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Happy Birthday Lynnly

14 Jun Posted by in Vicki Randle | 2 comments
Happy Birthday Lynnly

It would have been my friend Lynnly’s 57th birthday yesterday, June 13th, had she survived her long battle with breast cancer. She was the funniest, silliest, corniest, as well as the most intractable, capricious, argumentative and infuriating person I have ever known. Even when she got serious about things, she was rarely introspective, instead spending most of her considerable mental acumen and curiosity dissecting her friends’ inner workings and psychoanalyzing us to distraction. Every once in a great while she would stop her full assault on her cancer, to write to me a bit of what she was really feeling, when she slowed down to experience it.

Here is one of those notes.

“i want to free myself of the myth of me. of thinking i know what i know about myself, or anyone else. if i can be a useful mirror for people in my life i want to do that. reflecting back some helpful information about their own experience of themselves, then i will be glad to do that.

the only thing that seems clear to me right now in this moment is that i only have the choice to be a warrior of sorts. brave as i can be. and accept that i’m afraid when i am. and keep going. because that’s what’s here for me. i’m not going to quit and i can not make this anything other than what it is. i think a lot of my life has been an opportunity to be a warrior, facing what is. i’ve tried to change things to be what i’ve wanted them to be. more than ever, or maybe for the first time ever i realize the impossibility of that as an option or solution.

i dont think i get to have that one special companion who will stand with me while i go through this transition from life to death. or fulfill some idea i’ve carried with me of companionship; play, fearlessness, joyfulness, humor, generosity…and i believe i’m ready to be free of the pain that holding on to that idea has caused me. maybe to replace that with some readiness to experience things as they are. the people that want to connect with me for whatever reason, the people who seem to show up from nowhere reminding me of some portion of my life, bringing me to some kind of center again. i dunno. it’s not an either or thing. it’s just an opportunity to be fearless when i am. and…i dunno…real about whatever i am feeling. just not clinging to any idea.

quack. scoobydoo. fluffity.”

Lynnly Labovitz

June 13, 1954-August 4, 2008

Read more about Lynnly at

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  • Wallis Stern says:

    Vicki, your tribute to Lynnly Labowitz is touching and also searing. You and Robin, in concert, have fleshed her out brilliantly, to the point where I find myself wishing I’d have had the privilege of knowing so charming, alarming, and courageous a “warrior woman.” I’m inspired enough to attempt addressing the comparatively recent loss of my own longtime “best friend,” in fact. An exorcism of particularly recalcitrant demons. Gratefully yours, Wallis