Arnette Adams was a great soul, widely loved and deeply missed. She stood with Women in Black many times in our early days; here are her powerful words about it, from Desiree Hellegers’ remarkable oral history, No Room of Her Own:
“When I came to [Mary’s Place} I had to get used to people leaving, cause a lot of people die, and I got used to that. It makes me feel proud standing for someone I knew, the ladies I saw pass away. I believe it will make them feel proud [that we] stand for them….Sometimes we pass out those flyers [that] will have [the deceased person’s] name on it, you know, and show the people: ‘You’re here today. Tomorrow you don’t know.’
“When I’m gone, I want people to smile and then have nothing bad to say about me. That’s what I want. That’s what’s driving me forward. My heart goes out to whoever died, and my heart goes out to everyone else, and people who stop because of concern.”
From Desiree Hellegers:
What an incredible soul Arnette was/is. She just radiated love. It was really an honor to work with her to record her life story for No Room of Her Own. Here’s one of my favorite passages from the interview:
“Sometimes I see somebody and see the presence of God, and when I see the Presence, I want to hug them, to get some of that. Street people, lovely people, all kind of people. Theres a lot of kind folks in the world, a lot of kind folks in the world. some of them need a person to start a conversation with them. its a blessing from the one who came from above. He needed somebody to use and he picked me and its a blessing. Sometimes on the bus I think about all the goodness he bestowed upon me and i thank God.”
You couldn’t help but believe in the essential goodness of the world when you were in Arnette’s presence.
Featured Leaf January 2020