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Linda リンダ

Sky and ocean have the same transparency here at Texada Island, soothing to my eyes. Pleasant breezes stroke my hair and cheeks gently. I am taking in this summer beauty into all my body cells and soul, and…. thinking of Linda.

It’s been two years… for me it was a short time that just whisked by, but it was a hard time, struggle after struggle, for Linda. August 2018, on the first day of our camping trip, Neil and I visited Linda in Kamloops. Linda had just recovered from her first stroke. It was a sunny, hot, dry, typical summer day in Canada’s west…. just like today. She was telling us about her imperfect vision. Her vision had narrowed and made her not possible to drive. What we didn’t know at the time was that it was merely a beginning… In two years, she suffered two more strokes, and…. she was gone…. when we were just talking about going to see her again in early September this year.

I met Linda in a very unusual way. She was married to and divorced from Neil’s divorced wife’s brother. It’s rather a complicating relationship that if it was in Japan, I would have never had the chance to meet her. I am divorced too. I have my beloved ex-sister-in-law and her children whom I would love to see. Since my marriage had broken down, they can’t see me…… let alone, meet Neil. However, Neil and Linda kept in touch, and I had a privilege of getting to know her.

Flipping through my recipe cards, I find a few recipes passed down from Linda. She grew her own vegetables and fruits. Her cooking/baking was simple, humble, and delicious. One of them is brown rice shortbread cookies. Years ago, when she visited us around Christmas time, she brought these cookies for us. I loved the curious texture of the cookies, and ever since, it became my favorite recipe for the season.

Linda had a hard life. After her divorce, she made her living by social work, taking care of physically/mentally challenged persons at her own home 24/7. She was passionate about gardening, always surrounded by beautiful flowers and vegetables, loved cooking for others, loved her children and grandchildren. Her life was all about taking care of people, making people happy… nothing about luxurious possessions or trips or anything like that.

I wonder. Did she pass over thinking she had a happy life? Well….what is happy life anyway? You cannot buy happy life with money. Staying in a super expensive hotel, dining at a famous restaurant, having all the power to control other people, none of them can make you really happy. I have read somewhere that Happiness is something you give to others, not something you take from or receive from others. Your action contributing to other being’s wellness becomes your own happiness. The key word is your ACTION. Your “steps forward” bring happiness. Not just sitting around and thinking.

Linda was a person of action. I’m sure she departed thinking she had a happy life.

I’m sad….but happy for her.







でも寂しい… 😞