micki portrait  Guestbook: Nov. '99

Mom- sept. September 1999

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Hello, there, Gainesville folks: I hope that my rather constant barrage of thoughts being beamed your way has not interfered with other, more urgent transmissions. I have had a heavy heart for many months now, and I've been cheered and anguished and just plain touched by all the wonders of Blake's website. What a stoke of genius that has been! And what a special tribute to Micki and to all of you is the photo gallery. Thank you to all of you for including us in your circle of thoughts and prayers, allowing us to know where things stood in such a beautiful way. I shall treasure all that I have read and seen.
I send my deepest love and concern to all of you. It will be good to be able to give you all a big hug on Saturday. I plan to wear the most colorful thing I can. What was Micki's favorite color?
With love and prayers, Cyndy

Cyndy Aten
USA - Tuesday, November 02, 1999 at 10:23:53 (EST)
Sarah and I send our prayers with you and Micki. Since I have been teaching pre school 2's, I have taken some inspiration from this message from our children's misistry team, "When we trust God's guidance as we venture into new territory, we not only grow in our own faith but also set a wonderful faith example for our children!" God be with you, Jody, and Blake.

John L. Jones <jjones@ppd.ufl.edu>
Gainesville, FL USA - Tuesday, November 02, 1999 at 10:57:59 (EST)
Dearest Micki...graceful tackler of life's challenges--taking on so many roles: wife, mom, student, spiritual guide, community contributer, creative spirit and doubtless more I do not know of. But I do know I express the sentiments of many at Shands Arts-in-Medicine when I say we have felt and remembered Micki's presence and will miss her..I particularly, very deeply.
My sister, rest in peace...till the next go-round! If there is anything I or we at AIM can do for your family I/we am're gladly available.
Sharing "pesames" and Love with you all, Tara

Tara Silverfox Allen <taracare@yahoo.com>
Melrose,, FL USA - Tuesday, November 02, 1999 at 12:31:34 (EST)
The loss of anyone so special leaves a gaping hole within you...within a family...within communities. Your mom seems to have shared her own joy so thoroughly that the void she leaves behind her is filled with music, humor, caring and love.
You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers!

Sandy and Win

Win Davis <wsdiii@snet.net>
Woodbridge, CT USA - Tuesday, November 02, 1999 at 14:17:13 (EST)
While I met Micki only a couple of times, I got to know her and the beautiful members of the Esselstyn family better through this web site. Thank you for sharing your journey and using modern technology to remind us of our interconnectedness. The service at UCG was absolutely beautiful and inspiring. I was deeply touched and moved by the love shared for, with and because of Micki. I left the service inspired by this woman who embodied her gifts and talents and answered life's questions with YES!! Blessings of continued love and peace and outrageous life to Micki's family of birth, creation, and choice...and to Micki herself as she dis-covers her new wings of limitless flight!

Kitty Fallon <kmf451@hotmail.com>
Gainesville, FL USA - Wednesday, November 03, 1999 at 09:58:39 (EST)
I knew Micki only a short time during her ministry at St. Andrew's when she used the presbytery's Resource Center a time or two. Micki has been in my prayers and on my church's prayer list (Christ the King Catholic Church)since she first became ill. Thank you for sharing your faith, your struggles, and happy times with so many people. May Micki rest in God's everlasting peace.

Shelby Miller <resource.center@st.augpres.org>
Jacksonville, FL USA - Wednesday, November 03, 1999 at 10:06:06 (EST)
There's such a Micki-shaped hole in this world now. I don't like the hole at all, but, dear God, what a great, growing, warm shape it was year in and year out. As a neighbor, I loved your Christmas parties, the dinner parties... smiles, great conversation, real enthusiasm. As a minister, I loved Micki's deep, joyfull adventure towards growth in God and opening windows for everyone to what she saw, sang about, delighted in. As a colleague, I treasured her vision of ministry and her commitment to serving the people of God. And as a friend going through that last stage of life and opening it to us who will follow, she expanded, enriched and connected the dying to the holy for me. Praise God. God bless us all. John

John Hay <john.hay@snet.net>
New Haven, CT USA - Thursday, November 04, 1999 at 12:44:06 (EST)
Oh, Micki, Micki, such an exit! So lovingly watched over, so perfectly attended, so . . . COMPLETED. I am filled up with almost as much joy as sorrow in thinking about it.

