Coyote Walks By
9/13/1929 - 4/15/2000
I first met Jerome back in 1993. I was staring intently at a framed print of his work "Vision Seeker" at a local flea market in Oklahoma City. The owner of the booth asked "Would you like to meet the artist?" I turned around and saw Jerome. He stood 6' 6" and with his broad shoulders and cowboy hat, he seemed larger than life.
Jerome and I immediately formed a strong bond that lasts to this day. The word "warrior" is thrown around and used rather loosely today. However, there was no doubt in my heart that Jerome was indeed a true warrior.
Jerome led the fight for Native Americans to be able to use feathers as part of the tradition and religion. He was also active and at times outspoken on Tribal affairs.
Whenever we visited, the conversation always would eventually drift to two main topics, children and the earth. Jerome was very concerned with the world we have left our children. His world as a child was so different and he spoke of it often. He felt frustrated and sad that we have created such a poisonous world for our children to grow up in. Jerome recognized the connection of all things and how everything is intertwined.
Several years ago Jerome survived quadruple bypass heart surgery. Just as he was starting to feel fully recovered from the operation he learned that he had cancer of the liver. He never complained or despaired concerning his health problems, if anything he seemed to grow stronger spiritually with every problem.
Jerome fought liver cancer for the last couple of years of his life. He remained true to himself and always expressed his belief in God's will and compassion.
Perhaps the only gift cancer brings is time. Jerome took the time to forgive all and to express his love for everyone.
He passed on in a state of forgiveness and love on April 15, 2000.
Jerome enjoyed sharing his art work with you the Internet visitor. He sincerely appreciated talking with many of you and cherished the notes you sent him.
I never felt that I was fully able to convey to Jerome how many Internet visitors were deeply affected by his art and presence on the Internet. I am sure that Jerome now has that understanding and I am sure this gives him comfort.
Thank you so much for remembering Jerome and his family in your prayers and thoughts.
It is still hard for me to realize that I cannot just pickup the phone and give Jerome a call. Perhaps it is because I see his art on a daily basis, but perhaps it is because he taught me so much about life. Our view of the truth is always from our current perspective. As we go through life everything is always changing and we often become distracted.
Jerome taught me the value of our children. There is nothing more important than how we regard our children and the legacy of the earth we leave them.
Whenever Jerome saw my youngest son Thomas, 1 ½ years old, his face would brighten. Thomas too would become happy and loved to dance for Jerome. The last time Thomas danced for Jerome, he said to him "This is your Tribe . . . you are among your people now!" I am sure those are the same words Jerome heard when he passed on.
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