|The latest birthday card sent to me by HJ- animal themed of course (December, 2013).|
I was the only one that ever wrote her back with thank you letters. As I grew up, letters continued but instead of thank you’s, it was hello letters. I’d write more about what I had been up to and keep her up to date with all the family news. Once in awhile I would call her and we could easily talk for over an hour.
HJ was like a close aunt and meant a lot to me. It is hard to put in words why she was such a strong influence in my life, but I guess she was like a lifeline away from my sometimes-chaotic childhood and supported my adventures through life.
When in high school, I started to get interested in animal issues. HJ was kind enough to get me subscriptions to animal rights magazines and organizations, which helped educate and shape me into a beginning activist. More recently, she sponsored an animal at a farm sanctuary in my name and got me a membership to People’s Committee for Responsible Medicine.
HJ was also generous on her own, giving funds to multiple human and animal welfare groups, including sponsoring a child in another country. She opened up her home to feral cats in her neighborhood, offering food and shelter to those who couldn’t be tamed and affection to the cats who wanted more.
HJ is not survived by any family. She never married or had any children, but there is many people who will miss her dearly. Anyone who knew her would remember her as an extremely friendly and giving person. Since HJ is not having a memorial service, I wanted to honor her memory in some way. This blog post does not even begin to explain her amazing spirit, but I wanted to share with others a life that was truly extraordinary.