In Loving Memory of Valerie LeRose Wakeley

Thoughts, Remembrances, and Anecdotes

Hello again, I have another story to tell, this one about the athlete Val LeRose. Jesse was nearly two when Frank, his brother Rob, a very pregnant Valerie and the young Jesse went to a Mariners' baseball game in Seattle. I Believe that they sat a ways out in the right field bleachers hoping for a foul ball. Valerie had brought her glove. As this story goes the big boys shared the glove back and forth between themselves, for Valerie was holding little Jessie on her lap, like the great Mother that she was. She wanted her glove! As the game worn on Frank & Rob finally tired of waiting for that foul ball hit and relinquished the glove to her. Jesse was still in her lap and the glove went on her left hand. Valerie was, I have been told, "a great ball player!" She played both coed softball, (short stop), and was especially good playing basketball, as the local Sandpoint men will attest to. Now, here comes that long awaited foul ball, but not near enough to be caught by her. It hits a bleacher and bounces high comming down again nearer, and ricochetes off of the top of the cavernous enterance opening. She is thinking to herself; "someone get that #+@$ing ball!" Valerie was known to use foul language now n again and she could spit too. The next thing she remembered was standing across the aisle, amongst strangers, Jesse still in her protective right arm, pregnant, and that prized foul ball in her glove. Frank told me that she flew over some of those people and, as always, with an eye on the ball.

Paul Dukes

She comes now in the joy of laughter. I can't hear the word Namaste without seeing her smile in my minds eye. She is there in the little things that make me smile and laugh a laugh that we shared so often together..... neither one of us knew who started it, but we definitely shared it. That laugh isn't quite the same when she isn't here to share it with.  
Forty years of my life she was there, forever present whenever I called for that two hour conversation that never ended. We never did complete that conversation, but picked it up where it left off the time before, time and time again for forty years. 
She asked me to go with her that day one year ago when she opened her eyes wide and took that last breath. I told her she had to do this journey alone, but I know I'll be with her again. She is so big now. I light a candle and talk to her. She doesn't respond in words, but I feel her presence, and her smile lives deep in my heart. It isn't the same, but it is Valerie....she is still there for us and always will be. 
Mahalo dear one and Namaste! Happy Heaven Day!!!

Kathy Darcy

Hi Paul,  
No problem with remembering my friend, as if it were yesterday. I tear up with fond memories of stopping by on the way home and catching up. Her beautiful energy filled me and overflowed me as did yours. I am and will forever be thankful for knowing and connecting with her spirit.  
Peace & Love, 

Tammy Farmin

Valerie was an Angel. 
There is no doubt in my mind that she was placed on this earth for a purpose. She brought happiness and inspiration in the hearts of so many people she encountered. Her gentle eyes, soft spoken voice and contagious laughter seemed to light up any room that she was in. She made people feel comfortable, accepted and loved. 
I remember the times in High School when Sean and I would go to the lake house and hang out. Valerie would always be there with a huge smile on her face and open arms that seemed to embrace the very soul of me. Even if she was in the middle of something she would drop everything to make sure that we were fed and taken care of.  
One time in particular, I remember sitting on one of the stools in the kitchen talking with her about life, and where I wanted to go with it. Out of nowhere she asked, "Are you happy?. "Yes", I replied. She looked at me, placed her hand on my forearm and said, "No matter what you decide to do in life, if you can sincerely look within and say to yourself 'I am happy' then you will be just fine."  
Those words I have kept with me to this day. She was not just a friend's mother but a teacher. It wasn't what she said either that made her that way, but it was how she acted. She lived what she preached and she preached compassion.  
Last summer, during her celebration of life, I got a chance to talk with a lot of people about Valerie. Some of the stories were funny and others were of a more serious nature, but they all had one thing in common; Valerie's love for the people in them. Looking over the deck that day, I saw more than 50 people lounging about and telling their stories about Valerie to one another, and I realized that she was there. She was at her celebration of life, maybe not in a materialistic form, but in the souls of every person that was there. She has by no doubt influenced a lot of us to be who we are today. And, in that aspect, she will continue to be around for the rest of our lives and, for many of us who will no doubt have children someday (Sean and Jesse in particular), she will be there in the teachings and the stories that we pass on.  
Valerie, We Miss You! 

