In Memorium Pearl Levenson Simmons
July 18, 1960 - August 21, 2002
The youngest of our three children, our daughter Pearl showed the traits
common to her birth order: she was adventurous, open to new ideas and new
horizons, a free spirit with a sense of fun, the determination to overcome
obstacles, whatever they might be, and more, much more.
Pearl's curiosity about the world was insatiable. Her interest in people
led to her ability to connect and make friends. Her efforts to understand
human nature went hand in hand with her acceptance of their foibles and
flaws, and with her generosity of mind and compassion. She had a good
sense of who she was, secure without arrogance. Pearl had an extraordinary
zest for life and lived hers with intensity. Everything was "wonderful",
an adventure to be cherished as it occurred, and to be re-lived later on
in the letters she wrote and in the many photographs she took. Her family
meant a lot to her. She delighted in her three children and was a soulmate
to her husband. She was great fun and funny, and her laughter was
contagious. Yet, some of the many poems she wrote are strangely sad and in
retrospect eerily prophetic, as if she knew how brief her passage on earth
would be. "I know we are living on borrowed time/but right now my child is
here and all mine," she writes in one. And in another: "I can't protect
you any more/I can't make your hurt go away/I can't always reach the places
you are in."
Pearl believed passionately in the talmudic concept of tikkun olam
(repairing the world), and acted upon her convictions through her work in
parental education and the articles she wrote. She loved beautiful things
not for their monetary value, but because she understood how our
environment affects our psychological state. An avid reader, books were important to her, as were music, paintings and art in all its forms.
Buying prints in galleries was one of the many
pleasures she shared with her husband, Reid, along with traveling and
exploring, always exploring.
"Pearl did more in her short life than most people do in a long lifetime,"
has been a comment often heard since she died at age 42. She shone with
the brilliance of a meteor, and left us with a trail of love and regrests
for all that she will have missed.
by Brenda Levenson, July 2003