My friend Lynda’s birthday

Today is my friend Lynda’s birthday. Last April we met her where she lived with her cat Valentino in the doorsill of an old abandoned church in Oak Cliff.

Today is also the day that they found her body. The coroner believes that she died about two weeks ago, which happens to be about the time that I last visited her in the apartment that we were able to get her into.

Between that first day and this, a young married couple, an elderly married couple and a church youth group took an active interest in her and brought her food, kitty liter, used pieces of furniture and a space heater to keep her warm.

One of the women came by to see her earlier this week and, not getting a response, left a note on her door wishing her a happy birthday. That note remained there until it was removed by the police when they broke in to find her.

Tonight we all feel a soft sad sinking in our hearts for this amazing woman we got to know and learn to love. An only child who never married or had children, had we not found her, her life and death in that empty church would have gone unnoticed.

But instead, as we go to bed tonight, there will be little memorial services for her in all of our hearts. And a homeless person who might otherwise have died in total obscurity will be mourned and missed. That’s something that she never would have imagined.

(Story from Stan Gilbert, Search and Rescue)