I've been blessed to have a few friends like that, but today, today this world lost one of the most amazing friends.
Linda Nasuta and I met online, and we became fast friends. She and I hung out in Ohio, where she used to live, and we had a blast, talking and laughing and spending the day at the Colombus Zoo. We had so much fun, and before I left Ohio, we met for lunch, and I stopped over at her house.
I confided in Linda, way back then, about the problems in my marriage, and about so many other things. She advised, supported, commiserated. She was, as I mentioned, amazing. Truly.
We got to chat at GRL 2013, and again when Linda and her sister, Mary, came to San Antonio. We toured one of the missions, then had a nice meal before Linda was on the road.
Linda loved to travel. She loved her Springer pups. She loved reading, and tossing story ideas back and forth, supporting women and equality, supporting writers and, god, I can't encapsulate all that she was in this post. I can't expand upon all the parts of her that made her such a treasure.
I love her.
Linda told me in late December that she'd been diagnosed with a brain tumor. Surgery to remove the tumor was successful, but the tumor was malignant and there was more bad news. Despite that, we talked, we laughed, and she was determined to fight.
For my birthday, she sent me this huge gift basket, and a helium balloon was attached to it.
That balloon is still full and floating up to the ceiling. I'd tell Linda about the balloon and send her pics. She told me it was her 'spirit balloon'.
This morning, I sent her a text, and was going to give her another balloon update once she replied.
But she didn't reply.
Instead, her sister called me and told me Linda passed away this morning. Her heart gave out. Physically, yes, but I know that Linda's heart, the glorious, loving part of her that touched so very many people, never gave up.
Many people are mourning her passing. No one's pain is lesser; it hurts so bad to lose someone.
And Linda helped so many people-- authors, friends, family-- and she was fierce in her beliefs, and she was so intelligent, and witty, and oh, y'all. I can't believe she's gone, but I'll carry a part of her with me. She and I discussed a book and plot, something not in the genre I've been writing in, and when I get that book done, it'll be because Linda believed that I could do it.
Hug your loved ones. Tell those you love, that they are loved.