Blackbird Fly

Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise

Black bird singing in the dead of night
Take these sunken eyes and learn to see
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to be free

Blackbird fly, blackbird fly
Into the light of the dark black night.

Blackbird fly, blackbird fly
Into the light of the dark black night.

Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise,
You were only waiting for this moment to arise,
You were only waiting for this moment to arise

Blackbird – The Beatles

I wrote a post once about how to define a friend. I think now I have a clearer answer in my mind for that question…

A true friend need not be asked for help, they instinctively know when to give it. They lovingly bind your broken wings, support you with kindness brought forth from a wellspring of goodness not a part of every soul. When it’s time again to fly, they stand at the bottom to break your fall if your not quite ready.

A true friend holds your hand in your darkest hour when all you can see is despair. They guide you to a brighter place with the skill of a surgeon, and the compassion of a saint. They build you up, and tear you down when either is exactly what you need. They listen intently and are thankful when heard. Most of all true friends are consistent in nobility, time has no effect on their love for others and the value they place on the ones they care for.

I have thought long and hard about who my true friends are, and I can only count three. Until last week, now it’s only two.

Many of you know Linda as “Pan” when she commented on posts, or from her blog called On The Road Cooking. She loved to write about “Tiny kitchen cooking” as she lived a big part of her life in a truck as I do. In fact we worked at the same company here in Maine.

I first met Linda when I took the above picture on December 4, 2015 while we were delivering to the same warehouse. I engaged her in conversation due to our both having dogs in the truck and struck up a friendship. She told me of her new blog and I of mine, and we started reading and conversing. We often lunched together if we were in town at the same time and our friendship grew very strong.

A few months ago she suffered a brain aneurysm and almost died in her truck. She was rushed to a hospital and over time seemed to be recovering well. Sadly her father became ill while she was still a patient, and died soon thereafter. She was not able to be at his side when he passed and that bothered her greatly. We spent many an hour talking about the loss of her dad as I had just been through the same last spring.I hope I was able to be of help to her.

Through it all she kept a positive attitude and focused on the future. Her dream was similar to mine except she wanted to live “Off Grid” on her land here in Maine and I want the same on my boat. We decided to help each other attain their goals and made plans for the coming summer.

Because her cabin was not suitable for year round living, and the fact that the state temporarily took away her license to drive a truck, she had no place to live this winter but a small motel near her land. She knew the owners well and they allowed her to stay long term with Stewie her dog. On Friday of last week she was found passed away in her room by the manager after he became concerned she had not been out for some time.

A male deputy arrived and tried to enter the room, but Stewie would not stop defending her lifeless body. A female animal control officer was called and he submitted to her and was taken to the Humane Society. We have no idea at this point what the cause of death is, but it’s not deemed suspicious at this time. Sadly, because her dog Stewie is aggressive with men, he may never be placed with anyone and may be euthanized. Linda was his only friend.

I cant really put into words how much this hurts, how deep this has cut me. True friends are so rare that when you lose one a great void is left in their place, a vacuum almost impossible to fill. Linda was always kind with everyone, her smile a gift she gave away freely. She spoke with me as I would a big sister, a closeness I have never felt before. I hold on to the thought of how much she improved my outlook on life, how much she willingly gave without want of return. This world became a little darker in her passing, a burning hole in my life that will not be extinguished very soon.

I hope her last moments on this earth were not filled with pain or suffering. I hope her last thoughts were of the people who cared for her most, a vision of us sitting beside her and holding her hand. I hope she was able to pat Stewie one more time and tell him how much she loved him. I hope she closed her eyes the last time knowing how much she did for those she left behind. To think anything else is more than I can bear. She was incredibly special.

To a great friend I say…

When I work on my boat this summer, you will still be with me. When I set off on my maiden voyage, I will see you and Stewie standing on the dock waving. When I feel weak and insecure, I will hear your voice pushing me forward. When I feel alone, I will feel your presence beside me. Whenever I hear bird song, I will think of you. Every photograph I take will be shared with you in my mind. Every port I anchor in, I will raise a glass to you and wish you were there.

I will mourn for you like no other friend in my life. The scar left on my heart of your untimely passing will never fully heal. If not for my two other friends I don’t know what I would do. I will lean very hard on them right now and be there for them in kind.

And lastly my promise to you. If Stewie cannot be placed, and must join you, I will have him cremated and placed with you. If you and many others are correct, and there is some life after this, you will need you best friend and protector, and he will need his. I will miss you.

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Linda Case

11/29/1958 – 12/28/2017

Goodbye Linda

Blackbird fly, blackbird fly
Into the light of the dark black night. 

48 thoughts on “Blackbird Fly

  1. John, I am so so sorry for your loss. Times like these are so difficult to bare, especially alone. If you need someone to talk with when you are back in town, please look me up. I am praying for you. God Bless.

