Back in February 2008 I wrote about my friend and soulmate on the anniversary of her death in a post entitled “Remembering Linda Ketner”. She was an amazing woman and I still miss her very much.
So it was a great surprise when I received this email:
Hi John. I read your article about my grandmother today. My wife had searched our last name and found it. I appreciate everything that you had to say. I’m 25 now and it is getting hard for me to remember her. Reading through your letter brought a little clarity as to who she was. I hope to hear back from you.
There is really not a lot more I can say about Linda beyond what I wrote all those years ago. I’m not a religious man and I have no belief in a Biblical afterlife. But still, hearing from her grandson brought forth an avalanche of memories and emotions. And I guess we all live on as long as there is someone on earth who remembers us.
I couldn’t help but wonder what Linda would have to say about my life today. She was always my touchstone that got me back on track when when I was recklessly leading myself astray. She always called me “John-boy” (I guess being a couple of years older gave her the right). She was never judgmental, but was quick to point out the flaws in my logic, especially in matters of the heart. I could use her wisdom now more than ever.
Dear Linda, it seems I’ve fucked up yet again. I’m not sure where to go or what to do next. Any ideas? John
Dear John-boy, give yourself a break. Yes, things didn’t turn out the way you wanted, but there will be other things and new adventures. Never give up and never stop believing in yourself. Take comfort in acceptance and don’t worry so much about the things you cannot change. And always remember that I love you. Linda
That last day we shared while she lay dying in the hospice, Linda squeezed my hand and said emphatically “this is not goodbye!”. I guess maybe she was right about that after all.
Thank you Linda, and thanks to your grandson for reminding me to remember all you tried to teach me.