We will miss you Elizabeth

Elizabeth poses with fellow arrestees the day after the 2007 St Patricks Day debacleWe will all miss Elizabeth. Despite the press, the city government , and The Gazette all dragging her name through the mud last year, me and my family will miss Elizabeth because she was a loving person who gave a lot of herself for, and to, others. This was the real Elizabeth, and not the fake ‘antiwar dissident’ that the killers amongst us wanted to be portrayed to the public.
The sad truth about Elizabeth’s last days amongst us, was that she ran a foul of our pathetic US Medical System, which quite frankly killed her with its negligent and defective ‘care’ as it does millions of other older people. Like Elizabeth, these elderly that this business kills, are our friends, neighbors, and family. It makes one weep that we have to endure such a destruction of life and spirit at this sad and reactionary moment in our country’s history.

Elizabeth knew what the world was about. She, earlier in life, had been a rather conservative though nominally liberal woman cruising through life. But somewhere, she began to question what she was seeing and living, and became a true American ‘dissident’.

She hated the racism she saw around her when she was a teacher and resident in Chicago. She hated the endless and stupid wars that our government pushes with a passion. She grew to despise the American Medical System’s uncaring and thoughtless approach to the sick and aging. She grew to want a fundamental change to the society that she had had to live with all her life, and she began to work with others constantly to see that things might begin to change.

Elizabeth was always welcome in our home, and she always welcomed us to hers. We knew her as one easily to anger, but one who was just as easy to forget and forgive. In fact, she was more likely to forgive others for their differences and bad habits than she was ever likely to bear an unnecessary grudge. That was the Elizabeth we knew and grew to love. We knew a loving and kind Elizabeth. We knew an Elizabeth who cared deeply about others.

Elizabeth and Tony at Peterson AFB

Thank you, Elizabeth, for your gifts to my daughter, who began to think of you as her adopted grandmother. In fact, you were just exactly that. And thank you for making the peace dog welcome always. This dog loved you, too. Yeah, she did. Ruf, ruf.

I remember the time when we went up to Palmer Park and I was poo-pooing your concern for this highly trained (yeah, right!) dog who was leaning out the open window. I was paying your words no attention as I rambled on about some other esoteric and stupid political point. Then lo-and-behold, Ms. Beastley did jump out of the window of our moving car and rolled over entirely once or twice after hitting the ground, then looked up stupidly at us, and then promptly proceeded to run after the squirrel! I will remember that moment between us for a lifetime, Elizabeth. You always saw what others refused to see.

My daughter will remember you for the doll you gave her, the one that has a striking likeness to you. She cherishes that doll that you so kindly gave to her. My daughter cried with the news of your death, and we are so glad that we visited you at least one more last time before you passed away so suddenly. My daughter was ready to try to get you to play a game of Risk with her. She knew you would be a good one to try to keep her from taking over the world.

At that last visit, I tried to cheer you up by saying how good you looked upon just then having escaped from the hospitals that had held you. However, you had this way of looking through others superficial chit-chat and reading the real truth in their minds. I saw it in your eyes then. I saw the despair on your face about what had been done to you by the surgeon, but by the time I realized what had been seen in your face I was already in the car.

Elizabeth advocated for health care for allMy only regret is that I did not return to inside your apartment and give you the big hug that you needed right then, even if it was to be a hug given right in front of your other 2 friends who were with you at the moment. I thought to myself, aw… you need the rest and less people around at this time, more than the hug. I was wrong once again.

Elizabeth, we will miss you. You were a good friend, and you talked the talk, and walked the walk. You were kind and had a heart of gold most of all. They tried to tear you down, but they never did, and that spirit is what we most will remember always about you. That, and the love you gave others. You made an impact on all our lives and without you around, we will find a big void.

If there is a heaven, I have no doubt that you have already spoken to Jesus and have begun to argue politics with him right as I write. Give him Hell, Elizabeth! Somebody needs to hold him and his dad accountable, and you are the one with the spirit to do it, too.

Our love…

7 thoughts on “We will miss you Elizabeth

  1. Tony, thank you for this beautiful tribute to Elizabeth. I didn’t know her nearly as well as you did. I do know that when I attended peace actions — always as an outsider — Elizabeth was the one who remembered my name, sought me out to give me a hug, always made me feel that I was welcome.

    I am so sad that her final weeks were spent wrestling with a medical system that didn’t give a shit about her. I wish I would’ve done more to help her. I’m glad she had friends like you and your daughter (and the peace dog, of course).

