Do you see that beautiful smiling face in the yellow sweater? That is my dear friend Cindy who the world lost today after a valiant, hard-fought fight against breast cancer. How we are going to miss her.
This is a hard post — as I’m sure you can all imagine. I’m shook and sad and upset and frustrated and weepy and even in denial somewhat but none of that is really why this is so hard. This is hard because I want to be sure I tell you about Cindy in a joyous way that conveys who she was — who she still is I’m sure.
I’m not sure why Cindy and I got to be such good friends. I certainly wasn’t expecting to get a new friend when Glen and Scott got introduced. But I guess it was sort of natural that as the guys became bonded around music, the wives were going to get to know each other better too. And to my great fortune, the new band of guy friends Glen was making all came with wonderful wives and Cindy was the first one I met.
I liked her from the very beginning. You really couldn’t not like her when you got to know her. Cindy was kind and funny and thoughtful and supportive and so patient – really just beautiful inside and out. But a lot of people might not have got to know these things about Cindy because in her early 30s when she and Scott had only been married a few years and they had two very little girls, Cindy had a stroke while shopping at Nordstroms. Somehow, she survived but life for all of the Brovalds shifted that day for good. Cindy made it but it took her a long time to relearn how to walk and talk and all the other essential functions. But Cindy was a fighter and she didn’t let those obstacles take her down. She had trouble with her balance and her speech could be tough to understand sometimes but she was ALWAYS willing to go and could be funny as heck. And the best listener of anyone I know.
Cindy is my hero. I really can’t say that about anyone else but I got from Cindy gifts beyond measure. She was the most courageous person I’ve ever met. I loved her zest and desire to be part of life. She never complained and she had so many reasons that she should have. She could be quiet but she also had strong opinions on things at times and I like that in a person. She was my only friend that totally was dealing with the same crazy fiendishness about music in her husband that I deal with in mine. It can be all there is with them and Cindy knew how crazy that can be. We would lament about it over a tall glass of wine.
Cindy loved Scott and she loved to talk about her beautiful girls Nicole and Leah. She was so proud of their accomplishments. And she was gifted with a strong family that loved her and supported her in some incredibly unselfish ways. Her parents and sisters were her closest allies, strongest supporters, secret keepers and event planners. They helped keep Cindy in the world when staying home was easier, they would get her out in the middle of it — one of her favorite things.
And Scott. Who would Cindy have ever been without her good choice in a husband. He proved his love for Cindy everyday for more than 20 years in his untiring, unrelenting care-giving. I admire him beyond measure. I know that even with her disabilities Scott would have chose to go on in life with Cindy by his side rather then to go on without her. I love him for that.
I only actually got to know Cindy for the last three years but from the beginning it felt like we’d known each other much longer. It was my extraordinary good fortune to get to call her friend. I know we will meet up again and I’ve asked her to come visit me whenever she feels like a chat. But speaking for her close group of friends, oh how we are going to miss her. Oh how we will.
I know the common wish for departed friends is “Rest in Peace” but not this time. This time, my wish for Cindy is “Rest in Glee” my dear friend. In fact, no resting, you’ve done enough of that! Run! Dance! Kick your heels up! Sing! Shout! Laugh like crazy! It’s your turn sweetee. Thank you for being a wonderful friend.