Remembering Noddy24, Always

Reply Tue 5 Aug, 2008 04:34 pm

It is with a heavy heart that I tell you all that our beloved Noddy24 -- Janie -- passed on this morning. Tonight and throughout this topic I want to celebrate her life. The links in this topic are music, some background as you read. I hope you'll listen. I think Noddy would've liked the whole multimedia experience, given what a Renaissance Woman she was.
You're a bluebird on a telegraph line

It should come as no great surprise to anyone that she was a Moderator. I well recall spending time on the phone with her, walking her through the Help Desk. Every now and then the tutorial would be interrupted with an occasional bark, then Noddy would turn to her beloved dog and ask, "Iffy, do you want a cookie?" Iffy, by the way, was short for Iphegenia, if you please.

Iffy got a lot of cookies, and Noddy never really did get the hang of the Help Desk. So we changed things up and she became the F/D/M Manager. What's F/D/M, you ask? Why, that's Feature/Defeature/Move, all of which are, ironically won't have to be done manually in the upcoming newer version of A2K (computer tagging will fulfill that need). But for the past years, if a topic was moved, it was usually Noddy, who either did it or directed another Moderator to do so, or vetted requests and suggestions by the general membership, and fretted about forums having too few or too many featured topics. If your topic was featured, thank Noddy. She made most of the decisions about that, and featurings reflected not only her taste but also her understanding of the diversity of A2K's membership.

Noddy -- we called her Jill -- was knowledgeable in so many subjects it may end up being easier to list what she didn't know about. Computers -- that was often timber's bailiwick and when he passed away that work fell to other Moderators. Autos -- that wasn't really a Noddy specialty, either. Same with Video Games and Sports. But almost everything else was, and her thoughtful attention made the forums interesting and lively in a myriad of subtle ways.

As a Moderator, she also of course weighed in on a lot of the behind the scenes decisions that we made, and the discussions that we had. She was as funny and practical talking about moderating as she was talking about anything else. She was particularly amused by some of our earthier members, including the Rap Battlers. As for all of the pulled information, she once said that A2K had a porn collection to rival the Vatican's.

Her life was not an easy one. She buried one of her sons. Her first marriage ended in divorce. She lived in an isolated part of the country. Able2know brought her companionship, solace and contact with the rest of the universe, all in its glorious messiness. In her turn, she brought her wisdom, experience, pragmatism and good humor to everyone she touched.

She was not a child of the '60s, but she remembered them well and occasionally spoke of that.

We are stardust, we are golden,
We are billion year old carbon,
And we got to get ourselves back to the garden.

No, she wasn't at Woodstock. But she knew that time period well and its impact on the genders and the aftershocks that are still being felt. Gender roles and stereotypes were for smashing. But she was always, as she said, a Good Woman. She might have complained, but she still did everything that needed to be done. Her sense of duty was extremely strong, particularly when it came to Mr. Noddy.

Anyone who has read the topic in Aging knows of her issues with him. He is, as I suppose one could say genteelly, losing his faculties. It is the slow theft of mind and personality that comes with advancing dementia. Jill bore it all with grace but yes, a little sighing. But it's totally understandable. That way must be very difficult.

I don't know much about Mr. Noddy from before he was ill, but I do know that D__ (0macneil, Jill's son) loves him dearly. I have no doubt that before illness robbed him, there was a lot to love and admire. Jill wouldn't have had it any other way. So for Mr. Noddy I offer this song.

Understand what I've become, it wasn't my design

And what of D__? He and his wife live here in Massachusetts, and he brought Jill to a gathering a couple of years ago. He's a good guy, D__ is. Stoic and smart. I hope he doesn't mind, but this song is for him. My heart goes out to him. All of our hearts go out to him. I hope he will feel, someday, that he can join us again. He's an A2Ker by osmosis, by need, by proxy and by genome. I thank him again for sharing so very much of Jill's final days. It is a rare privilege to be let in, so deeply, into the life of a family. He and his wife, L__, and all of their family, are always welcome, at every A2K gathering, anywhere, at any time.

