.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}
Unschooling Blogs
Previous | Next
Live and Learn Blogs
Join | List | Previous | Next

Visit Radical Unschooler's Network

Learning in Freedom

Welcome to Learning in Freedom, a blog all about the learning adventures (and mishaps) of the Allen family. My four children are unschooled, following their interests and passions every day and living the lives of their choosing. The purpose of this blog is to share our every day lives (and my not-so-humble opinons) with anyone interested in stopping by. We hope this will give a glimpse of how natural learning unfolds from day to day......

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

In honor of Lisa Heyman

We all got a heavy case of the flu Monday, every last one of us.
All I can think about is how lucky we are.

We also got a phone call from Kelly Lovejoy.
It was the kind of phone call you dread. The kind that you don't forget.
It was to let us know that a friend had died. A friend that was a bright spark in this world, a friend that I didn't see often enough but always was happy to see. The last time I hugged her was in September at the Live and Learn conference in Black Mountain that we didn't attend.

We did show up for a brief visit on the last day though and I got to see Lisa ever so quickly to exchange a few words and a hug. I thought I'd see her again in May at the NE Unschooling conference, where we'd hung out two years ago.

I remember thinking what an awesome family they were when they gently nudged all of us to use their child's chosen name..."Fire" when she'd decided her birth name didn't fit her. She IS a bright and burning light, both of her children are. I will leave the tributes to others with more eloquent words tonight. My heart is heavy and we are thinking of Larry, Roxy and Fire with much love. You will be missed Lisa Heyman.

Here are two posts that say it all, swiped from the Live and Learn list. The first was written by Kelly Lovejoy, the second by Anne Ohman:

The "tag line" of the accountability association I run in SC to allow
families to homeschool is "Childhood is NOT a dress rehearsal."

Unfortunately, I get reminded of this every now and then. Not that I
don't *need* to be reminded. It's just that I wish I weren't reminded
in such a harsh way.

I think most traditional, conventional parents think of something
different when they hear or read it. I think they start considering
that we only have this one chance to push our children to do better, to
be better, and to strive harder for that medical degree or career
choice or..."success" or whatever.

That's not the message I get.

I've been thinking about what to write now for several days to honor
the memory of Hannah Jenner, who died two years ago on February 24. I'd
wanted to toss out there that we really DO only have so much time to
spend with our children---and even though we *think* have the rest of
their lives to do and be with them, there's no guarantee that they
won't be taken from us a whole lot sooner than we think. The time they
spend with us should be full of joy and fun and happy, happy thoughts.
Their time with us should be filled with *our* joy in them---that they
know that our world is a better place *because* of them.

Hannah's short life is a tough reminder for me to enjoy the children I
have---and every single minute. And not a day goes by that I don't
think of Hannah (and Sam Wilkerson and Jacob Strebler). 'Cause I just
don't know what I would do without Cameron and Duncan. But sometimes,
when I'm not my best and my temper is short, I *need* that little
reminder---that this time is a gift.

Too often, parents can work so hard helping our children "become" that
we forget to enjoy Who They *Are*--right now, this minute.

Lisa Heyman's passing yesterday has stunned this community. And I just
can't imagine the pain and loss the Gauchmans are experiencing right
now. But I *know* that the girls, Roxy and Fire, will know that their
mom truly valued the time she had with them. She chose to keep the
girls close and let them grow "In Their Own Way, In Their Own Time."
That's a gift we can ALL give our children. To accept Who They
Are---and to revel in it!

We have that choice.

Lisa understood that childhood is not a dress rehearsal. Lisa worked
hard to give her girls he space they needed to grow. She gave them
inspired, joyful childhoods. There's not a doubt in my mind that Roxy
and Fire will thrive in spite of their huge, huge loss. And a big part
of that is the love and acceptance Lisa showered on them. They will
kept warm with her light.

Her passing will continue to be a reminder that *my* time with my kids
is limited as well. I can choose to make the most of each moment with
them as she did. Our world is brighter because of Lisa. And I'm glad I
got to know her.

Much Love and Many Hugs to Larry and Roxy and Fire.


Kelly Lovejoy
Conference Coordinator
Live and Learn Unschooling Conference

****...a tribute to dear Lisa...*****

As Jake and Sam and I go through our day today, with each moment we
are also living it through the eyes and heart of Larry, Roxy and
Fire. Of course we can't know completely exactly how they feel...but
we are *there* with them as much as we are able to be. The saddest
was when Jake woke up and, with tears in his eyes, said to me, "Roxy
and Fire are waking up today and their Mom is not there."