Blake, so many thanks to you for this Web site! And now, the wonderful picture gallery. My eyes brim as I sit here at work grinning at these photographs, looking at Micki's familiar wonderful smile. She did have a great smile, didn't she?

Erick, Cape Cod in 1968 is my favorite. Sherry says it was taken on your honeymoon. It's a wonderful picture. Although it's also great to see little Micki and Sherry looking so solemnly well behaved in their sun suits. (Dare I imagine that Grandmother Rossbach had a hand in that picture somehow?) Jody, I love the picture taken at your wedding. It's amazing how much Jeff looks like an Esselstyn. (And Blake, you are a dead ringer for Tim.) I love the photo of Micki with Blake on her back. And even the awful teen-age shot that I am sure was taken at some awful (my opinion, maybe not hers) dance.

Did we always know how beautiful she was?

I will be there on the 7th to share with you a little bit of this sorrowful, holy, joyful and sacred departure.

With love,

Penny Janeway

Penny Janeway <pjaneway@mediaone.net>
Cambridge, MA USA - Thursday, November 04, 1999 at 17:26:06 (EST)
Dearest Erik,
I will always remember my beloved friends who sang at my wedding.
Just some words of grace that seem to say what I can not


Sometimes people come into your life and you know right away that they were meant to be there, they serve some sort of purpose, teach you a lesson or help figure out who you are or who you want to become.

You never know who these people may be; your roommate, neighbor, professor, long lost friend, lover or even a complete stranger who, when you lock eyes with them, you know that very moment that they will affect your life in some profound way.

And sometimes things happen to you and at the time they may seem horrible, painful and unfair, but in reflection you realize that without overcoming those obstacles you would have never realized your potential, strength, willpower or heart.

Everything happens for a reason. Nothing happens by chance or by means of good or bad luck. Illness, injury, love, lost moments of true greatness and sheer stupidity all occur to test the limits of your soul.

Without these small tests, if they be events, illnesses or relationships, life would be like a smoothly paved, straight, flat road to nowhere. Safe and comfortable but dull and utterly pointless.

The people you meet who affect your life and the successes and downfalls you experience, they are the ones who create who you are. Even the bad experiences can be learned from those lessons are the hardest and probably the most important ones.

If someone hurts you, betrays you or breaks your heart, forgive them, for they have helped you learn about trust and the importance of being cautious to whom you open your heart.

If someone loves you, love them back unconditionally, not only because they love you, but also because they are teaching you to love and opening your heart and eyes to things you would have never seen or felt without them.

Make every day count. Appreciate every moment and take from it everything that you possibly can, for you may never be able to experience it again. Talk to people you have never talked to before, and actually listen, let yourself fall in love, break free and set your sights high.

Hold your head up because you have every right to. Tell yourself you are a great individual and believe in yourself, for if you don't believe in yourself, no one else will believe in you either.

You can make of your life anything you wish. Manifest it through meditations, honor and honesty and integrity.

John T. Wolan <wolan@che.msstate.edu>
Starkville, MS USA - Thursday, November 04, 1999 at 17:51:01 (EST)

Friday, November 05, 1999

Dear Eric,

Hi thereá.

This has been quite a week for you.

I hope you are doing ok.

I have been thinking about you and your two lovely children quite a bit. Please give Blake and Jody my love. They seem like lovely people. You must be quite proud of them both.

I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed the memorial service for Micki. The service reflected the unique essence of her most unusual character. I loved it when they said that Micki said that Micki saw God in everything. She was a most remarkable person. (It feels rather inappropriate to speak of her in the past tense. I sense that the spirit of Micki will always live on in all of us. She had such a powerful sense of life.)

Thanks for asking me to help move the chairs into a circle. I am very glad that the chairs were in a circle. Micki was definitely a chairs-in-the-circle kind of person. The service would have been a bomb had the chairs stayed in the school house format.

