On Kindness: Ms. Kitty Lynn

 
  Photo courtesy of Tony Triola

Photo courtesy of Tony Triola

One year ago today, I lost a dear friend. The world lost a beautiful, fun-loving, talented soul. She was kind, honest, and grateful – no matter what life threw at her. She was funny as the day is long and unbelievably generous. Light emanated from her smile. There was no reason she should have gone, but she was taken from us anyway. It was cancer that had metastasized that robbed us of her beautiful soul. She remained positive when she found out about the brain tumors and started planning her last year; she stated, "I think it's time to start throwing temper tantrums in public. If I feel like it, I'm going to throw my shoes." We all wanted to throw our shoes, too.

Lynn has friends and family from all over: in her hometown in Michigan; in New Orleans, which was home after school; and here: in Austin. She might honestly have been the most popular person I've known. Lynn was a singer, a lover, a teacher. She was gorgeous, and light, and calm. She made it difficult for anyone not to mimic her own easy smile. Her laugh was the best of all: it was bright and cheerful and full of everything that made you comfortable to be in her presence. She made the BEST Chocolate Stout Cake and was a fantastic crafter - knitting baby shoes and scarves for all her relatives and friends. The kids she taught flocked to her; there was never a time that a four-year-old wasn't glued to her leg. The pre-schoolers were always excited to tell Ms. Lynn about their day, about the new joke they had learned, or about what they had eaten for breakfast. And Lynn was the best listener. She taught with grace - moving with ease through the school day, opening yogurt containers and demonstrating how to make rainbow macaroni necklaces like a super-hero.

  Photo courtesy of Kellie Klotz

Photo courtesy of Kellie Klotz

She was the type of person you wish everyone could have known – if only to understand that close-to-perfect people actually exist. Losing her was more than a blow. A year later, I still find myself feeling the loss in waves. Some days the waters are calm and I remember, with a smile on my face, how Lynn introduced me to The Broken Spoke or how her voice carried ever-so-eloquently through funny stories about her days as a teenager. But other days are harsh and windy, pushing me deep under the rough water as quickly as I'd found the ocean's surface. On those days, I ask the question that doesn't have an answer: "why?". When the waves break, and I crawl back to shore, I try to channel how Lynn would be handling this very situation. She'd revel in the memories: smiling and laughing while telling stories of her loved ones. She'd be singing and dancing and knitting and traveling. She'd be cuddling her pets and her man. Maybe she'd throw some shoes, but she'd be living - the way most people never learn to.

Lynn fought (and I mean she fought) until she couldn't fight anymore. She was one of the strongest, kindest women I've ever known; I work to try and be as brave (and humorous) as she was through it all.

Thank you, dear friends, for reading. If you're mourning anyone or would like to celebrate a loved one's life in the comments below, feel free. We'd love to listen. Love to you all, and remember to keep fighting.