Dear Superwoman, We Miss You
I tell myself often that no one is irreplaceable, but that's me talking about me... not me talking about you. The reality is that life is not the same without you. Yes, we all have managed to figure out how to get out of bed every morning, but from that point on it's a real crapshoot.
I'm sorry that I didn't tell you how often you saved the day while you were here. To my defense (poor as it may be), it happened so frequently that it would have been like remembering to thank my lungs for breathing or the #littlefrenchiesmurfs for making a mess of the toilet seat. It was simply planned into the day: Reminder - Linda saves your bacon at 10:00AM (recurring daily).
I'm also sorry that we have come to France without you. I like to console myself with this one too, imagining you just over the next hill on our long walks through the vineyards, but my heart dips at every rise with no you on the horizon. I know you loved being with Marisa here and I'm sure it makes you smile to see her so happy, but know we'd give up all the baguettes in this land just for 300 seconds of your time.
Lastly, I'm sorry this was the last picture that we took together (Halloween 2013, just to be clear). I'm having a blast, but your half-forced smile can't hide the fact that you're second guessing whether you shouldn't have tried harder to convince Marisa to look for someone more... polished in a partner, like a thoracic surgeon, patent attorney, or anyone other than the grinning goof in a speedo standing next to you.
I'll close with your obituary, only because I feel like you helped me write it at a ridiculous hour on a freezing fall morning two years ago when no words could possibly sum you up, but something had to be said to help your loved ones cope with you being gone.
Thanks for still being part of our lives Superwoman. We can't see you... but that's unfortunately how it goes with superheroes.
1949 - 2013
It is rare in life to know a soul as caring as Linda Olson. Born January 17, 1949 to Isamu and Kyoko Tanabe in Salt Lake City, Utah, Linda was raised knowing how to serve. She spent her childhood working side-by-side with her parents and brother, Paul, in their family diner, The Lunchbox Cafe. In 1970, after a courtship consisting of one Simon and Garfunkel concert and a few Sunday roasts, she married her eternal companion, Wesley Olson, on May 1 in Eatontown, New Jersey. They were then sealed in the Salt Lake Temple on March 15, 1971. Wes and Linda became the parents to five beautiful children and eleven grandchildren.
Anyone who spent more than two minutes with Linda knows she lived to make her children and grandchildren happy. The relationships she lovingly tailored between them will forever be her greatest legacy. For the past few years, much of Linda's time was devoted to the care of her aunt, Grace Kasai. She relished spending time with lifelong friends Lynn Murray and Jackie Taylor. She loved her adopted kids: Shey (Brett) Christiansen, Kayo (Tyler) Nilsson and grandkids Bailey and Alieta.
Linda worked for many years at Automated Business Products. She loved her ABP family and could always be counted on for donuts, voodoo cold remedies, and the occasional shock treatment. She was a convert to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and spent years serving alongside her dear friend, Pat Christensen, in everything from Relief Society to the nursery. They walked and talked through life together and, as tragic as it seems, it's comforting to know that Linda's last moments were spent in a pair of tennis shoes walking next to Pat.
While we will never understand the physics behind it, Linda managed to spend all her waking hours caring for every family member, friend, and colleague in her life. Those who met her instantly gained a mother, a sister, a best friend and confidant. She was a force of nature in the lives of those she loved, as tangible as gravity, as reliable as the sunrise. She was the guiding star for each of us and, while we take comfort in the knowledge of a joyful reunion one day, we'll struggle in the meantime figuring out what to make for Sunday dinners and who's in charge of the next holiday party.
Her twin daughters Jodi and Jill, her mother Kyoko and father Isamu preceded Linda in death. She is survived by her husband of 43 years Wes; her children Stephanie (Matt) Hamilton, Chris (Wendy) Olson, and Marisa (Dave) Smurthwaite; grandchildren Sierra, Paxton, Trevor, Tristan, Carter, Jordyn, Grayden, Noah, Sam, Oliver, and Eliot; her brother Paul, and many aunts, uncles and cousins.