Freud, among others, points out that we all need love and work in equal measure to make our lives fulfilling.
Fortunate are the people who can work with all with all their hearts at something they love and then share the work, the love, and the glorious results with us. We all benefit beyond measure — not just because of the results, but because of the inspiring examples these people offer us: models of how life should be lived.
Leslie Johnson, who edited and published The Mississippi Rag for thirty-five years, was just such a person.
I’ve written about Leslie several times in this blog — most recently, LESLIE JOHNSON, JAZZ HERO (January 15), and yesterday I posted the news of her death.
Here is the email I received last night from her family:
It breaks my heart to write this letter and I know how hard it will be for you to read it. Leslie passed away Saturday afternoon, January 17, 2009.
Leslie had five goals going into the end of 2008; completing 35 years of publishing the RAG with the December 2008 issue, enjoying Christmas with her family, sending a personal letter to the writers, writing a final letter to post on the website and sending the monthly email notification. Once all of the goals were completed to her satisfaction, she was able to let go of everything tying her down. Although we knew this day was coming, we were unprepared for how quickly it actually happened. Fortunately, the entire family was able to be there and the hospice staff made sure her time there was beautiful, peaceful and pain-free. For this we will be eternally grateful.
With warm regards,
children Tony & Renee,
sisters Jody & Debbie
Visitation: Wednesday, January 21st, 5-8 p.m., Washburn-McReavy Funeral Chapel, 5000 W. 50th St., Edina, MN 55436
Funeral Mass: Thursday, January 22nd, Noon, St. Richard’s Catholic Church, 76th St. and Penn Ave. S., Richfield, MN