I'm going to start a new thing for Mondays. It'll be a nice, happy way to start the hellishness of the work week.
Each Monday I will wax poetic about one of my friends, and why I love them so much. Some entries are bound to be shorter than others (heh). I'm going to kick this off by writing about my friend Lynn, since I meant to do so over the weekend.
Lynn was a lurker on Hamster Time. She sent me an e-mail one day to comment on something I had written on this site, about my experience having had cancer. Essentially, she knew exactly how I felt; reading her words, I knew exactly how she felt, too. She told me about her own struggle with the disease, and we began to correspond regularly.
Lynn is, quite simply, the strongest person I know. It would be enough just to have cancer. But Lynn also has had to deal with the death of her beloved 18-month old granddaughter; I suspect her own grief has been in part set aside in order to help her daughter mourn the loss of the child. Three other people very close to Lynn suffer from chronic, potentially life-threatening illnesses.
It is more than one person should be asked to bear, but Lynn isn't the first person to have more than their share of heartache. Many have before, and many will after. What makes Lynn so special is that she is, despite all of this, an unfailingly hopeful person. It's not an understatement to say that I have learned so much more about life, and how best to live it, from her than I have from anyone else in recent memory. The experiences of her life that she's shared with me are both inspiring and humbling.
Knowing her makes me want to make something special of my own life, and that is the kind of inspiration that lives with a person forever.
Lynn is someone that I know will always have my best interests at heart. When I ask her for advice, she gives me her opinion honestly (which I value so much) yet doesn't expect me to change my beliefs to fit her own. She just offers her take on a situation, without expectation.
There have been times when I really didn't know if the things I was doing were beneficial, because they were difficult. Lynn is always there to encourage me to try and do what is best for myself, even if it might be painful in the short term. Whenever I question a situation, or doubt my own actions, she always helps me reconnect with the idea that more often than not you have to ask for what you want, and what you deserve, and not be willing to accept less.
Every time she tells me stories about her life, I tell her that she should write them down, because they'd make a wonderful book. She says she doesn't write well enough to do that, but she's wrong. I hope she changes her mind about this someday, because she has so many things to share that would speak to people in a meaningful way.
I posted Lynn's message this weekend because she asked me to, but I will admit that it made me feel very good to know that someone I respect and value so much thinks that highly of me. But as much as Lynn seems to think I've added to her life, she has added so much more to mine. She's the wise older sister I never had, and a person that I can rely on, always, to help me see things from new perspectives.
Lynn has given me acceptance, support and wisdom; she is in all aspects a wonderful friend, and I am truly the better for having known her.