    Have a Blessed day

    >

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My dear, dear friend …. you know how I feel about losing Linda. I will always be here for you as long as I draw breath. I will always miss her, as long as I draw breath. I am so proud of you, she would be, IS, so proud of you for this poignant, touching and above all absolutely point perfect and appropriate tribute to a human being that I could not be prouder to have called my friend. I wanted you to have the first words and you have not let her down – this is beautiful (the song could not be a better choice, more appropriate, more apt, more plucked from the tree as though it was meant for this moment). I will write for Linda and I will link your wonderful words. The world is a shabby place without that huge and genuine heart. I send you love and I send you strength. Together we will honour her memory in the best possible way. Together we will realise the dreams that she supported so wholeheartedly, so enthusiastically. Together we will ensure that she is never forgotten whilst we draw breath.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I saw this post last night, but for whatever reason I could not access it to comment. My condolences to you at this time. Friends, real friends, are hard to come by and to lose even one is a tragedy indeed. Here’s to peace and healing for you, and a speedy flight to the next thing for Pan. She left some beautiful things behind her in this ugly place and that was a gift. She will truly be missed. Take care friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dear John, I am so deeply sorry for your loss. I admired Linda so much , her strength, her integrity and independence. She had the biggest heart, so full of gratitude for every kindness that came her way. Your remembrance captured her essence and was a wonderful tribute. I have no contact info for her sister. I would like to let her know how much she will be missed and help out in anyway I can.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. JDR, I’m sorry I didn’t know Linda or ever find her blog so I could follow her. I am so touched by your post and deeply sorry for the loss. I wish I could help in some way. Please let me or everyone else know if there’s something we could do. I’m so sorry and a comment on a blog post just doesn’t do enough justice for the sentiment. Is there somewhere that will help re-train Stewie that we could donate to or something? I think any small thing will help but won’t be enough.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Just the fact that you left a comment is all I need to know. You are a friend and really care. Linda was a special person like you that keeps the bright lights burning in an otherwise dark world. Stewie was abused as a young dog so the chances or retraining are slim. If there was something to be done I’m sure you know I would. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Needs 2 b a better way of filtering out the phonies on the stupidphone so one can know the decent people. My best friend growing up died in the Navy. I got word @ the Tri-County Truck stop in Missouri around 1995. I don’t remember dates people die. I learned on I-684 one day that those who care most for you work hard from beyond. All you can do now is THINK of what you LEARNED from them.
    Friends help you move.
    True friends help you move bodies!

    All you can do now is take what you learned and continue learning.
    Be good or be good at it, and crank Skynard in the meantime.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. John, this was a very touching tribute to one of the kindest human begins I’ve had the privilege of meeting. Thank you for sharing this with us. The world is no better off now that she’s gone.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. These lasts years, working, living and writing her blog in Maine were the happiest in her life.
    There wasn’t a time when we would talk that the names of her friends at Pottles or fellow bloggers on WordPress wouldn’t come into the conversation. Linda treasured all her friends, especially, John, Cynthia, Walt, Fiona and Cee. Know that you in return were cherished.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh my gosh, I am so sorry to hear about Linda’s untimely death. She was one of my followers too but my blogging has been sporadic of late. You must be heartbroken, not only of losing a friend but that her lovely dog had to be euthanized. Perhaps they are off the grid together somewhere? You and I are getting to the age when friends die. We feel 19 but all of our lives are ephemeral. I used to wonder why my Nana and Mum pored over the obituaries but now I know. One of my closest friends has Stage IV cancer and she is just 49. Linda has a sister who blogged too, could you remind me of her blog name? You are in my thoughts; I think of you with love and hope for the perfect retirement.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Linda’s sister still using the same log on the road. Linda’s dog is still at the pound and may be placed, we’re not sure. Linda‘s passing was indeed a shock, she will be missed by many.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. John, I’m here via Osyth’s blog and try to get rid of my tears so that I see what I’m typing….
    You seem to have found and lost a wonderful, special, cheerful and warm-hearted friend and as these losses go, they will be with us a very long time. Friends like this LInda will never be forgotten – and I find that people with dogs are (in my long experience) good poeple. If her dog Stewie stayed with her even two days after her death, he (she?) should be found a new female owner for the last stretch of his/her stay – I wish you and your fellow-mourners much strength, courage to continue without Linda and to Stewie a good new home.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Kiki. We all have to go through things like this in our lives, and it’s good to hear from others with caring and support.

      Like

  11. John, I too am here through Osyth’s blog, but I also followed Linda, although I knew her only as Pan. So very sad. She was obviously a lovely lady, and I think many of us can relate to her desire to live off the grid. May she find perfect peace, and may Stewie catch up with her at the next stop.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Your tribute to Linda is the best one I have ever read. I came across it via Kerry’s blog. It had me in tears even though I didn’t know Linda nor you! It seems she was lucky to have such a good friend and I’m so sorry for your loss.

    Liked by 1 person

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