Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Final gifts from Linda

Yesterday was really hard. Linda was asleep and unresponsive most of the day. Her brother Raymond had arrived from Arizona. It took him 30 hours to get here. His car broke down in Los Angeles, and he had to stay in a run down motel, on the wrong side of town, until his car could be fixed the next day. Her brother finally makes it her safely, and Linda is so out of it that she does not recognize him. Raymond and I and Linda's parents sat in the room for hours, hoping she would wake up. Around 7:30 p.m. Linda's brother and father left for the evening.

I kept thinking for hours that Linda would be out of it like this until we lose her. The Hospice people told us that this day would come. I just wasnt prepared, eventhough we had been told. Later that evening her sisters, Anna and Lisa returned. They were in the room along with me and Linda's mother. All of us were down because we realized that we may not get another chance to tell Linda that we love her, or see her smile again.

About an hour later we all drifted to different parts of the house. I was in the kitchen on the computer. I was reading the comments posted from the first time that I blogged. I started crying because I could feel the love pour through the monitor. My Beautiful Linda touched so many lives through her blog. I guess that is why she insisted on me learning how to blog. From day one of dating Linda, all through our marriage, and even now my wife is teaching me, in her gentle and patient way. Linda's mother went back into the room for something. I could hear Linda moaning. I went to the bedroom and saw that she looked awake. I stood next to her and told her that I was on the computer reading the comments about her blog. A big smile appeared and she said, "See baby, I told you." I started crying and kissing her forhead, cheeks and mouth. I ran to the living room and told her sisters that she was awake. We all ran to the bedroom and spent the next 20 minutes or so laughing and telling her that we loved her, her doing the same. We then let her go back to sleep.

I know we do not have as much time left with Linda as we would like. But I am grateful for these final gifts from my Linda.


M. Tietgens said...

Sebastian, Reanna, and family ...

There are no words to express my sadness. Every day and every evening, I sign onto this blog to keep up with Linda's last moments of her Journey. I hope and pray that she goes peacefully into her next place, but I know that the hearts she leaves behind will never be the same.

In "First Fig," Edna Saint Vincent Millay writes:

My candle burns at both ends
It will not last the night.
But, oh, my foes and, ah, my friends,
It gives a lovely light.

Linda's flame is beginning to flicker, but it will burst into full flame again and continue to shine in the hearts of everyone who ever loved her.

Love, Marilyn and Family

Anonymous said...

Sebastian, you’re doing a great job with this blog, please keep us posted. I think about Linda all day long, and I think she is lucky to have you and the rest of her family around her. Linda is a wonderful person, she touched my heart, and she thought me a thing or two about life as well. My family and I love her very much, we are praying for her. Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you.
Ruby Corona

Patrice said...

Sebastian, that was a beautiful blog definately make Linda proud....always.
Linda is beautiful inside & out, and so special to so many.
May you all draw strength from the love you share.
Love & Prayers,

Anonymous said...

Sebastian, Linda and family,
As I said in my previous comment I have never met Linda but since the passing of my friend Rachel I have began to follow Linda's amazing journey. Although I have not physically met Linda, I truly feel that I know her. I continue to pray for everyone during this time. I was beginning to get worried checking the posts 10 times per day. I know the first thing on your mind is not to update this blog but it is greatly appreciated. I will continuously pray for you, Linda and your family. May God give Linda the relief she deserves and give you and your family the strength and guidance to cope. I know it is hard to watch a loved one suffer so much and there is not a damn thing you can do about it. But you are doing more than you could ever know Sebastian. Be strong and continue to pray. Please kiss Linda from all of us following this story.
Lynette Carpenter,
Las Vegas

Anonymous said...

Dear Sebastian,
Thank you so much for sharing your story of Linda's gifts with all of us. She truly is a remarkable woman and one who has made an impact on so many lives, some of whom you're just beginning to learn about.
Know that you are all giving Linda the gift of your love and comfort as you help her through this journey. There is no greater gift you could give to her. You may not think she is aware when you are there but she is, so tell her everything you want her to hear because she is indeed hearing it. Of all the things Linda & I talked of your love for her was one of the things she treasured most.
You all continue to be constantly in my thoughts and prayers.

