Dearest Carrel, a letter from Sue Booth-Forbes

Dearest Carrel,

Exponent II former staff at the 40th Anniversary celebration in 2014

My heart is with you, and I’m praying for your comfort and peace.  You are a beacon of joy and personal exploration, and I am grateful that you are in my life.  Meeting you in the 70s and watching you meeting your life with a smile on your face and what I took to be a song in your heart, even and especially with the challenges you and we all face, inspired me to try to do the same. You radiate an unabashed joy for living!

From you, I also learned that it was possible and, in fact, necessary to explore all facets of  your life and to work hard to make sense of it all while taking care to take care of yourself.  Your ability and willingness to live your life authentically also still inspires  me and gives me permission to do the same.

When I close my eyes, I can see you in my favourite spot for you – standing in the center of the circle of sisters in the lodge at Hillsboro.  It is the first night of every retreat we had there, and you are glowing and beginning to create the atmosphere that will turn the Exponent gathering into the retreat of unconditional acceptance and sisterly love that it always was. You encouraged us to approach our time together with well-considered intentions, not expectations, a concept that I borrowed from you and have always asked of those who come on retreat here.

Your transparent and warm acceptance of all of us and all that life puts in front of us  gave us permission and encouragement to be open and authentic.  Every year, I so looked forward to, and counted on, your doing your thing to start the weekend.  By the time you finished, the group had always changed from being a collection of like-minded women to being a gathering of sisters ready to authentically accept and love each other.

Your opening your home, your mind, and your heart to the beginning days of Exponent II has made it what it was, is, and continues to be.  You have helped and are continuing to help make the loving connections among the women who have become sisters and friends through their commitment to the work of Exponent II.  What a legacy! 

Even though, we’ve been miles and life’s experiences apart for quite a few years, you are always in my heart. I love you, Carrel, with all my heart, Sue


And then after she had gone:

Once again, Carrel is leading the way; I wish I could talk with her about the new things she’s learning about and exploring…  

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