If you get lonely and want to hang out at our house, you are most welcome to come over and hang out. Kate needs as many adults as she can get in her life and you would make a super cool uncle/grandpa.

I love and admire you a great deal. Thanks for being a courageous person. You are a great model for me in how to be a courageous man.

Your buddy,

John Schert

John Schert <jschert@ufl.edu>
USA - Friday, November 05, 1999 at 19:27:57 (EST)
Dear Micki, Erik, Jody and Jeff, and Blake:

The incredibly uplifting sprituality of the Memorial Service, especially in the singing of "Ave Maria" by the Dukes Men of Yale, has left me wobbly kneed in certainty of the ethereal mystery of life hereafter. Their music during the Memorial Service in New Haven touched a hereafter "place" crystal clear in being right here amongst us, a hereafter where your fearless, loving ladybug spirit steps forth to parade with those who are awake to the mystery.

God bless you. God bless us all,

John Bingham <prestabing@compuserve.com>
Lincoln, MA USA - Saturday, November 06, 1999 at 22:21:43 (EST)
Dear Erik and Blake,

I thought Micki was wonderful and I am sorry to learn of her death at such a young age: my present age. I can only guess at the hole her passing leaves in your lives. I lost both parents in 1997, and afterwards, I kept seeing things and saying, "Mom would like to see that" or "I wonder what Dad would say about that." At least she died at home; so did my mother, and my brother and I were with her when she died. It meant a lot to us, and I hope it helped her. It must have.

I have been so out of touch that I didn't even know Micki had gone into the ministry. I'm sure she had much to give as a minister; she was so strong and loving, with strength to loan to others. I know so many good people who have gone into the ministry in mid-life - oddly enough, all women.

This is probably against the rules for condolence notes, but I'm going to fill you in very briefly on my life. Dindy and I unfortunately divorced in 1993. In 1996, I sold my business, but I work full-time for the new owner. I've escaped the headaches; best idea I ever had. I'm still climbing, hauling brush, and so on. Currently, I'm taking ballroom dance classes with the postmaster of Brooksville. But there, the relationship ends.

Andy (27) is working for Tribal Link, an NGO at the UN. Molly (25)is art director for Spirit Press, a small press in the SF area.

I'd like to see you if you come to Blue Hill. In the very unlikely event you don't have a better place to stay, you'd be very welcome here.

As I write, I feel Micki's spirit still. Spunky.



Rufus Wanning <rwanning@mailcity.com>
Blue Hill, ME USA - Sunday, November 07, 1999 at 21:16:19 (EST)
DEAR Jodie,

I just learned about your mom. My deepest sympathy goes
out to you and your family.

Emy Lugo <Emy.JBlake@prodigy.net>
New Haven, CT USA - Tuesday, November 09, 1999 at 08:03:08 (EST)
Dear Erik, Jody and Blake,
Needless to say, I have been thinking of all of you, and especially Micki, as I log in to this wonderful website and all that it entails.
I was so sorry not to have been able to attend the service last Saturday...nor could my mother (Alison Henning), as Jane Curtis' memorial service was at the same time...I was at a conference in Boston. I have yet to talk with anyone who was there, but shall do so as soon as possible. I loved the connection, so to speak,...learned from John Bingham's message, of the Duke's Men singiing Ave Maria; if it is the one by Biebl, I think of it as one of the most beautiful pieces ever written. (It eas sung by the Yale Glee Club in Battell at my father's service in 1990).
I love the fact that Micki asked all to wear bright colors, just another lovely symbol of her extrordinary life.
I think of her often, from the earliest days in Salem and Old Lyme, at Smith and beyond when you lived in New Haven.
Thank you all for sharing so much of her, and you, in the past few months, a true inspiration.
I am thinking of you.
Morgan Stebbins

