.I remember Colleen's first words to me as clearly as they were yesterday. "You have a beautiful voice." I can't help but think how ironic it was that she was complimenting me. Her singing voice was one of the best I've had the pleasure to have known. It was quite unexpected and one of the true compliments of my life.
The songs we sang together (it was hard weaning her away from Bill) will always be a treasure to me. I'll never forget the many times I sat and listened to Bill and Colleen run through set after set in perfect unison, two vocal masters, brimming with familial love and and years of practiced precision. Playing and singing with her, or just listening to her, she was so precious. I'll always remember her as a vibrant force that never failed to enchant those she encountered.
And it wasn't just her voice. She was worldly beyond her years, confident, cordial, kind, and no one's fool. She was so warm, authentic, and likable that it was impossible not to like her. No joke ever went over her head. No one was the butt of her jokes, unless they wanted to be. She knew her way around the block, and she was an angel, a rare mix.
Colleen inspired love. She touched all who met her and got to know her. And she is dearly missed by those who will have to learn to live without her love. It's so hard to lose one so brightly shining, so very soon after so many wonderful new starts in her life. It's just so unfair, so tragic that Colleen never got to see the fruition of marriage, home, first CD release, and the rest that came true for her in 2002. Never in my experience was an ending so untimely. Never have I felt a stronger reason for tears.
I, with so many others, will miss you so dearly, Colleen.
Colleen doing what she loved at the Queen's Beach Party!
(Accompanied by Bill Cade with Kurt Ruthstrom and Doug Duryea)
.Although it's not a song, it is a true piece I wrote about Collen one night.
He sat uncomfortably in a cold, dark room waiting for her bedroom light. He was wearing the pajamas she bought him. Thoughts of her and only her racing through his busy brain. Why he was drawn to her he did not know. She was so unlike every other girl. He felt special near her. And near her is where he longed to be. As the cold night turned to morning he drifted off to a warm dream of a life with her. One filled with joy, trust, comfort and love like he prayed for as a child. Hand in hand on a porch swing watching the sun set. Walking with her watching the wind dance through her hair. He knew she was there. Just across the yard. Only two pieces of glass and a few feet separated them. He closed his eyes and could feel her breathing. He could still smell her on the shirt he was wearing earlier. He held it close like he would hold her. If only her light would illuminate he could make a run for her window. His dreams continued. Laying in her arms on a blanket in a field of soft, green grass. Listening to just the sound of her voice no matter what she said because her voice was so uncontrollably soothing to him. A sound that would not grow old as they did, together. A passing siren stirs him from his uncomfortable slumber to find her light is still not lit. A sad song playing on the radio pulls tears from his eyes and he thinks of her wiping the streams away. And the tears become a joyful cry for he realizes she will not ever harm him or his fragile heart. Watching her window he hopes for sight of a light then drifts off again with a smile on his tear covered face. As the sun rises and warms the crisp air he awakens to see her car backing from the garage. He races out the door and across the yards to wish her a good day and to be close to her for just another moment.
--- Jeffrey Shoemake
I HAD THE PLEASURE OF MEETING COLLEEN ABOUT FOUR YEARS AGO AT WORK.Ý WE BECAME INSTANT BEST FRIENDS.Ý WE HAD ALMOST EVERYTHING IN COMMON, FROM OUR CHILDHOOD EXPERIENCES WELL INTO OUR ADULTHOOD MISTAKES.
MOST EVERYONE THAT WE WOULD RUN INTO THOUGHT WE WERE SISTERS.Ý WE LOOKED ALIKE.Ý WE DRESSED ALIKE.Ý WE EVEN ACTED ALIKE.Ý WE SHARED CLOTHES AND HAIRDRESSERS.Ý
COLLEEN WAS THE MOST HONEST AND CARING BEST FRIEND I HAVE EVER HAD, AND I FEEL FORTUNATE THAT I WAS ABLE TO HAVE HER AS MY BEST FRIEND FOR AS LONG AS I DID!Ý
OUR TIME TOGETHER WAS SHORT, BUT WE MADE A LOT OF VERY SPECIAL MEMORIES TOGETHER AND I WATCHED HER FORM A VERY SPECIAL BOND WITH MY DAUGHTER, SHELBY.Ý THAT WAS HER "AUNT COLL-COLL"
WE NOW KNOW THAT MY BEST FRIEND AND SHELBY'S AUNT COLL-COLL IS LIVING WITH THE ANGELS AND WILL LOOK DOWN AND SMILE ON US AND GUIDE US THROUGH THE REST OF OUR LIVES.
WE LOVE YOU COLLEEN AND YOU WILL BE MISSED MORE THAN YOU KNOW!
YOUR BEST FRIEND, ANA BOOTH
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