... love is the only road


Jill's pragmatism and her desire to tweak gender roles made her a natural at giving advice to forlorn, scared and smitten folks in the Relationships forum in particular, although her reach was all over the site. The phrase "Hold your dominion" was more than shorthand for "keep everything together". It was her way of telling people that they were big enough and important enough and wise enough to even have a dominion. That no matter how small it was, you were King or Queen of your castle and Lord or Lady over all you surveyed. For many, that was the very statement of empowerment that they needed. And it all happened in three little words.

Three little words. Three others, I love you. Those come to mind, too. And you who are reading this, include yourselves in that "you" part. Because you are dominion-holders, too.

My last phone call with Jill was when she went into the hospital the time before this one. We talked about everything. She had a lot to say about my job, about moderating, about politics, about dogs, and about the news. I can still hear her voice in my ear. I can still hear her laughing.

Jill was a practicing Wiccan, and was so for over five decades. August is the month for sunflowers, so if you see a sunflower, think of her. Wicca is a celebration of the natural world, and we all know she loved the moon, and howling and dogs and gardens and the beauty that is all around us, every day.

... memories to hold

I close with one more personal story, and I hope you will indulge me. In May, RP and I went to visit my parents. It promised to be an emotionally difficult visit. Jill sent a book, and I'm ashamed to say I have not yet opened it. Tonight I hold it tight, and cherish the gift and the small note that came with it.

Never to be forgotten, always to be loved. Somewhere, cavfancier is cooking, timber is telling stories and Noddy is adding her own quips. It is an honor to give her the Moderator Emeritus title, which she and timber will always carry. Take it away, A2Kers, take it away and give Jill/Janie/Noddy her propers. She loved science fiction, so talk about your Close Encounters of the Noddy Kind. Howl at the moon, give the dog a cookie, read a book, counsel a friend and clutch your dominions tight. This topic is for you, to celebrate what has been, to mourn what cannot be, and to keep together and hold in your arms.

Anyone who's ever had a heart

And death shall have no dominion

Dylan Thomas wrote:
And death shall have no dominion.
Dead men naked they shall be one
With the man in the wind and the west moon;
When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone,
They shall have stars at elbow and foot;
Though they go mad they shall be sane,
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again;
Though lovers be lost love shall not;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
Under the windings of the sea
They lying long shall not die windily;
Twisting on racks when sinews give way,
Strapped to a wheel, yet they shall not break;
Faith in their hands shall snap in two,
And the unicorn evils run them through;
Split all ends up they shan't crack;
And death shall have no dominion.

And death shall have no dominion.
No more may gulls cry at their ears
Or waves break loud on the seashores;
Where blew a flower may a flower no more
Lift its head to the blows of the rain;
Though they be mad and dead as nails,
Heads of the characters hammer through daisies;
Break in the sun till the sun breaks down,
And death shall have no dominion.
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Reply Tue 5 Aug, 2008 04:52 pm
thank you .
That was a wonderful read. I love your writing

Thanks for sharing your private pieces of her too. All the more ammo for my tears. Im gonna miss her.

Love ya Noddy...

Love you too Jepah Wink

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Reply Tue 5 Aug, 2008 05:07 pm
I'm here.......
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Reply Tue 5 Aug, 2008 05:09 pm
Crying or Very sad

Thank you ((((((((Jes))))))))

I'm still very shocked and so sad from just reading the news, so I'll have to come back later when I'm not crying all over my keyboard. I have so much to say about our sweet Noddy.

For now I'll just say "I love you Jill, and I'll miss you so very much"!

My sympathies to the Noddy family and everyone who knew and loved her.
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Reply Tue 5 Aug, 2008 05:12 pm
The Parting Glass - Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem

for noddy, long may her dominion hold
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Reply Tue 5 Aug, 2008 05:16 pm
Checking in -- thanks, Jespah!
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Reply Tue 5 Aug, 2008 05:17 pm
When I was a teenager I took a job at a rather notorious bar. It was owned by an astologer and staffed by a variety of "readers".

One day the bartender, Glenda (the good witch) told me "Your blessing is that you will have many mothers."

