Feb 24, 1959 - Mar 29, 2022 (63)
I hardly know where to start. Favorite story? Too many. Favorite memory? Too many. Favorite photo? Too many. But here is an attempt.
Linda loved and cared deeply for so many around her, I am so blessed to have been one of those. She was incredibly compassionate, empathetic, generous and thoughtful, and a fantastic gift-giver. I'll forever be grateful for the love she gave me and my beloved dog, Leika. No one could have loved Leika more deeply than me, but Linda probably equally so. One of my favorite photos of her is this one - Leika's last walk before we said goodbye to her, together, and buried her.
That framed photo was one of Linda's thoughtful gifts, that is displayed in a kind of shrine to Leika in my office:
Another, related, favorite memory was when Linda accompanied me on my birthday a year later, and pitched in for my Leika tattoo as my birthday present - a gift that I will literally take to my grave!:
She was also incredibly loving and compassionate caring for my curmudgeonly neighbor, Kurt. Here is another favorite photo showing probably the biggest smile from Kurt caught on camera as we celebrated his birthday.
You see he also loved that picture, displayed on his side table in his nursing care room:
We also shared in Kurt's end of life, and buried him together by spreading his ashes at his favorite retreat - in the forest preserve where he would walk his beloved dog, Nellie.
I regret not having been more present with Linda this year. I missed seeing her - having kept my distance because of the damn COVID pandemic and knowing of her extreme caution due to her fragile immune system from her cancer treatments. I thought we had more time. I learned (or re-learned - I'm bad like that) about her stage 4 in a January text exchange, and that she's been "dealing with stage 4 for 4 years", so it seemed that she was active, and I assumed her treatments were working, and if not making progress, was holding course. She never let on just how terminal she was. I really wish I was able to have properly said goodbye, and shared just one more precious end of life memory with her - even it being her own.
Linda believed in God and heaven. Linda was truly an angel on earth - now, surely she's an angel in heaven able to continue doing her purpose - blessing the living.