Reactions to Eleyan Resignation as Amyrlin Seat
On April 1, 2011, Eleyan Teyal Al'Landerin, our founder and Amyrlin of ten years announced her resignation as Amyrlin of TarValon.Net. After the news had sunk in - and it had been confirmed it was not an April Fool joke - members shared their thoughts, praise and memories of Eleyan's work in the role and for the community since its inception.
By now every member of the Tower knows that the Amyrlin has resigned from her position and a new Amyrlin will take over in less than a year now. Mother definitely deserves much praise and thanks and below is a collection of the sentiments that several members of the Tower Family left upon receiving the news.
While the Amyrlin seems to have been friends with pretty much every member of the Tower that has ever had the honour of meeting her, this section shares the sentiments of a few that seem to have been particularly close to her.
“Somehow the idea of you no longer as Amyrlin seems so wrong to me.
That being said, I am so grateful to you for starting this site and that I am a part of it. I have gained so much through this site. Family, friends, and memories. I still remember when I first met you and you were so excited to meet me. That right there was one of the best moments in my time here at the Tower. Thank you so much for what you have created and built for us here. I am so proud to be a part of it and to have you as a friend.
Love you lots, Melissa!!!”
“You know I love you dearly, and this site too. Thank you for making and nurturing this place so many of us call home. I know now why they use the term "Mother"
But it has got to be said.... There isn't a single solitary other person on this site who can do what you do as well as you do it Melissa. Not a single solitary person as loved and respected as you are. Not one. It’s not "a site", it's a home, and you are the one who makes it that.
I am very happy for you in many ways, but part of me is far too upset still to say “yay” or anything of the sort. I can say I am beyond proud you are a Green, and we will love having you as a more active member of the ajah. In the words of Tony Asher, ‘God only knows what I'd be without you’.
“Okay, I slept on this, and now I'll say what I wanted to the first time around:
Woman, move on and live! You started something wonderful here, you've started something wonderful at home as well. We'll be fine here, there are enough great people involved that we'll be a healthy, vibrant community for a long time to come yet. Only you can take care of your personal life, and I for one am looking forward to you not having to sacrifice what you could have there for the sake of a website. It seems a lot of people have forgotten that you're a woman, not a figure, and sometimes I worry about how that affects you.
There, I said it.
Stay involved for sure, go on a vacation for a while though. Even if it's just not having to do anything with the site for a few weeks, or months, or however the hell long you need in order to get some emotional clarity. Just make sure you drag yourself down for games night at the shop I work at! It won't be Apples to Apples, it'll likely be some boardgame where we're all literally trying to backstab each other whilst saying horrible, horrible things to one another in order to throw off the game playing ability of our opponents.
I think you'll like it!”
“You mean Green finally, FINALLY gets to have you all to ourselves, and none of this silly "Of all and of none" nonsense??
Some levity is needed, as others have pointed out, to balance the understandable sadness at having to accept change that none of our selfish selves wants to deal with. I knew the day would come, but not when, and while I have so much to thank you for, personally, Melissa, I think it's time for you to have some of the things that I've gotten to have because of you- love, a family, and a life I didn't ever think I'd get to experience. I will cry along with everyone else next year when we have a new Amyrlin Seat- tears of sadness to see you step down, and tears of joy to welcome our new Amyrlin. What you have begun, I fully look forward to many years of enjoying watching it bloom under your watchful eye, even if it isn't you at the helm any longer.
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for giving more of yourself than any of us could ever ask or expect, and for still loving us enough to give us a year to learn to let you go a little. As many of my Sisters have said already, I look forward to having you as a Sister, and seeing you have time both for the site and for life. Thank you for caring enough about the world to want to make this so much more than just a fansite, but a chance to allow people from all over to meet and band together to create positive change around us. Thank you for letting us interfere in your personal time with our own petty wants and needs, for biting your lip and revising posts and PMs half a dozen times before sending the final "diplomatic" copy even when sending the original would have felt SO MUCH BETTER, and thank you for just being YOU. You and Patrick are always welcome for a quiet weekend up here in Michigan if you ever have the urge to visit, and Jaim and I look forward to many more chats and visit at future gatherings to come.
Much love, my dear friend and Sister. “
The following are a collection of a few of the stories that members shared about their time with Mother.
“Melissa, you have done a truly amazing job. You took a spur of the moment, Goldschlager induced idea, and turned it into what many of us consider to be HOME. Our home. It’s going to be so unbelievably strange, not having you as our "Mother", our head, our leader. And what a leader you have been! You have made us feel truly welcome. Like we really were and are part of your family. I still remember the first time I met you. I was at the signing for CoT, and I was looking around frantically for someone from the tower that I would recognize so I wouldn't feel so alone in that long line. Then I saw you and called out your name. You asked who I was and after my response, grabbed me by the wrist and excitedly pulled me to the front with the rest of the Tower crowd. You made me feel more than just included, but like I had a place. And this community will never be the same.
I don’t mean to say that it won’t be as good as it has been with you in charge, but change is hard, especially with something, and someone as meaningful to people as TarValon.net and Melissa Craib.
We love you!