Kathie Bachman
Daughter of a Melanoma Angel

Miss Melanoma said...

Thank you so much for sharing such a beautiful post with us. Rest assured that Linda did touch us all and that can never be taken away, even when she is gone. I pray for Linda and you and your family to have peace during this time- I know that this has to be so hard on your but you are in all of our prayers. I hope that you find some peace in knowing how many people's lives have been touched by you both.


Linda Applebaum said...

Thank you so much for the beautiful blog and I am so happy that you each got the the gift from her that she was able to give you. I know how very much she loves each of you and how important each of you are to her. Please keep this blog updated as you can and know you all are in our hearts..
Love The Applebaums

Trish said...

Sebastian and the gathering crew---

These last few days are special. You can see her decline, but still see the life in her now and again. Keep writing down the things that happen (we may be selfish in asking, but sharing here is wonderful too). Things to remember, things that make you laugh, cry---all the things you will want to remember years from now. You'll forget some of them, but reading them again, will remind you although this is a tough time, it is special.

It sounds like it won't be too long before Linda's last goodbye.

Stock up on Kleenex and know you are all loved.

Nyraen said...

Thank you so much, Sebastian, for keeping us posted. I have been checking Linda's blog so many times, every day, worrying. Ever since Rachel's Rick posted a link to Linda's blog I've been following her journey as well. If you can, please tell Linda that she has touched the lives of so many people she has never met! I pray that you will all be strong enough to support each other in the days, weeks and months to come. And I am sure you will make every remaining moment count.

With love and admiration


Troy said...

Sebastian and Co.,

I worked with Linda at Fujifilm a few years back. I've been following your blog for a few weeks and want to express my heartfelt sympathy.

I really appreciated working with Linda. Besides being a friendly person, she was always a straight shooter--she never played any games! She always spoke fondly of you and her family and I sensed that you guys had a great relationship.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your journey with us. I have been following Linda's story for quite some time now. My husband, David is battling melanoma. The beast is terrible, but Linda fought it valiantly for as long as she could. I continue to pray for her and all of her loved ones. May you find peace in knowing how much she loves you.
Godspeed, Linda...
Tara (MPIP)

Robin Strumlauf said...

Sabastian - You posted a wonderful blog and I'm so glad Linda taught you how! As always, my eyes are filled with tears as I read this blog. Time can be oh so short. Good bless and continued prayers and love to you, Linda and your family. God bless all those that are able to be there with you.

Marlene Montoya said...

Thank you Sebastian for keeping us updated. Linda has touched many lives in tremendous ways. I cant stop thinking of her. I am very fortunate to have met her. My blessings and prayers go out to Linda, Reanna , Sebastian and family.

Maribel said...

Thank you for keeping us posted. I had a chance to visit with Linda a couple of weeks back and I'm ever so grateful to spend time with her, even if it was a short visit. I will be thinking of you, Reanna and of course, Linda. If there is anything you need please do not hesitate to ask. My number is on Linda's phone.


Anonymous said...

I met Linda on the Bare Escentuals forum and she has always been a lovely friend to me. I know it may be hard for those who don't participate in online communities to understand, but there are some people you just click with, some people who have a beauty and light about them, a tangible positive energy and Linda is one of those people. She said some very kind things to me during a difficult time in my life and I have always appreciated that. She has always been one to show kindness and grace to others and I hope that by knowing her I am able to make the lives of others a little brighter as well. My best to all of you.

Catherine said...

All I can offer is my prayers and gratitude to you and Linda for sharing your story. The name Linda means 'beautiful' and that is what I think of when I think of the sheer grace, courage, and love she has had and continues to have in this journey.

My heart goes out to you both and to all of your family. It's not fair for her to have to suffer, and I am truly sorry and I wish for her pain to be eased.

alisa said...

Love and tears from strangers all over the world!

Nancy K said...

I've been checking every few hours for an update. Thank you Sebastian for posting. She is the most lovely person and had touched many of us. I've told her many times how much I am thankful to know her.
Blessings to you all

Anonymous said...

