I'm home. A lot of you who have known since Friday. I was discharged on Wednesday afternoon and by the wee morning hours of Friday, was home. The girls expected me Saturday evening so it was so fun to see their surprised faces and little bodies charge down the hall at me when they woke up. It was a wonderful reunion. More on that later.
But it's been a very difficult week. Our beloved friend Lindsay got her wings. Lindsay was a wife of 10 years to an incredible man and a mother of three perfect children.
Lindsay was so strong. I looked up to her. No, really. She was very tall. That strong jaw and gorgeous Swedish face gave away every thought, every passionate feeling she had in each moment. She had zero tolerance for hate-mongering and pretension, but had this radar that found those with her same zest for adventure.
You knew if she loved you and you felt lucky when she did.
When you entered her house (her door, like the rest on our road, was always open), inevitably she was cooking up something while the music, kids and dog were within a 10 foot range, because why would you want to be in a different room? When you walked into any room, you could find her by that laugh. She would open her mouth wide, like she's about to let out a loud one, but it would take a few seconds to exit her belly with a sharp "AAAAAAHHHH!" followed by "hahahaha!". If I were a sound editor, I'd think the audio and video were out of sync. It's hard to tell if she were laughing with someone or making someone laugh.
She was so creative. Something she never gave herself credit for being. She loved art, the ocean, the outdoors. Her mom, an artist and cottage gardener, strongly influenced her style. If you were just meeting Lindsay, you'd get to know her immediately upon entering her home. The carefully curated art in their home reflects her loves: the sea, the untouched outdoors, the colors of her native New England. She has candid family pictures in key places so you have to look when you set the table or grab a wine glass. Her and Jared and littles. Skiing, sledding, swimming, hiking, biking, playing soccer, hockey, softball... Go just room to room and everything you need to know will be answered. A life-art gallery. Then you would go back into the kitchen and sip wine and watch while she and Jared whipped up a gourmet meal to enjoy around the island or out on the deck.
If you were on her back deck, she'd paint you a picture of her plans for the ultimate suburban farm yard. She wanted chickens, a pig for one of her daughters, and maybe another dog. A big dog. She and her husband loved big dogs and I don't think it's a secret to anyone that my Newfoundland loved Linds more than me. Her little Chihuahua was often tucked under her arm while she cheated on her with such talk.
She has so many friends. She loved them all so much that even if you just met her recently, you would quickly hear about all of her all of her friends, and they would learn about you. Every single one of her friends added to her life because she always recognised their gifts and wanted a part of them.
Lindsay was one of the first people in the door just minutes after I was diagnosed with MS. It was after dark. I had just left her at one of our neighborhood gatherings. I walked in the door to the phone ringing from the doctor. I don't even remember telling them. I just remember Lindsay and Kelly suddenly sitting with me on the bottom step of the stairs. With wine. They stayed until Matt came home. Years later, making the decision about HSCT was an easy sell to Lindsay and she was with me through the whole pre-treatment process and even gave me tips about chemo.
I know I am just one of many who raise their hand when asked if Lindsay was part of a significant moment in their lives. When you see all of these raised hands, you realize that Lindsay managed to bring the most unlikely of people together by this. Now we are all connected by her forever.
What a gift.