Lynnie gave me this sweet Santa last year. He shared many Christmases with Lynn, Elise and Emily. I finished decorating the tree yesterday and sat him next to it.
I went to sleep with Lynn on my mind. Woke up at 4:00 this morning and was thinking last year at this time, we were planning her trunk show. Curious, I went to Facebook to look up the actual event. It took place a year ago today.
If you attended the show, you felt the magic. For starters, it was less than two months before she died. The cancer and treatments were now causing more bad days than good. I don't think it was a coincidence that she was feeling great on that particular day.
The show came about when I went to visit her and saw piles of beautiful jewelry she had been creating. Making jewelry was her therapy--a way to express herself and live in the moment. After the Hospice person left, we laid on her bed, stared out the window at the trees and talked about our girls--crying one minute and laughing hysterically the next. (Another magical day.)
She loved the idea of a holiday trunk show and Louie and Flo (her folks) went to work creating displays. The night of the event she was feeling great and her loved ones (and their loved ones) came out in droves (there's another beautiful story involving Cheryl's mom and her connection to Lynn and her surprise visit at the show) to get some Lynn love and see her treasures. Her inventory was quickly snatched up--women came to shop and left with wrists full of bracelets--deciding which to keep and which to give as presents. Her treatments and the need to stay well, limited her contact with friends and extended family. This was a night to reconnect. Flo was at the register, Louie was snapping pictures and Lynn and the girls were in the middle of it all. It is such a sweet memory--I'll always remember it and am grateful for how the evening played out. After the show, she was giddy and off to the bead store with her profits.
She lived five years after getting a stage 4 cancer diagnosis. My friends in the medical world, were always astonished to hear this fact. She lived her final days surrounded by her loved ones and left this world on February 2nd. (Her memorial was on the 16th...20 years to the day of my mom's passing. See? It just keeps happening.) This year I often see Lynn's jewelry on friends and think that not only do we carry her around in our hearts, we have something tangible to carry around to remind us that love is all that matters. Truly. (I'm getting closer to the post office story but you need to hear the Valentine story to get the full magic.)
On Valentine's day (two weeks after she passed) I received a package in the mail. It was this beautiful heart necklace. She made necklaces for her friends and had her folks mail them off to us after she passed. Tears were streaming down my face. It was so Lynn to think of others in the midst of her pain. We all wore them to her memorial, connected now, forever by this amazing friend. I've been meaning to call the other gals to get us together, and the busyness of life has kept it on my to do list all year.
Which brings us to the post office story...
A couple of weeks ago, I went to the post office to mail something to Emy. The holiday line extended to the door. On my way out, Cathy (one of the other necklace recipients and organizer of the walk we did with Lynn and now continue to do to honor Lynn) was walking in. Arms loaded with packages, we gave each other a kiss on the cheek and promised to get together with the girls. All of a sudden, her bracelet broke and beads scattered about the post office. Some even hit my feet. As I bent down to help her collect them, I said, "this is a Lynnie bracelet, huh?" "Yep." I make jewelry and was just given elastic bead string as a gift (also random, right?) I can fix this. How about you come by the shop?" She came by with her daughter Claire a few nights later and we relived the story, now understanding that no matter how long that 'to do' list is, we will make a date to have coffee and restring her bracelet. When we do we will talk about our friend who may not be "here" but is always here <3
And we will laugh. Because that and love is the legacy she left us. Merry Christmas.