I first met Eleanor at a holistic nurses conference. She was stunning, with her tall graceful stature, white hair swirled into perfect waves. The dress she wore was velvet, a deep maroon enhanced with pale lace. It seemed to stretch from floor to ceiling. She was one tall drink!
At our very first meeting, Eleanor pulled me aside, showing me her various tattoos. The first was delicate, upon her wrist. She had another on a leg. She spoke of each fondly, as if they were her children. She wanted a fourth, her butterfly, in a rather delicate place, if my memory serves. She had apparently lived quite a full life, based on the few tales that managed to slip from her lips at quiet times.
Eleanor was a force of nature, devoted to protecting our environment. She had created environmental conferences long before it was popular to do so. At Florida Atlantic University (FAU), she boldly presided over a group of Ph.D-prepared nurses in the creation of a nurturing, holistic healing modality. The nurses teaching at FAU performed their work with such obviously clear joy. They knew something in their hearts that made their work holy. I so enjoyed being with each of them. They were like “nursing nuns.”
Eleanor was in a class by herself, and proud of it. This university welcomed and honored her; her words were golden, and her colorful, masterful visions were given careful attention and she was given full reign in the direction she took her program. She fully relished her role as matriarch, wearing it with great pride.