We are still living Joyfully today...a distracted Joyful, weaving in
and out of deep sadness. And every moment is going to honoring Lisa
and her Light.

When I first *met* Lisa on the NY unschooling list, I thought, "Wow ~
we have so much in common!" Did I tell her that while I could? I do
think I did.

I was happy to finally meet Lisa in person after knowing her from the
NY list and here at Shine. I met her last September, at the Live and
Learn conference. Her energy was wonderful, and I imagine it's still
the same glorious energy today, just in a different form. I remember
when I first got to talk to her husband, Larry. I was
thinking, "Wow. What a really cool guy. Lisa is so blessed." Did I
tell him that? I don't think so. Did I tell her that? Nope.

I didn't run into Lisa much at the conference, as our kids were going
in different circles/directions. I did see Roxy once in a while, and
Jake, Sam, Maeve and I would talk about how nice she was...how
beautiful her smile was. Did we tell *her* that? Nope.

And then there was Fire. Fire is amazing. If you know Fire, you
know what I'm talking about. She gave herSelf that name. And it's
Pure Truth. If you don't know Fire, just imagine an ever-
illuminating, constantly MOVING light...one that spreads Warm,
Loving Light to all corners of the Universe.

On the first night of the talent show, we sat in the row behind Larry
and Lisa. We chatted a bit. When it was Fire's turn to be on stage,
she went up and started her music. She did an incredible
dance...starting over again from the beginning when it wasn't quite
what she had wanted. After dancing for a couple of minutes, Fire
came out into the audience. She would look at people and grab their
hands and pull them up on the stage with her to dance. It wasn't
just a dance. It was a celebration. I think everyone could feel
that. My boys and our friend Maeve and I had talked about Fire a lot
before that talent show. We all just thought she was amazing. When
she was pulling people onto stage to dance, to celebrate, I looked at
my boys and Maeve and we all just SMILED!! It felt like a deeply
spiritual experience to me...watching this little *prophet* spread
the infinite amount of Love that she held. And, of course, the more
she *spread* it, the more she received.

I leaned forward and tapped Lisa's shoulder. I said to her, "I.
Love. That. Child."

She smiled and said, "Me, too."


Out of all of the things that I did say, and the things I didn't say,
I'm so glad I said those words to Lisa. I know that she knows that
it was one of the *best* forms of, "I Love You."

I remember years ago, Oprah had on a woman who was dying. Since she
knew her time was limited, she pulled her kids out of school and
spent loads of time with them. They took trips that they had been
wanting to take, and lived their biggest dreams. And yet, when the
child was asked what was the most special time she spent with her
mother, the child said something like this, "When we would be up
together late at night and would have a bowl of cereal together and

Our lives as unschoolers is all about that bowl of cereal.

Lisa knew this. Lisa lived this.

While my perspective of life has not changed since Lisa's passing
~ I
already live mindfully in Joy with my children every single day ~ I
am reminded to say those Loving thoughts out loud to those people who
have touched my heart. I already do *this*...but most certainly not

My heart hurts for this family, to be without their Mom. When Diana
Jenner's daughter passed, Lisa wrote to me, "How are we to go on?"

Now her family is learning exactly that which she had asked. We all

Last night, Sam came to me, tears in his eyes, and said, "I couldn't,
Mom. I couldn't go on without you." And I hugged him back so hard
and so tight. Crying, I said, "But you could...you would learn
how...and that's the part that breaks our hearts...that's the part
that's so so sad."

And yet, that's also the part that is so very wonderful about being
*alive* on this earth. The learning. The growing. Sometimes it's
more painful than other times. But we do walk forward...as
always...toward the Light from within our hearts.

Thank you, Lisa, for Your Light.

..· ´¨¨)) -:¦:-
¸.·´ .·´¨¨))
((¸¸.·´ ..·´ All is Well. -:¦:-


Some other bloggers have written about Lisa:

Barn Raising

Home Spun Juggling

Our Joyful Life (with a lovely pic of Lisa with her pink hair)

(a couple more great pics of Lisa and the post by her good friend Marji informing the unschooling world of her death)

And finally, a guest book where you can leave condolences or messages:
New York Times


Blogger jugglingpaynes said...

If you have not seen it yet, Marji has set up a memorial blog:


Every time I read someone's tribute, I get teary eyed again. Too soon. Much too soon.


3:33 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home