Ever had a friend who was with you through thick and thin, taught you important things, exasperated you, but led you through each stage of life feeling like you were running to keep up? Well I had that with Lynnly Labovitz. Today is her birthday and I woke up thinking I should try to be the first friend to call her when I suddenly remembered… she’s gone. Lynnly lost her valiant fight with breast cancer in the Fall of 2008. I took this photo of her 20 years go with my son, Max. I remember her saying “Look! He’s the size of a picnic ham!”
When we first met, the first thing I noticed (besides her giant triangular mullet hairdo) was her tremendous self-confidence. She advised me in matters large and small, and although she was just a couple of years older, I thought she was more mature than me. And she was. Mature, beautiful, eccentric and incredibly smart.
Over the years she encouraged me into therapy and recovery, forced me to learn computer skills, demonstrated how to buy real estate, and believed in me as an artist, even when I didn’t believe in myself. I went kicking and screaming through each new transition, always reluctant to move into new phases of life. Lynnly was always available to lend an ear and offer encouragement, night or day, even if my phone call woke her up in the middle of the night.
She fearlessly filed the first sexual harassment suit and won for hostile environment at the ad agency we worked at together. She never worked in advertising again, but wasted no time reinventing herself in business, again and again.
She stuck with me through giving birth and major career moves, always documenting my life with her incredible skill in photography. She was my scolding boss, the freelance photographer I hired who was late for our appointments, and an absolute genius at all things Mac computer related.
Lynnly was a lover of animals (over people!) and an incredibly generous spirit. She was the biggest supporter of my long-term relationship and being a mom, even though she never enjoyed either for herself.
Happy Birthday Lynn! Thank you for teaching me how to live and how to die without fear about what’s next. I just wish you were still here to share it with me.
Read Vicki Randle’s post on Lynnly here.