Sorrowfully, The Weird Review has lost a minion and a shooter. Debora Jean Jones passed away on July 11, 2014. She leaves behind her two sons, Ben and Lucas and her boyfriend friend, Greg Kipp.
We had first heard about each other prior to Mardi Gras 2014 but she was busy and not avaiable for this years event. Last week on July 8th, she popped up on my Facebook and messaged me a photo of a frog hidden in the overgrowth, a smiley face and the words, “I would like to get some more exposure, do you have time for yet one more minion? I just completed courses in digital photography and image editing with photoshop.”
I have been jokingly calling our new photographers and writers minions, your’s truly being the Evil Genius, of course. We talked on the phone for over an hour and her sweet personality and sense of humor clicked with mine. I knew she would fit right in with my weird and wonderful group of minions.
Debora had a back injury that had left her disabled from performing regular work and in her fifties had gone back to college to pursue her passion for photography. She was wanting to do some traveling and cover the fun sort of stuff we cover so, after our chat I assigned her to write about the upcoming Satchmo Festival in New Orleans. She sounded excited about the opportunity to write and, potentially go to events like Mardi Gras and the Satchmo Fest and said she would get write on it.
I checked in on Facebook to see how she was doing and was shocked to see that on Monday her boyfriend had posted a note saying she had been in a car accident and had passed away.
In her honor, please enjoy Longfellow’s “A Psalm of Life”
Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream!
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
And things are not what they seem.
Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.
Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each to-morrow
Find us farther than to-day.
Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
Funeral marches to the grave.
In the world’s broad field of battle,
In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
Be a hero in the strife!
Trust no Future, howe’er pleasant!
Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act,— act in the living Present!
Heart within, and God o’erhead!
Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time;
Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o’er life’s solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.
Let us, then, be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.
Debora didn’t accept an injury as defeat and pursued and was pursuing her passion and her dream even days before she passed on. It had been my hope to share some of her photos while she yet lived, and it is my prayer that others will take inspiration from the footprints she has left in her passing.
Though I have not known her long, she was a delight and I was excited about working with her. May God be with her family and may she rest peacefully in His arms.
Please remember her family in your thoughts and prayers.
John N. Collins aka Weird at The Weird Review