  2. She was a special person. Peace was her way of life.
    She lived what she spoke about. First to lend a hand
    to anyone. As a retired Army combat vet & neocon, she
    & I had many a discussion. Because of her, part of my
    hate towards the peace people, was eased. Sad that
    the press & world did not know her. But that was not her
    way. She was the one who stayed behind to help when
    all other departed. As a diebatic myself, I know of her
    pain, yet here she would be. Smiles & all, ready to do
    battle for those unable to stand up. Surely, she will be
    at heavens gate to meet us all one day. Till then best
    you & I can do is carry on her ideas of peace in our
    own small ways. She will be missed.
    most respectfully,

  3. Photos collected from csaction, Mike Colleta and our files:
    Leading the procession for Cindy Sheehan
    Elizabeth leads a procession in support of Cindy Sheehan, August 2005.

    Addressing the turnout in Acacia Park
    Elizabeth gathers those who’ve turned out in Acacia Park.

    Signing the banner going to Crawford Tx
    Elizabeth signs the banner which the PPJPC delegation will bring to Crawford Texas.

    Commemoration of Paletinian home demolitions
    Meeting at the Gill Foundation.

    PPJPC membership meeting
    Elizabeth speaks out at the annual membership meeting.

    School of Americas send off
    A delegation leaves for the annual School of the Americas protest.

    School of Americans closeup

    Vigil for the 3000th soldier killed in Iraq
    Acacia Park vigil on the occasion of the 3000th US soldier killed in Iraq.

    Monday noon vigil
    The Monday noon vigil.

    Another noon vigil
    Another noon vigil.

    Another noon vigil
    Noon vigil.

    Noon vigil after Rumsfeld visit
    Noon vigil after protest of Rumsfeld visit.

    About to be removed from St Patricks parade
    Officer Paladino about to remove Elizabeth from the parade route.

    Elizabeth is taken to the hospital for her injuries
    Elizabeth is taken to the hospital for her injuries.

    Addressing City Coucil
    Elizabeth addresses the City Council and refutes the police version of events.

    Discussing settlement for 2003 Dairy Queen Dozen
    Elizabeth asks for clarification on the DAIRY QUEEN DOZEN settlement hearing.

    Bannering at Shriever AFB
    Elizabeth and Esther banner outside Shriever AFB.

    Peterson AFB on anniversary of Hiroshima bombing
    Under the green umbrella outside Peterson AFB on Hiroshima anniversary.

    Manning the peace table at a protest outside city hall
    Elizabeth looks after the t-shirts and literature at a protest outside City Hall.

    Protesting the war profiteers on 9-11
    The NW corner of our protest of the 9-11 profiteers.

    Wrapping up another stint at Academy and Fountain
    Elizabeth calls it a day after a long afternoon protesting the war profiteers.

  4. I will miss you Elizabeth. I was your neighbor for the last five years, I live in the bell tower!!! Elizabeth encouraged me to vote for the very first time when I moved in here from the recovery home. She has always told me how proud she was of me and I love her so much!!! I told her she was my hero and she said that meant a lot to her. I know she is with our Father in Heaven and I will see her someday there. Until then I will remember the hero that lived here at the Rectory!!!
    Love ya always Elizabeth,
    Laurena M Frazier and Larry E Stanley

  5. we lost a good soldier por the peace and a( vero) best life for everybody in the hearth,but your example (nos da)we get more stroung (fuerza) for fallow try of change the injustice and the bad of these world. AHEAT FRIENDS OF THE PEACE AND THE LOVE, SOMEDAY WE WILL HAVE THE VICTORY. THANKS TO ELIZABETH AND EVERYBODY THE WHAT TROUGH FOR A LIFE BEST AND UN PEACE.


  6. Thanks for this, Tony. As a journalist in Colorado Springs I worked with Elizabeth on a few stories and was consistently touched by her candor and vigor. She was totally indispensable to the anti-war movement in the city, and always a great interview.

  7. Naomi, we miss you a lot here in Colorado Springs. Some of us can hardly bear to read The Indy now without you writing there any more. CS’s loss is certainly Denver’s gain though.

    Definitely everybody here wishes you the best and please stay in touch with all your fans down South! (and I mean way down South past Dixie, too) Plus, make that John Weiss let you write some guest columns if you can? He should pay you, too, for his paper sure ain’t the same without you. He knows that.

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