My Aunt Jill was a creative force in my young years. One of my earliest memories is of her painting her friend Christy’s VW Van in big daisy’s and rainbows and ladybugs. Her joie de vive and constant enthusiasm awed me. She was an example at a young age to be exactly who you are; to never worry because who you are, exactly who you are – is perfect.
Jill stayed with us for a time when we first moved to Cape Cod. My parents were just starting their business so we were living with my Dad’s business partner for the summer in a place affectionately known as “the bog” since it overlooked a number of cranberry bogs. The time we spent at the bog was a difficult time for me. It meant a new town, a new school, and making new friends. Jill’s presence was light at a dark time. I’ll never forget Jill coming home with an outdated 6ft fabric hanging calendar that she proceeded to turn over and reuse to embroider and embellish up and down the length of it with her now signature leaves, bugs, and flowers. I studied her as she pulled the rainbow of threads in and out through the piece. I watched her, intent to see what would appear on it next. When she was done, she presented it to me with a hug, a smile, and a goodbye. Jill was off to the next country, her next missionary post and her next adventure!
Jill meets the most amazing and colorful people who adore her as much as we do. Over the years growing up, my parents took in her friends from all over the world and gave them a place to stay for a bit. Christa and Eckhart from Austria, and Christy from California are a few friends I remember especially.
Jill is someone who just always knew and lived her life being creative and spiritual. She paints, writes, and teaches. She is open and warm and giving. Jill has been following along with Art Apple A Day and when I told her my plans for New York City and to paint for 24 hours straight she got that lilt in her voice. The wonderous spunk and excitement encouraged me and helped me believe in myself and my vision – a very large undertaking. She comforts people with her excitement and support. You hear it in her voice, her mannerisms, and her words. Jill immediately started helping me try to find a space and work through some of the logistics. She contacted everyone she knew and even went to the space a few weeks before the event to double check that it would work out ok.
Jill painted and painted and painted. She was right at my side when I put the paintbrush on the first apple, stayed up with me until almost 3 a.m. and was right there the next morning leading people in apple making. Jill even spoke Spanish to a family from Honduras who had happened upon the event. She welcomed them, told them about Ankylosing Spondylitis, and they all happily sat down and painted apples. She was enthusiastic to the end and I love her so very much for everything. For being by my side and for reminding me to be ok with who I am.
Thank you Marguerite Jill Dye – for you!
*** Please visit Jill at her blog – http://margueritejilldye.wordpress.com/
*** And as guest blogger talking about homelessness on The Brave Discussion