She was a remarkable woman whose light shined a little brighter than most. She had a special gift for making good friends, and if you spent any length of time with her, you laughed - deep, gut busting snort your ice tea through your nose kind of laughter. She lived a joyful life, had a deep faith, and fought her cancer battle with an unrelenting positive attitude. Rarely did she show despair about her illness. But if she did, she'd stop and say, "Cancer sucks!" Then she'd smile. Linda touched people. And whether you knew her personally or not, whether you know it or not, she's touched your life too.
A number of years ago I had lunch with Linda at a local restaurant. On this particular occasion we were celebrating my first manicure. Somehow the topic of manicures had come up at church, and I admitted to Linda that I'd never had one. Truthfully, I didn't care that I'd never had that experience. But Linda gave me a stern talking to that began with, "Seriously??? How could you not know that every woman deserves to pamper herself?" The next thing I know, I'm sitting in Linda's kitchen with my hands soaking in a bowl of something warm while her dog, Astro, kept watch beside me. With her assortment of surgical looking tools, Linda proceeded to work her manicure magic on my hands. We talked, we laughed, we talked some more, until she was satisfied with her work (which really was quite nice!). When she finished, we headed to the restaurant.
During lunch, Linda's phone rang. She took one look at the number and said, "I'm sorry, but it's business. I need to take this call." The phone conversation went something like this: "Yes, that's correct. No, probably not. We need all the help we can get. Thank you, Senator Frist. I really appreciate your support." This was the day that I learned Linda was a breast cancer survivor, and a tireless advocate in the fight to end breast cancer.
And just for the record... NO ONE made bald look better than Linda! Hats loved Linda. Really. It didn't matter if it was a ball cap, a straw hat, or a fancy schmancy Sunday something or other, she always looked great! (Notice the caption - I loved her sense of humor!)
I've heard it said
that people come into our lives for a reason
Bringing something we must learn
And we are led
To those who help us most to grow
If we let them
And we help them in return
Well, I don't know if I believe that's true
But I know I'm who I am today
Because I knew you...
My dear Linda, I can say with certainty that because I knew you, I have have been changed for good. I will miss you more than I can ever express. You are and will always be loved. Rest in peace.