Linda Joiner White 1950 – 2014

There are no flowers allowed in the Oncology Wing!!!
There are no flowers allowed in the Oncology Wing!!!

Mom and ovarian cancer officially signed a truce last night after cancer realized that it would never be able to take away her strength, tenacity, spirit, nor will to fight. The terms of the truce were one mortal coil in exchange for eternal life. It was a deal definitely favoring mom.

While it was a long, hard two years, it was also a time for which we can be grateful. Mom was able to grow friendships, dote on her beloved grandchildren, visit loved ones in Ohio, come to Oregon for Thanksgiving, feel the support of her massive community of “Prayer Warriors” from around the world, and love her dear husband (and fiercest advocate) DR more each passing day. Illness can bring us closer if we let it and mom’s unwavering spirit throughout was both an inspiration and a rallying cry for us. As well, the family is now, thankfully, free of regular visits to fucking medical facilities. Yes, swearing is sometimes warranted.

There are two “good” ways to die: suddenly, quietly, and peacefully in one’s sleep or quietly, peacefully, and painlessly encircled by loved ones. Mom got the latter after a few days in hospice surrounded by an ongoing party with 20+ visitors, food, music, laughter, and tears. Last night DR, her sons, and her minister helped her say goodbye to this world and move on to her next big adventure. Our working definition for Quality of Life was Dignity and Comfort and mom had a lot of both.

She requested that anyone who wants to honor her memory with a gift, flowers, etc. to rather donate to Community Hospice of NE Florida. They definitely are worth it. Thanks hospice!

Now mom can see her parents, her sister whom she lost over 30 years ago, family, and her friends, all of whom came together to prepare a place for her. I’m sure they’re having one hell of a party (hmm, maybe ‘heck’ is more appropriate in this case) right now. Once the excitement dies down, she can get back to her favorite activity: watching over her family.

What’s left for us now is to remember a life of love and compassion, to feel our own sadness while also remembering that, like any person of faith, this is the goal for which she’s been striving all her life. I feel she would want us all to hug one another a little tighter and to remember a life of love rather than lament losing her. She had little tolerance for sadness, especially when it comes to loved ones.

I’ve never doubted that I was worthy of being loved and that I could do whatever I set my mind to; mom is the bedrock of that belief and I cannot think of a greater gift any person can give another. Whenever mom said goodbye to me or Michael, she would say, “I love you like a rock” (based on the Paul Simon song)… a special reminder for “her boys” that no one loved us like mom and no one ever will again.

If we want her memory to live on, we simply need to remind our loved ones that they are eternally lovable. In this vein, I am struck by the number of people who call mom one of their best friends, who comment on her unwavering optimism, and who have felt the warmth of her love.

I think often of Horatio’s parting words to Hamlet and they, paraphrased, seem appropriate for mom’s passing

Now cracks a noble heart.

Good night sweet mom,

And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.


13 Replies to “Linda Joiner White 1950 – 2014”

  1. Steve,

    I loved your mom. She was, as you have said, one of my forever friends. We have lost such an angel. Hugs to you and to Michael.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you boys and DR.

    Gayle Childress

  2. Linda was one of the most bubbly persons I have ever known. We had so many wonderful times. Some sad times. But always the best friend a person could have. I loved her dearly. She will be missed…God has called her home.
    Love to all of you.

  3. Steven

    Thank you for sharing with others one of the most profound experiences of your life — and your mom’s as well. I am sure having her boys close by made all the difference in this world and in lifetimes to come for her — and for you…. .A friend posted this tonight and it kind of reminded me about the preciousness of human life and the walk we all take together someday to the world beyond. Sending light and love… Karen

    On Wed, Feb 26, 2014 at 2:45 PM, Steven Joiner

  4. Steven, it was wonderful meeting you today. You, Michael, DR, and the family meant everything to her. She often read me passages from your blog and glowed with pride when she spoke of you and your brother. Yet again, you did not let your mother down. She would have been reading this with pride that her amazing son wrote it with such eloquence and passion. She often said “I’m not afraid to die, I’m just not ready to say goodbye yet.”

    Your mother was an amazing woman who restored my faith in humans. She always saw the brighter side of every situation and people. She made every person she came in contact with feel like they had a special bond with her. She was one of a kind, an angel among us.

    She will never be forgotten and will always live in our hearts. Much love and deepest sympathy to you and your family. She is dearly missed.

  5. this is Rink Tillett at the towers for 9 years, I’m a 21 year breast cancer survivor, so many residents and visitors loved Linda, she was the most caring lady to all of us, and so courageous, she was special to me, we always talked, you will now rest in peace lady and no pain, God be with you, will miss you

  6. Dear Steven,

    Thank you for your wonderful Tribute to your Mother. We were life-long friends and our grandfathers were best friends. It has been many years, but I am sure I met you and Michael on Hearn Drive in Madison Ohio. Your Mom and I spent many of summers on Lake Erie growing up.

    I am deeply sadden by her death, but I know she was welcomed into her eternal home of rest and is visiting with her loved ones in heaven.

    May God give you His peace and comfort now and always. I will keep you and your families in my thoughts and prayers. God Bless

    Paula Gluck

    1. A song from 1929 – “Why Was I Born?” – ‘Why am I living’ – I think most of us have figured the answer the first one, but the second one needs a reply from the spirit. The answer is to have Linda in your life. Levels of kindness, care, devotion, love and acceptance, these were meaningless. One must also realize what a gift has been given. She is to be cherished – for DR, Steven, and Michael.

  7. Steve: I’m so sorry to hear about your Mom but like you said, to a better life. I’m sure she was welcomed with loving, open arms by many. Allow yourself to grieve, and know you are “virtually” hugged by so many.

  8. Life will never be the same and as the pain subsides, the love continues to grow. My mom will always be my hero and role model. Clearly you are similarly blessed. Best to you and your family…see you when you get back.

  9. on betsy’s message all her qualities were without measure. never meaningless. under all circumstances she was unfailing gracious to all.

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