(I'm in tears right now, but I guess that mostly because I never thought this would happen. I kinda still pictured you being in charge when my daughter gets older and joins)”
“Everyone's acting like Melissa died or something. It's making me feel incredibly sad reading these replies. But, I'm gonna go ahead and join in the funeral.
You've done a lot for me, Melissa, whether you've been aware of it or not. The site and its members have been a savior to me when things were rough, and I've always known that the Tower is the light at the end of the tunnel, and you're the reason for that. You were the first spark, the start but certainly not the end. I've come to care for you as a mixture of all sorts of relatives that I can think of - mother, sister, that lesbian second cousin that we don't talk a whole lot about... you've also been a good friend and fag hag, and I say that with love. You'll always be the Amyrlin to me, whether or not you wear the Stole. Maybe someone will step up and they'll do a great job and eventually, with years and years of service, will actually become the Amyrlin to me. But you'll always be the original, and always be that first spark that I thank for this wonderful family that I've found.
I did mean what I said earlier, though. If you retire, there's no excuse for you to lurk and be inactive! I expect to see you post EVERYWHERE. I want a 100 posts/day in public forums! People need to meet the awesomeness that is you. <3”
“Okay so I suspect I have to admit this is real now. I was thinking about it a lot last night and well, you know what, you’ll always be Mother to us.
In the history of the Tower you will always be the first and nothing will ever change that. You’ll always be there, even if it isn’t as COO, you’ll always be a non-executive member of our board, you aren’t abandoning us. This is the end of your chapter, you raised us from nothing to the huge community that we are now, recognised not only worldwide but by official organisations and people that matter to our little universe.
It’s fair to say that you deserve a rest.
Whoever takes over will not be filling your shoes, they’ll be creating their own, forming a new chapter in our history. They’ll make mistakes, do things that the masses don’t like, but that’s the role you have played for so long, mediating arguments, settling disputes and having to make the decisions no one else really wants to. Good luck to them, we’ll stick with them too because that’s what we do.
As for me…well you will always be Mother to me (or Mummy as I insist on calling you if to be nothing other than awkward). Flying to the USA and getting dragged to the kitchen for wine, sitting on benches involved in conversations that you didn’t need to include me in, made you even more awesome in my world. The best bit? Wandering down the path at Anni 2009 and hearing “I see a Blue” and getting probably the biggest tacklehuggle I’ve had yet!
At Euro we will give you the greatest Welcome to one of our events we can, and the biggest send off too. For now….we plot.”
“Honestly I'm having a really hard time finding words.. I've been around going on 9 yrs. and I for one never thought of anyone else as Mother it just seems so very strange. I appreciate all you have done for the site and for myself over these many years. You are part of each and every part of this site and all who enter it and remain.. I agree with the others who have said it is more than just a site, it is a network of family. Whoever steps up to this is gonna have one large set of heels to fill to even come close to you. On a pure selfish note, I am so very grateful that I got to spend time with you, and most important be Raised by you in person. Anyone else it just wouldn't have been the same Melissa. I look forward to spending time with you as a Sister and seeing you relax more.. I understand and I respect all you have given and yet a thank you just isn't enough. You have made each one of us very proud to call you Mother, Sister and Friend. Thank you for everything you have done and everything you will continue to do for family.
To family and to Mother *cheers* We love you..
Because of You
Yes, this is a positive. This section speaks of the many wonderful things and opportunities that some members have received as a result of all of Mother’s hard work.
“I was so happy to spend time with you this past Anni. Having you ask about my daughter meant the world to me. If it weren't for you creating this site, I wouldn't have met so many wonderful people. I wouldn't have grown as a person, and I wouldn't have been able to travel as much as I have.
I have been able to connect with a group of wonderful people. I have been able to travel. I have been able to grow.
All my "I have"s are because of you.
Thank you, Melissa...thank you so much”
I'm really at a loss for words. When I first saw this last night I was dead sure it was an April Fools joke. Now, not so much.
I'm glad that you're finally going to be able to have a life of your own, without having to constantly worry about the site. I'm glad that now you have the opportunity to, if you want, have a family and do other personal things. You could join a choir, or join a theatre group, or uncover your secret passion for clogging " Hey, it could happen
I'm confident that you would not make this decision if you did not truly believe that there are people who can continue and build on your work here.
This place, and you, have given me and taught me so much. I've made a lot of stupid mistakes here, and by allowing me to make restitution for them, you've kept me from making those same or similar mistakes in my daily life, where the consequences would be much, much more dire than they are here.
This site's focus on being a Servant of All is why I'm a volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters. It's also why I'm now giving blood on a regular basis. It's the reason I've replaced much of the anger I've held for all of my life with compassion for other people.
You introduced me to Taoism, which has brought much peace to my life.
Thank you for this place. Thank you for your service. Thank you for your compassion. Thank you for everything that you have taught me and have yet to teach me. Your shoes will be difficult to fill but I trust that there is someone here who can fill them - or, perhaps, grow into them.
