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In Memoriam

I’m in a weird head space right now. Longtime friends and readers may remember that I am still part of an e-mail list that started when I was pregnant, as a pregnancy support list. I was living in Vancouver at the time, my husband was absorbed in graduate studies and I was rather isolated being so far from friends and family. After the babies were born, many of us stuck together and the list morphed into a “moms of infants” support group, then moms of toddlers, moms of pre-schoolers, moms of… you get the picture. Today we’re moms of teens, or as we’re known in my house “The Moms.” You don’t mess with The Moms. We have each others’ backs, are there for our cohorts in need of advice, celebration, compassion, humor, tech support, a shoulder to cry on, a reality check, an alternate view, and most of all love. While each of us gets along with certain sub-groups better than others, I’ve grown to consider these women the extended family I always wanted. They’re my sisters and cousins, aunties to my daughter, their children like so many nieces and nephews.

We’ve been together just about 14 years now. We’ve weathered job loss, children with special needs, alcoholism, divorce, depression, infertility, miscarriages, cancer, the death of a child, the death of a spouse, the death of a parent… and now, the death of one of our own.

My friend Linda died suddenly in her sleep on Thursday, sometime after her husband and daughter left the house for work and school. Bob, bless him, thought to let The Moms know right away in the midst of everything else on his shoulders, in the midst of handling the arrangements and taking care of their 13-year-old daughter Elizabeth. I gasped out loud, the breath knocked out of me when I got the news.

Linda was a staunch supporter and a stalwart ally. She and Bob were among the few list members who met in DC to throw me a bridal shower when Chris and I got married, the bridal shower that I was never able to attend because I came down with pneumonia at GenCon and my doctor flat out forbade me to travel. Instead I talked to each of them on the phone, gasping and wheezing how sorry I was that I couldn’t make the party they were so kind to throw me. It was my one and only opportunity to meet Linda in person, which I was never able to do. Linda shared my political leanings, sharp tongue, fiery sense of justice and expectation of decency and fair play (or pay the price). She was always quick to congratulate our (and our children’s) accomplishments and condemn our detractors, a sharp wit always at the ready. I miss her input terribly already.

I may try to wrangle a trip together so I can attend her memorial on Monday. It feels like I should. This is not the time for virtual condolences or flower baskets. This is time for family to pull together. Luckily Bob is one of the few dads who also participated on our list and if any husband has any idea what The Moms mean, he does, but I want him to have more than an idea… I want him, I want Elizabeth to know how far Linda reached and how loved and appreciated she was to us. It’s what I would want my friends and family to do for Chris and Kate.

14 comments to In Memoriam

  • My condolences on your loss. Your words paint a good picture of what this woman meant to you, what The Moms mean to you as a whole. I am heartened that you have the rest of each other to rely on as you all go through this difficult time.

  • My condolences on your loss. Your words paint a good picture of what this woman meant to you, what The Moms mean to you as a whole. I am heartened that you have the rest of each other to rely on as you all go through this difficult time.

  • *hug* My sympathies and condolences. You’ve got a lovely eulogy for Linda right here, Nik, it’s quite clear how much she meant (and how much The Moms mean) to you. You’re all fortunate to have such a support system.

  • *hug* My sympathies and condolences. You’ve got a lovely eulogy for Linda right here, Nik, it’s quite clear how much she meant (and how much The Moms mean) to you. You’re all fortunate to have such a support system.

  • Aw damn.

    It’s strange how much a group of strong people actually goes through in 14 years. Such a tough time; I hope you’ll be able to help Linda’s family.

  • Aw damn.

    It’s strange how much a group of strong people actually goes through in 14 years. Such a tough time; I hope you’ll be able to help Linda’s family.

  • I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your friend. I think the best tribute you can pay Linda is the strength of a decade-plus friendship conducted entirely online — very few of us can boast such a successful relationship in person, much less over the Internet and phone.

  • I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your friend. I think the best tribute you can pay Linda is the strength of a decade-plus friendship conducted entirely online — very few of us can boast such a successful relationship in person, much less over the Internet and phone.

  • The Family we choose

    The Moms sounds like a great group. I pray you will get to go to the memorial.

  • The Family we choose

    The Moms sounds like a great group. I pray you will get to go to the memorial.