In Memory of Lynnette Rogers

On Saturday evening,  October 6, 2012, a beloved friend, whom I meant in the second grade at Crestview Elementary while living in Boulder, Colorado, died from the ravages of cancer.  This link is well worth clicking on to read more about her life.

Read more about Lynnette.

I was able to jump on a plane and spend time with Lynnette and family two days before she died. That was a truly a phenomenal time.  In addition to being able to say goodbye, I walked into the celebration already occurring of Lynnette’s life.   I knew that Lynnette and  family had cut a broad and far-reaching swath of connections with people throughout the years.  Then to be able to visually see that during those last few days was indescribably wonderful.  And I know what I saw was just the tip of the iceberg.  The grand finale is yet to come during the weekend of November 10, 2012, with folks gathering for her memorial service.

Every day now I remember something different about our young lives in Boulder and throughout the years.  I have saved every letter she has written me.  She was so good at that, keeping in touch.  In 1978, Lynnette picked me up on her way back to College and we traveled to the Oregon coast.  My first time seeing the ocean and how special to share that with Lynnette. During my dark alcoholic days, she is the one that held onto me.  No judgement, she kept on loving me and was still there when I emerged.   Lynnette is someone I always thought would be there.  Daily I feel her absence, and I can still hear her laughter in my head.  And daily I think of her beautiful, cherished family as they take their  first steps without her.

I look at the young pictures of us and see how beautiful we were.  And yet, like so many girls during that time, we thought we were fat and not so attractive.  The Twiggy look was the order of the day still. I remember Lynnette wanted to bleach out the hair on her arms, and I thought her arms were just fine.  I always envied her thick black hair, the way her bangs grew out so nicely and she was able to tuck them ever so neatly behind her ear.   My bangs never cooperated and I finally cut them to get a Mary Travers look (Peter, Paul and Mary).  Her humor and jokes were classic.  She had the prettiest, dainty hands too.  My last visit to her on Friday afternoon, her right hand was out on the blanket, and I got to hold it one last time.  Such expressive, loving hands.

These pictures are from our infamous trip to the Broadmoor hotel the spring of 1976, before I departed for Idaho.   I remember we played as if we were elite, wealthy girls.  Aren’t we so glamorous!!    I know one of the fonder memories Lynnette and I have is when we went to the morning buffet and there were so many pastries.  We could not make up our minds on a single one, so we took one of each, and then a bite of each one to sample.  Then we created this large pile of pastry carnage.

A plate piled high of various pastry with one or two bites out of each.  Oh Lynnette and  loved our pastries.  I still remember the disapproving look on the face of the waitress when she came to ask if everything was okay.  We put on our best elegant (goofy) grins, “Yes, thank you.”  Then looking at each other with sheepish grins, trying to remain poised, yet nearly doubled over with laughter.

Growing up in Boulder during the late 60’s and 70’s was indeed a unique childhood.  I remember we traveled all over those mountains.  There was a YMCA camp up in Estes Park that a bunch of us girls went to one year.  Another time we took a Junior High field trip with science teacher Mr. Crowley to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison in early spring, complete with snow.  I believe we rode in the back of Gwen Boren’s camper truck. Those were the days without seat belts.  And one early morning we crammed into Mr. Crowley’s convertible and drove around the rim of the canyon.
I cherish the visit I had early last summer, 2011.  One of my favorite memories was sitting in the grand family living room,  her husband Dan, started a fire for us, and we just sat there and talked and talked.   My other favorite moment was when we were painting our plates at the ceramic place downtown.  Not really feeling the artistic flow, we just slapped on that paint.  Nothing fancy or museum worthy was taking place that day.  Then off to the bakery for our beloved sweet fix.  Lynnette mailed that plate to me so we could have a good memory to share.

In the last month of Lynnette’s life I experienced many dreams about her.  They are wonderful because we are young, sitting around talking, being goofy and laughing hard.  Those are treasured memories.  Life was kinda of rough at times in ye ole land of Boulder, full of the normal bouts of teenage angst.   But the friendship of Lynnette, her mom, Hope, and sparkly sister Lisa, are incredible bright spots that I will cherish forever.

And that gift of vibrant life Lynnette wove continued to carry forward to all of us as her incredible husband, Dan,  and children Nate, Tucker, Maddie, embraced us into their home.  Love you all so very much!

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