I just found out that a very dear friend of the family, Lyn Duggan, died of a heart attack. Lyn was like a young grandmother to me, and her husband Phil is like a young grandfather. Perhaps more importantly, she was also like a mother or older sister to my mother and her sister, whose own mother died 27 years ago.
Lyn and Phil (pronounced "LynAndPhil," they were so inseparable) never had kids and traveled everywhere around the world. They'd go from safari to cruise to Paris. They were so unassuming, so fun-loving and so much in love. Poor Phil...she truly was half of him.
One of my favorite Lyn and Phil moments was at Eve's engagement party. For those of you that don't know, my sister is four years younger than me and waited as long as she could to get married, but eventually had to plan her wedding because mine ain't happening any time soon. Of course, people always worry how the older sister will take it, and I was most nervous about how people would react to that worry (if that makes any sense). Lyn and Phil give me a pair of beautiful Tiffany earrings as soon as they saw me at the party, telling me they got them for me because they knew how pretty they would look on me. It was so kind, and such a loving gesture.
The last time I saw Lyn was on Christmas. Lyn and Phil brought their three Boston terriers to the gathering at my Aunt Helen's house. Eve and I were doing the "Dance Dance Nation" game on cousin Lewis's Nintendo, and Eve inadvertantly planted a foot in one of the dogs' faces while trying to execute a back kick. He went yipping to Lyn, who understood Eve had meant no harm, but merely possessed the family grace that you have seen coming from me.
I guess I should write how they became like family. My grandparents died young. I had a great Aunt Ruth and Uncle Bernard who lived in New York City. Lyn and Phil lived across the hall from them. My aunt and uncle passed on about ten years ago, but Lyn and Phil stayed close to us. They had no children, and we had lost a lot of our family very young. It was a perfect match.
Lyn was an amazing person. God, I'm going to miss her. I can't even imagine what Phil is going through. My mother said he is too broken up to even talk about it. I may go to New York this weekend if I will be able to help. My family will talk tonight to decide.