) “is the most Christian person we know!” Her behaviour – her behaviour was absolutely, exactly what you would want of a Christian, and she was… I just can‟t say any more, but we always thought that she was one of the best people that we knew… really! 16. Bill Crowley - contribution BILL CROWLEY: One of the things I remember particularly (I‟m Bill Crowley) is, going over to Don and Pearl‟s house, and playing a little bit of Bridge, and I always remember that Pearl would not partner with Don or Betty. And, so, I always wound up being her partner, and I wonder if in later years if she ever got around to partner with Don playing Bridge. But, the table was always full of a multitude of snacks and beverages – you couldn‟t get away without eating your fill of everything. And she was a vicious Bridge player! And I don‟t think she ever did anything halfway. It was a pleasure. Thanks. 17. Royal Hart - contribution ROYAL HART: My name is Royal Hart, and, I knew Pearl through two different associations. One, I recall (me, not nearly as… as much as Pearl was!), in the Mental Health Association, but also because she was a very hard worker in the political arena. If she thinks of her… thought of herself as an agnostic, then maybe she would have been comfortable in my church, which is Unitarian. We‟re agnostics too, for the most part. It‟s not that we don‟t pray, but that our prayers begin with, or direct: “To whom it may concern.” BOB CARLSON(humorous interjection): He hears those, he hears those anyway… ROYAL HART: But, she probably didn‟t do devotionals (as we commonly think of that) with a church, but she was certainly a devoted person to the things she believed in, and she believed in (I think) all of the right things. Today, in Annapolis, there are… there‟s an army of well-paid, over-paid special-interest lobbyists. My mind is in Annapolis thirty years ago (more than that now). Pearl would get more work done by herself, on her own, than a whole army of lobbyists can today. Because you can trust her, you could believe what she had to say, you knew that she had researched it, she knew all of the information, the facts, and she was not representing any special-interest, she was not getting paid for doing this, she was doing it because she strongly believed in it, and she was very, very effective. 18. Ken Ewing - contribution KEN EWING: My name is Ken Ewing. My wife Barbara and I are good friends with George and Janet. We didn‟t know Pearl. And, as I was sitting here listening to everyone talk about her, I really wish I had. Then, it suddenly occurred to me, in a lot of ways I do know her, because we know George very well. And George reflects a lot of what I‟ve heard Pearl was. And, to me, this is probably one of the greatest things a parent can give their child: the proper feelings towards people, concern about human beings, all things I‟ve heard that Pearl was interested in. So, basically, I‟m sorry I never met her, I‟m glad to know George and Janet, and I‟m here to pay my respects. 19. Bob Carlson - litany of thanks (instruction) BOB CARLSON: If everyone has had his or her say, I‟d like now for you to join with me in a… in a kind of litany of thanksgiving, and it begins with a kind of generic prayer (so Unitarians don‟t need to be worried about this). What I‟d like you to do, is to say something like this: “For Pearl‟s commitment to important issues in our society”, or “For Pearl‟s” whatever, you know, just say that. And then the rest of us will join in: “We give thanks.” Is that clear? And we‟ll just go around until it‟s exhausted, then what I would like you to do would be to join me with in (probably one of the more generic Christian prayers) The Lord‟s Prayer, and then, a brief prayer of committal. Okay? Let us pray. I‟ll start it off… 20. All - litany of thanks VARIOUS AND ALL: For Pearl‟s commitment to important issues in our society, we give thanks. For Pearl‟s love of family, we give thanks. For Pearl‟s belief in tolerance, we give thanks. For Pearl‟s friendship, we give thanks. For Pearl‟s dedication to those in need, we give thanks. For a lovely friendship, we give thanks. For Pearl‟s joie de vivre, we give thanks. For Pearl‟s making a difference, we give thanks. For Don and her family‟s support of Pearl in those difficult last years, we give thanks. For the love that she engendered in the world, we give thanks. For her beautiful children and grandchildren, we give thanks. For all the efforts she made; getting her children through college in the midst of several careers, we give thanks. 21. All - The Lord's Prayer BOB CARLSON: Now, let us pray for others, by saying: “Our Father,” ALL: who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen. 22. Bob Carlson - go in peace BOB CARLSON: Oh God, we commend to you the soul of our sister Pearl departed. In gratitude for what she gave to us, and offering our lives to follow (as best we can) her example of love, and caring, and compassion. That we may honor her memory in our lives, and all through. In your name, we pray. Amen. Go in peace. 23. Bob Carlson - closing BOB CARLSON: One final word. You‟re all invited to George‟s house for some refreshments immediately after the service. There are maps that George can provide if you need to get there. But you‟re all invited to come and join with the family in some refreshments after. And I‟m grateful for all of you and your wonderful contributions to this service. It was no work for me at all, really.
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