Grace L. Jones (in her words "The original, not the outrageous!") My Aunt Grace, She helped so many as she traveled along her way. President of AUDELCO, Owner of A Touch Of Grace PR, Host of "Growing with Grace", committed Church Lady (Abyssinian Baptist Church) Loving Wife (widow)...Mother...Grandmother, Sister, Friend, Matriarch of my family, Aunt (My proxy Grandmother)... I honor and celebrate her Ninety years lived fully in service to God, Family, Community and the Performing Arts with all I've got right now. My dear, our Queen, you truly earned your rest and did your work in this life! I am forever the Ethel to your Lucy.<3
2017 - She was 89Yrs Fierce, in this interview on the WABC 7 show "Here and Now"
To have learned from my Aunt was to have learned from a Master. To be encouraged and supported by my Aunt was to have had the ultimate cheerleader. To be loved by my Aunt...was to know what it was to truly be unconditionally loved. She loved with no hold back or prejudice, and the no nonsense honesty of a true mother hen. And even with all of that said, I have barely scratched the surface of who she was or what she meant, not just to me, but to so many. She was a Phenomenal Woman! The song "If I can Help Somebody" comes to mind right now. It doesn't say it all, but it says more than enough about who she was. And what she instilled in all she had a hand in bringing up in this world directly, and indirectly thru her example.
As I process that she isn't a phone call away anymore, I close my eyes and I see her smiling face... I hear her open and free laugh and fabulously bejeweled hands clapping joyfully, something she did often. And I feel compelled to say the following; Support the Arts! Many before us paved the way, and it was not easy. We must keep it going whether by buying tickets to shows (local productions, road tours,...you name it!), teaching, mentoring, or entering the arena as Benefactors or Talent. It's about so much more than just show.
The Arts, especially exposing children, children of color, to the Arts; seeing people who reflect back to them that which is familiar on stage or in the Orchestra pit or in The Wings/backstage keeping things running, sends a message: The world is much more than your block, or circumstances. It's ok to Dream! You can do anything you desire, if you do the work! That gift is one of countless many she gave me early on in life. Everything I do today as a professional in entertainment is because she told me I could.
I am the one woman self sufficient machine I have to be to do what I do for my self, and others behind the scenes, because I learned how to from her. And it all began with a spark of " I want to do that!" in a theater as a little girl, my tiny hand in hers. My Aunt delivered that message of "You can!" tirelessly, effortlessly, for over half a century. The least I can do is deliver it here in this moment. She would expect nothing less than for those of us left behind to keep calm and carry on with the message and mission...and Celebrate her life and legacy. She left us with much to do, and in time we will each figure out our work. For now, I reflect with so much gratitude and love.
I wrote a more thorough and humorous tribute for her some years back at her request for an event. If I can find it I will post it. All of the words that escape me now were finely captured in that piece. She loved it, and I loved writing each word! My Aunt Grace, there will never be another like her.
Another beloved Queen of my heart takes her heavenly rest.
With Love <3,
No other words required....Love is FOREVER! What a life to celebrate! AMEN!