SayWhatClub Online Voices September 2015
Laura B. Jones
Thank you all for joining us today at the Jazzy Jamboree, a celebration of the Life of an extraordinary woman, Emily Wingert. For those who do not know me, I am Laura, the eldest of her three children.
I want to take a moment to let you know how we got to have this celebration here at the Kasser Theater today. A very dear friend of ours, Adrian Shelby and her husband Ed Bindell called me as soon as they heard about Mom's passing and wanted to help us find a suitable place for a Jazzy Jamboree. Adrian did research and sent us to a few places, but dates or times just were not working. Then near the end of one day Adrian called and said, "Please go to the Kasser Theater; I think it will be perfect. The space is open and modern like your Mom loved." Woody and I walked into the theater lobby and instantly saw the art from our childhood on display. Six beautiful pieces from the Emily Wingert collection which she donated in 1988. At that moment we knew she had sent us here. We want to thank Dr Cole and everyone from MSU for making this incredible event actually take place. We are forever grateful.
It has been a very humbling month for all of us as we have read the cards, tributes, and emails that have been sent about what kind of impact our Mom had on so many different people’s lives. What I now understand a bit better is that as her daughter, I did not see Mom as others saw her. I also realize you cannot take time for granted. We cannot say, "I love you." too much, make too many phone calls just to stay in touch, or spoil your grandchildren too much. A good friend once told me shortly before she passed away, she loved her life and had no regrets. I believe Mom loved her life and in the end had no regrets. She blazed a trail for herself and left so many people behind who have been touched in such positive ways, she can only be proud of what she did accomplish in her short 80 years.
What I have learned from my mother is: I am not as good at sports as she was, heck I cannot
even walk without landing on crutches periodically, but perseverance is key. Never be afraid to
reinvent yourself over and over again and most importantly, let your passions guide you.
Jazzy was her nickname for the past 20 years. It is a very fitting name for a variety of reasons: Jazz is a style of music she loved. It is characterized by a strong but flexible rhythm filled with improvisations which are highly sophisticated. Mom was clearly a woman who had one foot in tradition, but loved to improvise. Jazz also means to “spice things up” and to make exciting or elaborate; enliven or embellish: Mom did Jazz up a room and the lives of those around her.
My brother Woody is going to give a more complete synopsis of our Mom from our generation and will then continue the program.
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