When I read with disbelief and shock the news about Harriet, I was sitting at my laptop in a hotel room in Washington, D.C., far from home in Montana. Tears streamed down my face then, and continue to come everytime I remember something new.
I am so very grateful for her friendship, the lessons she shared with all of us, her passion and humor and commitment and feistiness and competence, and her incomparable way with a word.
From first acquaintance at the first May Media Meeting in Louisville, through all the Mediatalk posts, periodic emails back and forth, the letters at Christmas, yearly reports about the Labor Day protest, and following her amazing adventures confronting Singer, and becoming published….I have so admired and respected Harriet and held her with such affection and in such esteem.
Wanting to believe in the saying that when one door closes, another opens, I can only hope that as Harriet’s amazing spirit left this plane, it might somehow have sent a spark into young disability rights activists, civil rights activists everywhere, and some of our creative young writers and artists and communicators in the disability community.
She leaves both a rich legacy and a gaping hole. I suspect that the first will fill the second, thus providing some measure of comfort in our grief. The other comforting thought is that Barry is reunited with his “Valentine,” and she with him. That thought alone makes me smile and feel a small sense of peace in the midst of all the tears.
With a heavy heart,