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Candace Jones
YPPC Board Member and Past President

Candace Jones

Candace Jones was a treasured member of the YPPC board for 16 years. She had breast cancer and died August 26th, 2009, after developing pneumonia in her weakened state. Many will remember her helping Sherrill with the intermission food at the summer musicals and our 25th anniversary celebration and we can’t count all the multitude of unseen things she accomplished. She was a strong advocate for gun control and animal rights, a dedicated community volunteer, a manager for Wellspring Grocery and she worked several years at Vaguely Reminiscent. Most of all she was Al’s loving wife and Adam, Scott and Taylor’s Mom. Many times Scott or Taylor would be running from one rehearsal or dance class to another and they always had a real dinner that Candy had made. The animals in Durham will also miss her as she took care of so many of them with love and kindness when their owners had to be away – birds, dogs, cats, guinea pigs, hampsters, whatever – Candy knew just how to keep them happy.  We will miss her dry wit especially and remember her always.

The following poem was read at Candy's memorial service on August 30th, 2009.  It had been on the family's refrigerator for as long as her children could remember.  They realized that it summed up a great deal of the attitudes and intentions that Candy brought to her life and would have special meaning read by some of the young women for whom Candy had been a role model.

Imagine a Woman
By: Patricia Lynn Reilly

Imagine a woman who believes it is right and good she is woman.
A woman who honors her experience and tells her stories.
Who refuses to carry the sins of others within her body and life.
Imagine a woman who has acknowledged the past’s influence on the present.
A woman who has walked through her past.
Who has healed into the present.
Imagine a woman in love with her own body.
A woman who believes her body is enough, just as it is.
Who celebrates her body’s rhythms and cycles as an exquisite resource.
Imagine a woman who embraces her sexuality as her own.
A woman who delights in pleasuring herself.
Who experiences her erotic sensations without shame or guilt.
Imagine a woman who honors the body of Goddess in her changing body.
A woman who celebrates the accumulation of her years and her wisdom.
Who refuses to use her precious life-energy disguising the changes in her body and life.
Imagine a woman who has access to the full range of human emotion.
A woman who expresses her feelings clearly and directly.
Who allows them to pass through her as gracefully as a breath.
Imagine a woman who tells the truth.
A woman who trusts her experience of the world and expresses it.
Who refuses to defer to the thoughts, perceptions, and responses of others.
Imagine a woman who follows her creative impulses.
A woman who produces original creations.
Who refuses to color inside someone else’s lines.
Imagine a woman who names her own gods.
A woman who imagines the divine in her image and likeness.
Who designs a personal spirituality to inform her daily life.
Imagine a woman who refuses to surrender to gods, gurus, and higher powers.
A woman who has descended into her own inner life.
Who asserts her will in harmony with its impulses and instincts.
Imagine a woman who is interested in her own life.
A woman who embraces her life as teacher, healer, and challenge.
Who is grateful for the ordinary moments of beauty and grace.
Imagine a woman who authors her own life.
A woman who trusts her inner sense of what is right for her.
Who refuses to twist her life out of shape to meet the expectations of others.
Imagine a woman who participates in her own life.
A woman who meets each challenge with creativity.
Who takes action on her own behalf with clarity and strength.
Imagine a woman who has crafted a fully formed solitude.
A woman who is available to herself.
Who chooses friends and lovers with the capacity to respect her solitude.
Imagine a woman who refuses to diminish her life so others will feel better.
A woman who brings the fullness of her years, experience, and wisdom into each relationship.
Who expects others to be challenged and blessed by her presence in their lives.
Imagine a woman who assumes equality in her relationships.
A woman who no longer believes she is inferior to men and in need of their salvation.
Who has taken her rightful place beside them in the human community.
Imagine a woman who refuses to use her precious life-energy managing crisis and conflict.
A woman whose relationships deepen in satisfaction and contentment without depleting her.
Who chooses friends and lovers with the necessary skills to navigate through the challenges of life.
Imagine a woman who values the women in her life.
A woman who sits in circles of women.
Who is reminded of the truth about herself when she forgets.
Imagine a woman who has relinquished the desire for intellectual safety and approval.
A woman who makes a powerful statement with every word she speaks, every action she takes.
Who asserts to herself the right to reorder the world.
Imagine a woman who has grown in knowledge and love of herself.
A woman who has vowed faithfulness to her own life and capacities.
Who remains loyal to herself. Regardless.
Imagine yourself as this woman.