By Sheri Byrd, former member of Kaiserslautern UU Fellowship
Carolyn was a member of the Kaiserslautern UU Fellowship and its associated women’s sacred circle for the years that I was there, 2002–2006. She was a wisdom figure for most of us who still had children at home in those years, and she had a sharp sense of humor that often showed with a wicked grin and twinkling eyes. She dressed in soft textures and pastel colors, which gave her a gentle old lady look with her white hair, but she knew her power and used it well. That, combined with her professionally honed observation skills, work with families, and firm boundary setting, made my memory of her a role model for me as I aged into the next phase of my life.
I saw her three more times after I returned to the US, as we met for lunch or dinner when she visited her daughter, who lives near Portland, as I do. I remember one Mother’s Day at our circle in Germany, she read a deeply grateful card from that daughter, and I hoped so badly to receive something similar some day. This was hard to imagine in the middle of my own daughter’s preteen moods. Carolyn laughed at my thoughts and promised me the day would come. She was right! I’ll never forget her and I’ll always be grateful for her example in my life.
Editor’s note: Carolyn worked hard for EUU when she lived in Europe, but I think her greatest contribution was the effect she had on all of us that she came in contact with – lending insights, lifting us up, cheering us on, calming us down. She was someone who, simply by being there and being interested in how you were, made you feel better and stronger. Many of us will miss her, but we carry her with us.