My 15 year old self replied "One mother is quite enough. Thanks but no thanks."

"You'll see...." she said.

And I did see, eventually. And I have been blessed with a series of mothers. Noddy was the most important of my other - mothers.

Maybe it is because she didn't hold my hand and tell me everything was going to be okay but instead made me believe that I could get through it and I could make it be okay.

She taught me the beauty of "good enough".

She taught me that I had a dominion and that it was worth holding on to.

She had a way of making me feel special and important like nobody has ever done before.

She was amazing and I feel lost without her.

Mo keeps asking why I'm crying and I told him that my fairy godmother had to leave.

"Oh. That's bad." he says.

The last thing Jill wrote to me is:

"Love is a prison. Hang on...."

I'm really trying to.
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Reply Tue 5 Aug, 2008 05:18 pm
I wish I had had the chance to meet Noddy/Jill/Janie. It is unreal that she is gone. I am glad that it was a painless passing for her, though I wish that she had stayed (and in good health) a while longer.

Rest in peace, Noddy/Jill. I love you and I will miss you. Peace, as well, to your family.
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Reply Tue 5 Aug, 2008 05:23 pm
Wow, Jespah. That was beautiful, and I am all the more sad for not having known her. But you know what, I look forward to getting to know her here. I'm raising my glass to you, Noddy/ Jill. May the rest you find now be all that you wanted it to be and more. You will be missed. Peace to her family.
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Reply Tue 5 Aug, 2008 05:33 pm
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Reply Tue 5 Aug, 2008 05:33 pm
And with such an outpouring of love and regard as witness, look what a wonderful bright trail Noddy has left in her wake.

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Reply Tue 5 Aug, 2008 05:34 pm
Noddy was a first-class poster on every thread. I mostly encountered her in discussions about books. I am jealous that Jespah got a book from her.
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Reply Tue 5 Aug, 2008 05:35 pm
Another A2K icon has left us. However, in body only. Their spirit and memory live on.
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Reply Tue 5 Aug, 2008 05:36 pm
Like most of you, I wish I had known her in person. But, I got close enough via her a2k posts to know I loved her. My condolences to the family.
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Reply Tue 5 Aug, 2008 05:47 pm
This brings me much sadness. Noddy gone - hard to believe I'm never going to read "Hold your dominion" again, or see her posts in the "Howling at the Moon" thread.

Wise, neutral and pragmatic she was. And ever supportive.

This is a huge loss.

Jes, thank you for that lovely, lovely eulogy. It filled in many gaps. It was very poetic and gave me a feel for how you saw her.
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Reply Tue 5 Aug, 2008 05:50 pm
I think I will read that piece by you, Jespah, many times, and listen many times.

I know she was weary, but she was her feisty funny thoughtful self even the day she packed to go to the hospital.

Jill called me a few times and we had good talks. I remember her voice, elegant voice, and her laughter, and my own laughing back, not very long ago.

I'll write more as time passes, but will just mention this for now -
I too have a book she sent me. I started to read it and ran into my own science fiction reading block. We pm'd about this, with my assurance that I would read the book through - it was one of her favorites. I went and got it just now, still in a stack by my bed. And of course, I will read it through. The book, which I will always think of as part of Noddy -
"The Gate to Women's Country", by Sheri S. Tepper.

I am still having conversations with her in my mind.
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Reply Tue 5 Aug, 2008 05:50 pm
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Reply Tue 5 Aug, 2008 05:52 pm
Noddys wit and wisdom and ability to say so much in few words was always so familiar. She could have been any of the older women in my family. It was as if I were still talking to one of my own, even though some of them had passed.

Noddy was family. She will always be so.

Thank you, Jes.

(I had no idea she was a Mod!)
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Reply Tue 5 Aug, 2008 06:00 pm
Just wandering the halls.
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Reply Tue 5 Aug, 2008 06:11 pm
Jill still wanted to do lots of things. I know she got a great big kick out of going to New York City. She had wanted to come to the last Albuquerque gathering, almost a possibility at the beginning of the planning. I remember her talking about wanting to visit San Francisco.
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