Such Sad News


Brenda Diener

I began yesterday morning just like I do every morning by reaching for my PC and connecting with everyone I know via email, Skype, and my blog comments.  It’s typically something that I most look forward to during the day.  As I scanned down the list of new messages, my eyes quickly filtering out the junk and spam, I saw an email from a friend with the subject that simply read “Brenda.”  Before I even opened the email my blood ran cold and the hair stood up on my arms.

Brenda passed away a couple days ago.  I’m shaken by this news and I’m deeply saddened by her loss.

When Ray and I first moved to Los Angeles over 15 years ago it was Brenda and her business partner Jennifer that gave me a chance at a new career.  I was woefully unqualified to take on the position of Software Consultant in their company, but Brenda and Jennifer saw something in me and took a chance.  It was a big chance as their company, TMC,  was young and growing and hiring a new person was a big investment.

Over the years Brenda and I became friends outside of TMC.  I will never forget Brenda’s kindness and generosity when Ray died.  Within days she, Jennifer, and several of the folks from TMC were at my house, bringing enough food to feed an army, and trying desperately to take my mind somewhere else for a short period.  The gesture moved me deeply.

I am sharing this news here, on my travel blog, because Brenda and I shared a wanderlust for travel.   We’d often chat about places we’d been and dream of new places.  We compared notes and many times would call the other before booking a new trip:  “Hey, have you ever been to…….?”  I didn’t make my final decision about taking this trip that I am currently on until I ran the idea past Brenda at lunch just a few weeks before I left.  I KNEW what her answer would be, that’s why I was asking…I needed all the encouragement I could get.

Little did I know at that lunch she was gravely ill, and she knew she was.  How can any human carry on knowing something like that and being genuinely happy about my new adventure.  It takes class and style to pull something like that off.  My friend Brenda had both. 

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12 thoughts on “Such Sad News

  1. So sorry for the loss. She must have been a very great person, and friend. How very thoughtful of her to give you the “gift” of that last lunch together, to give you, and herself such a wonderful, ” joy full ” memory.

  2. Hey Randy,

    What a nice post! The news is so sad and shocking. One can never be prepared for such a loss. Thanks for sharing your memories and the beautiful picture of her. She was an amazing woman. You are in one of her favorite places. I am certain she’s cheering you on from wherever she is now.

  3. Randy,

    How sad for Brenda’s family and all of her friends. Thank you for sharing this tribute with us.

    Ann and Mike

  4. She looks so wonderful and vibrant in that photo. My sympathies, Randy. It is so tough to lose the good people from our life.

  5. randy so sorry to hear about your friend,in the pic she looked so young.what was wrong with her,again so sorry………..love wanda

  6. Randy, what a beautiful post! I was very shocked and saddened to hear this last night. What an incredible person to be able to have lunch with you and never mention her struggle! I’m sure she is saying hello to Ray as we speak.

  7. Randy, Rebecca and I were shocked to hear as well. WE have been in the channel for same amount of time and sometimes we forget to stop and enjoy the day. New like this sure makes you want to pause your life and enjoy it. Glad you are traveling and making it happen for yourself.

    • Linda,
      So nice to have you along. Brenda’s passing was such a shock and surprise to me. Over the past year I’ve lost too many people that were far to young. It has changed the way I view the world.

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