Sebastian, this journey is so unfair to all of you. I am so sorry that you are going through it! The ladies at the Bare Escentuals Addicts forum are praying for Linda and your family. We all have special memories of "cali_gal" and I was so happy to see her at the NOLA event just last April. I wish I had hugged her just a little bit harder and longer!! Keep us updated - we're all there with you in spirit.


Anonymous said...

Your blog post recounting the gifts that Linda shared with you, made my heart swell and my eyes fill with tears. I pray that each of you feel the love and prayers surrounding you and that this will help you in the days, weeks and months ahead. God Bless you all! *Hugs* Joeli

WendeeB said...

Thank you so much for continuing to keep the updates and for sharing this touching entry. What a blessing that you were all there for her clarity period. I wish you peace and the ability to be there for your daughter.

TEAM HOGAN said...


I read your blog and all I can say to you is that I know exactly how you feel at this very moment. There is no 'handbook' on watching your husband/wife slowly slip away.

The only comfort I can give to you at this moment is that cancer does have one TINY silver lining in that you get to have that chance to be there for your spouse and that your relationship can end beautifully.

I say that because I have met a lot of widows on-line who lost their spouse instantly, without least you and Linda can have that eye contact, hand-holding....its so important.

I wish peace and comfort for Linda and I swear to you, we will find a cure for melanoma!

Anna Hogan
Mission Viejo, CA

Anonymous said...

My prayers go out to you all, Sabastian please tell Linda I send her my love and I have been praying for all of you. Linda was always a wonderful friend to me like a sister and she touched everyone she came in contact with. I will hold my memories of her close to my heart. love Aleen

Anonymous said...


Petra said...

I am saddened to read about Linda. Her blog brought me much comfort when I was first diagnosed with melanoma a year ago. I am praying for you and your family during this difficult time. Peace and love be with you.

emiliano diaz said...

hey bastian its me emiliano i think its so great that you're continuing linda's blog, like i was telling you the other day i feel so happy knowing that linda had you in her life all this time because i know she deserved to be constantly in the presence of love and happieness. i know we havent been the closest but i cherish geting to know you and all the time we've all spent together i know that linda's in the best of hands, take care cuzzin....

Joanne Pan said...

Linda wrote something in my baby shower book of "advice" that always stuck with me. Instead of "it's okay to let the baby cry for a few minutes" or, "rub brandy on the gums for teething" or even "make sure she sleeps in her own bed" Linda's was this and I do quote "you can never spoil your baby too much, hold her as much as you want, because one day she will be all grown up". Those words stuck with me and gave me such a strong justification for holding my baby all through the night, for picking her up the moment she cried and for spoiling her rotten! Thank you Linda. That was the best advice I was given that day. THE BEST!

christina said...

Thank you Sabastian,for letting us know how Linda is doing.I'm sure she is very proud of you learning how to blog,and in many other ways.It is amazing how one person can touch so many lives,and Linda is one of those people,who even if you knew her just a little,you can't help but love her.I pray that you get many more moments like the one you had the other day.Even if it's just to see her smile.

Rick Possert Jr. said...

To Sebastian, Reanna, and all those who have been loved or at least blessed to be touched by Linda; I struggle to write words as it pains me so much to know that you are going through what I went through so very recently. To offer advice as to how to handle this or how to grieve during it all is something that I cannot do. I cannot do it because we all have different ways to handle our emotions. What I can do is tell you how much your angel of a wife and mother touched me during one of the hardest points in my life. I believe you will see in the coming days, weeks, months, and years how many people were touched by her. It will at first maybe seem overwhelming, and it isn't something that offers instant consolation, but what it does give you is the fact that you, like me, were blessed with one of the greatest gifts anyone can have; most people in the world don't ever have a Linda or a Rachel in their lives, and most never will. We have all truly been blessed to have been touched by them. I have been praying for you all and especially her for quite some time now; that is not going to end for some time. You all are an inspiration to me; and she is as well. May God grant her and all of you peace and comfort; may he ease your pain. With love and great sorrow,