Morgan Stebbins <morgan109a@yahoo.com>
Providence, RI USA - Wednesday, November 10, 1999 at 09:09:10 (EST)
Dear Hearts: I have spent this morning gazing at every picture and reading every word of mickinews and wanting more. More Micki, please. I know that this is greedy of me, especially when she and you have already shared so much. So, I guess it is my turn to share a mickimemory. I am remembering the afternoon in early May when Riverdale seemed to have burst into bloom to welcome Micki's progress. June was an every gracious hostess. After lunch we sat in the sunshine of the front porch, Micki in a floppy hat talking about life and ministry, interpreting her experience, relishing funny stories and telling yo momma jokes. Even as I knew in my heart that this was the last time we would laugh together or feast our eyes on one another, the afternoon seemed to stretch on miraculously. I was conscious of being blessed, once again, by Micki's amazing energy. At just the right moment, Erik returned and Micki beamed even more brightly. Hugs all around and loving goodbyes. As we took our leave, Micki seemed to relax into the shelter of Erik's presence. Thinking of Micki and of you with love and appreciation. Amy Furth

Amy Furth <afurth1@earthlink.net>
Claremont, CA USA - Wednesday, November 10, 1999 at 14:06:48 (EST)
Dearest Blake and family,
When my AOL mysterious instant-message fairy sent me an email from you I was overwhelmed by the news. Over the last year tidbits of information filtered through overlapping networks of friends giving my an idea of the latest news...But until we spoke, I had been sending my good wishes not over the information superhighway, but the old fashioned way...vibes.
Your mother was an incredible person...as you well know. Your family and friends are a beautiful and magnificent creature that dance through life with a spirit,an energy and benevolence very rare in the world today...
I look upon these pages of words and photos saddened by the fact I only knew your mother a little, but happy for having gotten a glimpse.
Thank you for sharing all these special memories and feelings.
sincerely, yuki

Yuki <yukimurata@aol.com>
santa fe, nm USA - Thursday, November 11, 1999 at 16:16:08 (EST)
Blessings for a safe journey home, and thanks for your inspiration. Eric Diamond

eric diamond <ericdphd@aol.com>
gainesville, fo USA - Thursday, November 11, 1999 at 23:00:37 (EST)
I sat down to write a note on the website to Micki and up came her beautiful picture which encouraged me that I was not too late..until I saw the dates. She was already at peace. Although we were classmates at Rosemary and had been out of touch, the reading of the entire website and the Gainsville article practically made catchup a reality. To her wonderful family I send my admiration and love. The lessons are there to see and to learn for eternity. Thank you for letting us all share this amazing journey. Brownie

Brownie Warburton <newportresourcembw@yahoo.com>
newport, RI USA - Sunday, November 14, 1999 at 18:21:55 (EST)
To Erik and family:
Me and my daughters send to you our best feelings at this moment of your lifes. Micki was very special for you and for many people, as we could see.You have real friends in Brazil.
Abra*os, e nunca se esque*am de sorrir!
Älcia, Renata e Paula/

Älcia Luz <elcialuz@uol.com.br>
Natal, RN BRAZIL - Wednesday, November 17, 1999 at 19:35:54 (EST)
Erik, Jodie, and Blake:
We just this morning heard through a third party about Micki's leaving and going on to a better place. I know that she will be looking after all of us with a smile and a twinkle in her eyes. I am glad that we were able to know her a little bit and see her spirit and strength.
You all are in our thoughts and prayers. The latch string is always out for a place to relax and recoup on your travels north and south.
Klaas & Bettie

Klaas van Esselstyn <75133.45@compuserve.com>
Beaufort, SC USA - Monday, November 29, 1999 at 11:42:40 (EST)
Dear Erik, Jody, and Blake,

Kathleen joins me in offering our deepest condolences at the loss you all must feel with Mikki's passing. We thank God that she is now without pain and helping to prepare a place for us all. We only briefly got to meet and enjoy Mikki while she was here with us but we are looking forward to a longer visit in the hereafter. You are all welcome to stop by and visit any time you are in our area. Our door is always open and we have plenty of beds. PLease let us all get together in the not too distant future. Family is precious and time is short.

David and Kathleen

David and Kathleen van Esselstyn <V11@aol.com>
Fairfax, VA USA - Monday, November 29, 1999 at 13:54:00 (EST)
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