Write Loudly for Linda

Write Loudly for Linda

It was a humid Thursday night filled with anticipation and excitement.  Our annual gathering of Write Loudly students coming together to celebrate accomplishments and catch up with those who had taken a break from sessions because life gets in the way sometimes.

We were still unloading food and drink in the kitchen when Linda arrived wearing a stylish new pixie “do” that made her look ten years younger.  We oohed and ahhed over her hairstyle and told her we were so glad to see her at the party because it had been since the Spring when we saw her in class.

Quick-fire catch up questions while we chattered in the kitchen led to Linda’s statement that quieted the room.

“Well, I’ve been a little busy battling breast cancer.  And yes, this new do is actually a wig.”  You could have heard a pin drop…for a moment.  The next breath was full of exclamations, hugs and smiles.

“We’re so glad you came!”

“You look great!”

“Come, sit down and tell us your story.”

It is not Linda’s personality to walk into a room and draw everyone’s attention.  She is a listener, full of laughter and wit, a writer and storyteller even though she doesn’t see herself like that.  She has no aspirations of being published.  She has on more than one occassion, not completed her homework from the week before.  She attends our 8-week sessions when she can.  She provides great feedback and support when we share our work.  She comes to class because she loves to write and loves to interact with other writers.  When Linda commented that she was uncomfortable walking into the party and blurting her story and drawing attention, we responded as friends and writers.

“Sorry Chica.  You just walked into a room full of storytellers.  We need to hear your story and you need to tell it.  It’s the only way that we can rally around you to provide comfort, support and love.  And to help you kick this thing’s ass.”

I won’t share the details because those are Linda’s to tell.  What I will tell you is that during her story, I saw a woman with a fire in her eyes.  A woman who deemed her chemo treatment as her “internal body wash to get rid of all the junk that didn’t belong.”  Linda didn’t drink that night because she was slated for chemo the next day.  She sipped her gatorade and participated in the lively discussions that bounced around the room.  She blew her husband off for dinner in lieu of spending an evening with her girlfriends.  He understood why.

Driving home that night, I felt compelled to do something in her honor.  I ran my idea by some of the other members to see if there was an interest.  The last question was whether or not Linda would agree to it.  I was able to reach Linda at home on Saturday afternoon and she was thrilled and honored that we were willing to celebrate her and create a team to walk in her honor at the 18th annual Rays of Hope walk for breast cancer in Springfield, MA.  Write Loudly for Linda was born.

I’m spreading the word and beginning to fundraise.  Please visit my Rays of Hope webpage to make an online donation.  Donate because you:

  • Survived breast cancer
  • Are battling breast cancer
  • Know someone who has lost their battle with breast cancer
  • Want to make a difference in raising funds to cure breast cancer
  • Want to support a fellow writer

All donations are tax-deductable.  Please spread the word and visit my page here.  October 23rd is right around the corner and my individual goal is $100. 

Hope is that thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words and never stops… at all.  ~Emily Dickinson