“You’re not asking half the questions you came here to ask me.”
“Fine, are you scared to die?”
My cheeks were hot and I was terrified as the words slowly dribbled out of my mouth. She always encouraged me to ask the harder questions. But my reward was always getting the best answers:
“I’m not afraid of dying because I believe in God. I believe in Heaven. I know where I’m going and I’m going to be OKAY there, and that’s the saving grace for me.”
I have never met anyone so brave.
Exactly a year ago, I skipped class so I could sit nervously on Lindor Reynolds’ living room couch and listen to her dog bark in the background.
Over a cup of coffee, I interviewed the Winnipeg reporter about faith, life and dying for a book I published earlier this year. Afterwards, we nattered on about the newsroom. She reminisced about her journalistic career and I confided in her about my hopes and fears regarding the field.
In March, Lindor also spoke at my book launch and told a crowd of people it was faith that helped her deal with cancer.
As a kid, I remember sitting at my desk at school and reading her columns in the Winnipeg Free Press. Her byline was the only one I could actually remember. But it was also the words she would string together that stuck.
I knew I wanted to write like her.
By the end of our interview, I realized Lindor wasn’t just a childhood hero, she had turned into a friend.
I first met Lindor at the Winnipeg Free Press in December of 2012. When she came over to introduce herself, I felt like I’d been smacked in the head like a pinata at a childhood birthday party. My nerves were jumbling around so much, they were about to spill onto the newsroom floor.
Throughout my internship at the Free Press, I would put my stories on hold and text my friends to let them know my cubicle was next to Lindor Reynolds’ cubicle.
She was an icon in Winnipeg and around the world.
Whenever I turned around, she’d be there banging out stories on her keyboard or setting up interviews on the phone.
During my second internship, she stopped coming. As summer moved along, the chair inside her cubicle was always empty, the sound of her fingers pressing against the keyboard was silenced and her phone suddenly stopped ringing.
It was an email written by the Winnipeg Free Press editor, that revealed to the entire newsroom, my childhood hero had been diagnosed with brain cancer.
Lindor Reynolds passed away on Oct. 16, 2014, about 15 months later.
Yes, brain tumors are dismal.
Cancer is devastating.
And death is confusing.
But I bet gold looks stunning on you (Revelation 21:18).
Over the years you were loved and adored by many but nothing will compare to the love you are receiving in His eternal kingdom at this single moment.
Thank you for the snacks and comic relief.
Thank you for the dry, sarcastic remarks on my Facebook wall and encouraging comments in my inbox.
But most importantly, thank you for constantly reminding me I can’t do this job without my heart.
It was an honour having you as a mentor.
It was an even greater privilege knowing you as a friend.
My heart goes out to your family and all those who knew you.
Lindor, you can sleep soundly now. There are no more scary monsters to fight.
“There are a lot of moments where I have to pull up my big girl pants and say ‘you can do this’. Faith is what’s keeping me alive.”-Lindor Reynolds