Travis Thompson

This morning, as I write this I have tears in my eyes, for it was one year ago, just after dawn that this beloved woman, Valerie LeRose Jinkenson Wakeley departed on her journey into Heaven. There is no other place where Val LeRose could go, because she lived this lifetime in "Earth School" as an Incarnate Angel. Jesse said that she was intense, yes she was! Her intensity was always filled with love and wisdom and used to convey a passion to help whomever she came in contact with, whether it was at a party or waiting in line purchase her organic food. I believe that her mission here was to walk away from every encounter having changed the energy to a higher vibration that gave everyone a new sense or outlook on what they had been feeling. 
One of her priorities was making a home of the house that she and Frank built, to raise a family that she so dearly wanted her life to be about. Much of her time there was spent with a phone hanging from her hip and a wire running to one ear as she preformed all of her chores from cooking to gardening. This was partially due to her love of conversation, but more importantly, it was because of the wants of her many friends to get their daily dose of Val LeRose!  
I am surprised that I am feeling two emotions right now; one being sadness while the other one is anger. The sadness is obvious, however the anger needs some explanation. I am saddened that it has taken me a year to post some of my feeling about this amazing woman and I am saddened and angry that of all of the people that Valerie touched in her life, none have spent any time to share a snippet of what they remember about her. I know how they feel about her from our conversations, yet to me that is not enough. Let us all contribute a little, so that we all get to know the personal stories of who she was to each us. 
The word namaste from Hinduism, in my understanding, means that the God seed in me sees, recognizes and blesses the God seed in you. Valerie's phone messages always ended with this word. It was on the front door to her home so that all knew that they were welcome, equal and loved! She gestured it and spoke it to those who departed her company with complete sincerity. When Michael Farante dedicated a song to Val at the 2011 Festival at Sandpoint he said; "It has never been so easy to say namaste". I believe that he did not even know that he was saying these words, but that Val LeRose was speaking through him to those that were gathered that night. This was her final fair well, not only to all of her friends, she was saying namaste to all who had ears that night! 
I miss her dearly and daily. I survive now because of all of the gifts that she imparted to me over a too short thirteen year era. How bless was I to have lived with her for eight magical years, orchestrated by God and made wonderful by our deeply shared love. Our time was exemplified by a saying that she expressed from a John Lennon song; "Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans". 
She swam into this world unaided, by her own volition and determination, to experience another lifetime, from her mother Leola's womb, who was paralyzed from the waist down by MS, on December 14th, 1950. Tomorrow I go to the celebration of the 100th birthday of Bernice Lewis. Can any of you imagine how this great woman Valerie; mother, wife, lover, friend, confidant, inspirer, could have changed this world if she had lived another forty years? Namaste my beloved Val LeRose

Paul Dukes

I know she was my mom, but that aside, I think I can still say that Valerie was one of the most amazing, inspiring people I have ever been fortunate enough to meet. 
I found my mother often very intense. She always had so much energy, and some times I found talking with her to be overwhelming. She was not one to waste time chatting on trivial matters, and her topics of conversation tended to be very deep. Although we never adhered to a specific religion or went to church, she was very deeply spiritual, and her conversations with me at least often tended to reflect this. She was always searching for answers to life's big questions, and loved to philosophize about the meaning of it all. She strongly felt life was all about learning from our experiences, and that these lessons would be retained when we passed on to whatever might come next. In recent years, I would often find myself crying after talking with her on the phone, simply from the depth and beauty of what she had to say regarding things happening in her life, in the world, or what she thought was beyond. 
From what I have gathered, she had a tremendously challenging upbringing: No mother for most of her childhood, and an absentee father that never gave her the attention she deserved. Where most people would be bitter from such a situation and possibly reflect this in the rest of their lives, she was able to transcend and forever retain an amazing amount of optimism for the world and her situation. There is no way I can fully express how profound the experience of observing this was on me. It instilled in me a massive gratefulness for everything I have in my life, and a strong awareness of how it all could be so much worse. Her ability to lighten up the day of whoever she came across showed me the power this attitude can have on the world, and that one of the greatest gifts we can give others is to help them love this extraordinary experience we call life, and to treat everyone as we would wish to be treated ourselves. 
Valerie never really told me that she was on her way to transition to whatever is next after this existence. Perhaps it was to protect me from the anguish of knowing that my mother would soon leave this plane, but I like to think that she was forever holding out that she would bounce back from her situation. This eternal optimism was one of the greatest gifts she gave me, as well as I'm sure many other people she met, and is something that I hope ripples on to whoever else we meet in our lives. And it would seem that in this way, one really can live on forever.

Jesse Wakeley

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