“I’ve been trying to come up with words that would adequately express what I want to say, that is to say; how I could explain the melting pot of emotions that well up when I try to respond to a post like this but words fail to define the indefinable. Suffice to say that the position leaving your hands is a loss to the tower. I never expected that it would be something that you’d put aside, or at least not for many years to come but I respect and understand why, or at least the reasons that are apparent to me.
It has been a fair and strong rule under your leadership. I’m sure when you were watching X-Files and goofing around, you’d never think in a million years that one day you would hold the love and respect of so many people, the world over. You’ve taken a group of fans and you’ve created, not just a community; but a family. Through the work you’ve done you’ve created a place that has made the world a better place to live in for a lot of people. You’ve forged bonds, facilitated great loves and triumphs and you have united people that otherwise never would have met and I don’t doubt you’ve saved lives through your work. Most people if asked if they could ever impact the world in such a way, they would say that it’s impossible but you’ve done the impossible and that makes you mighty.
You will forever be known to me as, not just as the founder of Tarvalon.net but as a fair leader and a friend. I know it’s not for another year til you step down and I know that it is not goodbye but it does feel like the end of an era. It is not THE end, for there are no ends in the wheel of time but it is AN end. And I hope in my heart of hearts, that it’s also a beginning of another era. Whoever your successor is, they will have big shoes to fill and should they be half the Amrylin Seat that you are, we’ll be in good hands.
“You've seen me go from 14 to 21. Because of you, the board and the other helping hands who created this site with you I have found sisters, family, the man I'll grow old with. Though in my mind, I still remember being 14 with my sister singing our stupid song to you at our first Dragon*Con and going, "Holy cow that was Mother...y'know THE Amyrlin" and we both squee'd. In my head that't still you, hugging both of us telling us we're adorable. I'm sad my step-sister did not stay to cherish the bonds that are created on this site every day, but I'm glad I came back. I'm glad you welcomed me home. I have a cult that I'm very proud of, I'm not ashamed to tell people I'm going to cult camp because I know there are real people here who immediately open their hearts and share life with one another. You already know how grateful I am...we've discussed many things over the years and change happens. I don't know exactly how I feel, but I think I can prepare for the "re-birth" of TV.net.”
Many Thanks and Best Wishes
This section is dedicated to special thanks to Mother for all she’s done and wishing her best in her future endeavours.
“I'm not even sure where to begin, or where to end. I am sitting here with tears streaming down my face...which I didn't expect when I got the texts earlier this evening from fellow members asking whether I knew about this yet. The Tower has been a home to me for almost 9 years. I can't believe that it's been that long, and that I'm part of the old timers guild of people who have been around almost 'forever'. I'm so grateful for my Tower Family, and Melissa, it all began with you and Wendy some Goldschlager and the X Files and wondering about becoming Aes Sedai. And now, we have achieved all of the goals that you felt lofty...because of you. You have created so much here, and we have strong bonds holding us together that will not easily let loose. I love you like a sister, from the bottom of my heart, and always will. I want you to be happy, and I hope that this is just another step in making that happen for yourself. You should be proud of yourself for what you have created here and I will be forever grateful for this Family that you have created. Thank you for all of your hard work, and best of luck to whomever is chosen to fill those shoes...for I do not envy the work that needs to be done.
Now, it's time for comfort food (pizza and ice cream) and a movie (Tangled)”
“I've only been attached to TV.net for about 4 months. As such I've never got to meet you or speak with you. But in a way I don't need to. Just the comments everyone else has put here tells me all I need to know about you. You are clearly an amazing woman. Inspiration and friend to many people. I thank you for the work and obvious love you've put into this community as it's Mother. I wish you all the happiness and success in whatever you put your mind and energies to next.
“May the Light shine forever upon you, Mother.
When I stumbled upon this site in 2008, I had no idea of the sheer extent of this. I have seen how this site bands together to help people in time of need. I have seen how it copes with loss. I have seen how it supports even those it does not know. I have also seen how it has affected me, and how every individual here is supported by the people with this site. And I can honestly say that this place is one of the few things getting me through my Master's degree!
I can say that I am a sister here, that I am Brown. I say that with pride. I think it would have been a different thing altogether had you not set real life friendships and support as a goal when you first became affiliated with this place.
Whoever is chosen as the next Amyrlin has some mighty large shoes to fill.”
“Mother, Melissa... Where does one start?
It's been a ride and you have shown everyone how to do it - regardless of tech issues, personal issues, and drama. Sort of like the Jackie Kennedy of Amyrlins. You have shown how outrageous goals aren't really so outrageous and with time and dedication can be achieved.
I fully support the idea mentioned at some point, "Once an Amyrlin, ALWAYS an Amyrlin." The title will always be yours and no one can fill your shoes the way you did. You have more than earned the chance to have fun and chill out. Enjoy, just please don't hide in the Green Hallways too much. “
Mother Eleyan Sedai will certainly be missed as an Amyrlin, as we hope these quotes have shown. To those who knew her personally, to those who only knew her from afar, to those she worked with, to those she brought up on the site, to the first members, to the newest, she was, and always will be, Eleyan Sedai, Watcher of the Seals, Flame of Tar Valon, Amyrlin Seat. And she will always be Mother. We keep this record so that all who come after can remember the woman who created the community that is Tar Valon.