Jul 212012

As people heard about Avis this week, I was struck with what they told me.

Arwen said “she always lit up the room and one just felt calmer in her presence”.

Chandan said “I think of the day when I had come for dinner to your house that evening. I vividly remember we were sitting outside and I was feeling a bit chilly. I did not say a word but Avis somehow felt it.  In a flash I was warm and comfortable as Avis brought a shawl and put it around me. I was really touched.”

Cartney said: “in the first few years I knew her, every time I spoke with Avis, I was always a little surprised how genuinely interested she was in what I was up to, and if there was any way she could help. In this town, such care is just so rare. I used to wonder about it. And then I simply realized one day that that was just who she was – a beautiful, helpful, giving soul.”

The enormous outpouring this week, and the many friends who are showing up today and tomorrow, tell us what we already knew in our hearts: that Avis was and is an angel.

I don’t know how it happened. Surely she was inspired by the example of her family, some of the most caring people I have known.

But Avis showed us how a person’s interior glow comes directly from what they give to others. And that was hers uniquely. It came from no one else.

You know, she often wasn’t sure what she was good at. I would tell her every time, Avis, there is no one who relates better than you to other people. You are the one.

That won’t buy you a ticket on the New York subway. But I know as I stand here today that love and care for others is the only thing there is.

And Avis, you are the all-time world record holder for love and care.

I love you my dear, and I know you are set for great things ahead, and that you will pave the way for us.

Thank you for all you have done, and will continue to do. God bless you, my love, my dear.

Riggs Eckelberry

A slideshow of Avis’ life: https://vimeo.com/46238531.

The eulogy in Daily Variety: http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118056698.

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