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Volume 1, Number 7           Autumn 2001

In Our Hearts
The family and friends of Elizabeth Bradeen and her younger sister Becky were stunned and grief-stricken to learn of the girls' deaths on August 25th. Both had been much-valued members of the Mainely Girls Student Executive Board.

Elizabeth was a leader: compassionate, caring, in touch with her own feelings and those around her. She knew and spoke her truth in an open, straight-forward fashion, without hesitation or apology. She could identify and express what she and other girls needed and wanted. For instance, one day she said, "I want the group to have some education on anger management because I have a lot of anger, and I'm having trouble managing it!" ("Un-huh," quietly seconded her sister Becky, sitting next to Elizabeth at the table.) Elizabeth helped plan several Camden girls' conferences: previewing videos, choosing speakers and topics, co-facilitating discussions, and acting in the opening plays.

Always a strong supporter of her younger sister, Elizabeth got Becky involved in Mainely Girls and worked alongside her, encouraging, teaching, and guiding. Though Becky was with us a shorter period of time, we recognized and were grateful for her willingness to show up, help out, and persevere - even when the work was sometimes hard and thankless. I well remember Becky working with me in the cold and dark one mid-March evening to move refrigerators, toilets, beds - the entire contents of an apartment - out of a storage unit and to a church hall where we would set it up as an art installation for the Camden Girls' Conference. Few other girls had shown up to help, and Amy Wilton, the artist, was eight months pregnant. It was a lot of hard work for just three or four people, but Becky squared her shoulders, pulled down the corners of her mouth, and soldiered on in a determined fashion, without complaining, and not stopping until everything was finished.

Elizabeth and Becky were so vital and alive with who they were at the moment and the promise of who they would become. We were privileged that they were a part of Mainely Girls, we will remember what they taught us, and we will hold tightly to and cherish our memories of them.

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