This letter was written by Carol within days of Jean’s tragic accident.
Last night or the night before, I heard myself say, “What a waste!” Actually, I think I heard myself scream, “What a God-damned waste!!” And that listening part of me thought, “Now isn’t that an idiotic thing to say?” No more ridiculous words had ever been screamed—and so I must write all of you, for my thoughts are with you.
You will say, “Jean was a great singer,” and certainly no one’s ever going to argue with that. But, I want to say to you all—remind you—that Jean was also, and perhaps foremost, a great teacher-Speaker-Messenger- or so I would often joke, Guru. The God-given voice was the door opener, the attention getter, so she could reach more of you—and that’s exactly how she used it. You see, she was kind’ve pressed for time.
Think about it…Dan, why did you keep coming back all those years? Joanne, why did you get so involved? True, we loved to hear her sing and have her entertain us, and we believed in her future—but we kept coming back and we grew close because of the person she was—not the singer she was.
She made you all “feel good.” You were about the best you could be when you were with her. You liked yourself while in her company. And that’s the key—what I need to talk to you about now.
Don’t get me wrong. Jean didn’t go around spouting philosophy or sputtering about lifestyles (although there are many hints in her songs). She preferred a harder role to play—she lived what she believed, and with all the very human complications. Yet, what a better teacher? Is there one here who can doubt by looking at the person she was and the life it gave her, the validity of what she believed?
So very many lessons I think she left with us that my mind is swimming and I must go away to sort some of them out explicitly for myself. They jump through my head like fire: Positiveness & Beyond, Don’t Be Afraid to be Like Children, Selflessness-Not Selfishness, Live Today, Self Pity, Strength-What It Is and What It Isn’t, etc., etc. But there is one, first, basic truth she taught you, her chosen friends, and it’s in me, that I must remind you of it and then ask your help-one more time.
Let me begin with another platitude someone threw at me; “But she never got to be a Star!” And I wasn’t really talking yet and I was thinking, “Oh really? I thought sure as hell she was a Star.”
Maybe as an older star she might have touched more people, but Jesus Christ only really reached a couple dozen and only 12 people did he touch closely enough to have them consider any of his way of life as their own. I figure we’ll have that beat, if you help yourselves — all to heck and gone — i.e.: Jean Mullen could surpass one of the all-time, forever and ever biggies in the “star” game. Not that we should preach, or go around pushing at people. That’s not what Jan taught us. No, our is to simply and quietly—for ourselves—to try everyday to live it, remembering first while we do, just as Jean truly believed that all people are perfect just as they are. And that lets the “message” into the open, where it should always be—LOVE.
Fore sure, no one who knew Jean had any regrets on that score. You won’t hear any of those, “Gee, if only she’d known I loved her “cliques.” No one in this group—not even Teddy, maybe still embroidering green beans on a cowboy shirt Jean will never see, can or will need to say, “If only I could have given her this shirt so she’d know.” I could walk up to any one of you – Nella – and say, “Did Jean know you loved her?” And the honest answer from your soul could only be a simple, “Yes.” And that would hold true for the least demonstrative of us- like myself. It worked in reverse as well, Tommy, Margee, Pat, Perry—”Did you know Jean loved you?” Of course you do, because she “gave” to you all and “giving” is “loving.” Some of you—no all of us—wished we could have had more and more, but we all understood and knew, because she gave all she was, all the time.
And here’s the lesson—she got back “ten fold!” Can you deny it? Think of the Afternoon Club, the Mammoth Concert, the birthday party, etc., etc., etc. Look at how happy she was—at how much pure fun (can’t even work be fun) her life was. It worked—it just plain worked! And you can have the same thing.
Jean was a Star. “Star”—a body that reflects or radiates light. And that’s what she did. The love you saw in her was a “reflection” from the love inside you. What you liked to feel in her presence was the love and light and joy inside yourself, pulled out and reflected back. That was her rare gift to us.
She has taught us how to pull these gifts of love, wisdom, play, and joy of daily living out of ourselves- for ourselves. Just because she isn’t here to do it for us anymore, doesn’t mean we stop. We must re-double our efforts every minute of every day in our own way. Now that we’ve lived it and so known the value of such effort, can we do anything else? And right now is the time to see we don’t slip back into some of our old ways.
You can have her joy of living all your life. Each day can be a miracle—just make it that way. Think of all the other lessons she left you such as Positiveness and try living them.
And, so I ask your help—not for hoards of strangers or to spread any word—but for you. You she cared about and it is you I don’t want to lose the meaning of all this. Don’t say, “She was one in a million, there will never be another like her.” If you think about it and work at it as she did,you are now and can grow even more “like her.” When people start throwing those platitudes at you, hear what they said, and then listen to the small voices inside you, or think, “What would Jean suggest I say to that?” And instead of just mouthing a platitude back, think, “Hey, do I really believe that?” If someone says, “What a waste,” say “Oh, do you really think so? I don’t think so at all. She left so much behind, and she accomplished and received and enjoyed more in her 26 years than many people get to in a long lifetime. My best wish could only be for you to all know in your whole lifetime as much love as Jean knew in her short stay. To control your thinking in this way will be a big conscious effort at first, but get easier for us as we grow. Others may even think we’re crazy, but they’ll not be able to deny our happiness.
A star is also a steadfast beacon. Jean was our beacon. Now, as always, the beacon is in you. Jean showed you that. You “shined” when you were with her. Don’t let the beacon go out! Live what you saw and admired so much, so that each of you can be as happy as Jeanie was.
Live always what you were in her presence. Start today on each other. Listen to what is being said to you. Is it positive, looking at the best side, kind, compassionate, understanding, quietly sure, guilt and worry-free, honest, open, able to never cause harm, loving? If not, state howyou see it—not for the other guy—but for yourself. You’ll be growing and convincing yourself. The other guy and the other opinion is notwrong—there is no wrong because everyone is perfect—but maybe he isn’t right for you today. And now, in the beginning, you need the confirmation of formulating and voicing your own thoughts.
Jean believed in verbal reinforcement. Your state of mind and thoughts control everything, and to voice them makes the power far stronger. Jean said the following affirmation daily and I suggest you loudly speak it (and know it true) several times a day (first thing in the morning, showering, driving):
“Today is a day of completion
I give thanks for this perfect day.
Miracle shall follow miracle
And wonders shall never cease.”
Believe it, and watch and learn to recognize all the miracles in your life. Create and appreciate all the wonders. Each day could have been Jean’s last because she played each one all the way out. Every single one—quiet or frantic—had its wonders.
Well, she’s done her part as usual. She wants us to grow and be happy. She knows it to be ours by Divine Right, and she even showed us how. Now we’re on our own and we’ve never let her down yet.
I know that many of you are already beacons. You know that todayyou’re the best you can be. You already move and radiate light within your sphere of influence and you are happy people. But, I still speak to you. The growing never stops. I wish for you tomorrow a bigger, brighter, more positive, happier day. But not today; today you are all perfect.