12/16/2009: ""My Remembrance""
(The following was read by Carol Linde at the John O. Linde memorial service held Saturday)
By Carol Linde
I am so very blessed to have been loved by John.
I met him at the Teen Fair in Seattle when I was 17. I was the Arrow Shirt Girl -introducing the new double stitching with a “Count my stitches” contest.
John was the very kind, incredibly handsome, slightly older man with gorgeous gray blue eyes at the Peoples Bank booth.
I went over to borrow pencils from him, and just had to go back to have them sharpened.
We lived a beautiful love story in a beautiful place.
John would always ask me:
Have I told you yet today that I love you?
And I would answer, I think so, but would you say it again? And he would.
Family came first.
Some may not have seen the lighter side of John -Mary called it “John Linde without a tie”. But we did. He left his work at the front door.
When “we” were pregnant (his phrase always) with Brian, John taught himself to juggle, thinking that was an important skill for a new father.
Brian was born at the medical center because we were fogged in. We were home in bed watching football when Brian was 4 ½ hours old. John loved sharing that.
Four years later came our Kristen. I have a clear image of John holding Kristen in his arms, and dancing around our living room, singing along to “My Girl” on the stereo. He had her in a pool at 2 ½ months.
We loved Hawaii, and have been amazed by the number of photos we have of those happy times:
Brian at age 2, performing his first racing dive at the Makena Surf pool -proud Dad with open arms.
John hand in hand with his little girl on the beach in one of my walking away shots. That image was his stress reliever.
The children and I have talked about so many fun times with Dad and the lessons they learned from him. Trying to put their Dad on paper is impossible. He is so big.
Monday night I told Brian & Kristen how very, very sorry I was that I couldn’t come home with their dad, but instead had to bring him home. We cried and held each other. They hugged me and calmed me. We decided a break to read cards would be a good idea.
The very first card we opened read:
That’s what we ask.
The truth is,
We may never be able to know for sure why.
But we do know that there is no single “should have done”
Or “could have done”
Or “did” or “didn’t do”
That would have changed that why.
All that love could do was done.
John was my rock. And now Brian and Kristen are in that role. They have been amazing. Together with John’s favorite daughter-in-law, Anne, we are the founding partners of Team Linde. The team is HUGE. We were immediately embraced by the warmth of the Hawaiian people - our ohana.
We are being taken care of by our church, our family, our very dear friends, the lunch bunch, and this wonderful island community. On the back of an envelope sent by a long time friend and client was written: In Friday Harbor we all are family! We couldn’t agree more. Your outpouring of love for John and for us is amazing. We thank you all so very much.
Life as we know it changed suddenly and tragically on Dec. 3rd in the still waters of Anaeho-umalu Bay.
We’ve had comforting talks with Pastor Joe about the grief process. Acceptance of what happened on the worst day of our lives doesn’t mean that we’re okay with it, or that we like it. Acceptance is not approval. We just need to let God guide us through the process one day at a time.
We are grieving with hope because we know that John is in God’s hands and we will be with him again.
Even in this overwhelming sadness the children and I feel such pride in the legacy left by John. He has left us an example of a life well lived, and a remarkable life to remember with grateful hearts.