Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Living with Love, remembering Linda Gaume Jaramillo

When I started writing this blog a little more than a year ago, I had a vague idea that I would write about being an artist and share some of my artwork online.  But blogs, like life, somehow diverge from the best laid plans.  In the creative process of blogging, I learned to take some fairly decent photographs, to examine family life, to think more introspectively, to document travels, and to share some of my personal interests, obsessions, and dislikes.  

A few of the posts have been very personal family events and today I am going to honor my husband's sister, Linda Gaume Jaramillo who unexpectedly died shortly before Christmas.  If you did not know Linda, you will probably want to go on to the next blog in your reading list. 


Linda Gaume Jaramillo
How will we remember Linda?

Some of us will remember her as the younger sister, so beautiful when as a young woman we didn’t quite trust our buddies around her.  

Some of us will remember the older sister who made us doll clothes and taught us the secrets of being feminine. 

Linda and Zach as a baby
Linda and Kyle

Linda in center with Clara and Kyle

Some of us will remember the stories she read to us as children, her arms around us when we were scared or sad, the magical Christmases she created, and the homework she supervised.  

 Some of us will remember her creativity, the quilts she stitched, the jewelry she made and sold to help support her young family and the lovely homes she designed. 

 Some of us will remember the classes that she created to help us in our careers.  

 Some of us will never know her name, but remember the kind woman with dark hair who chatted with us in line at the grocery store, or seated next to us on the plane, helped us sooth a fussy child,  for Linda never knew a stranger. 

Some of us will remember her brilliant mind that was always searching for better ways to do things.

Some of us will remember a mentor who listened and encouraged us in the difficult job of caring for young children as counselors at Camp Stoney.   

Some of us remember her as a step mom who loved us, guided us, and celebrated our birthdays as though we were born to her. 
A pack of cousins in their youth
A pack of cousins... grown older.

Some of us will remember the wicked practical jokes she talked us into helping with at family reunions.   
Linda and Harper
Linda reading to Olivia

Some of us will remember the grandmother who spoiled us despite our parent’s protests.  

Some of us will remember the new daughter-in-law, sister-in-law, aunt, and cousin with too many chickens and too many dogs, Jose brought into our lives to love us for too short a time.   

Some of us remember her as the wife who brought both joy and loss to our lives.

Some of us will remember the friend who would always listen.  Some of us remember her epic battles to overcome the darkness and despair caused by the chemical imbalances of her bi-polar disease.  Some of us will remember her courage in choosing to fight her cancer against overwhelming odds for the love of her husband, children and extended family.   

Olivia and Eliza will only remember her from photos and the stories we will tell them of their grandmother and great-aunt.  They were born just months before Linda left this world.
2012 Family Reunion
 Most of us will remember her for all of these things.

Richard Rohr, a Franciscan priest, in his recent daily meditations said,

Jesus commanded us to love; so we know love is not just a feeling, since we cannot command feelings. Love is mostly a decision.

Jesus did not say:
When you get healed, love;
When you grow up, love;
When you feel loving, love;
When you get it together and have dealt with all your mother/father/husband/children wounds, then you must love.
No, the commandment for all of us is to LOVE now, and thus fill the tragic gaps of every moment.

Most of us, if we met Jesus today, might turn away in shame because we had failed to heed this commandment, but Linda would be able to look at him and smile.

I don’t know if Linda’s upbringing in a religious home taught her to take this commandment to love so seriously or if it was just an inborn gift, but I do know that when Linda’s intense blue eyes turned to regard you with interest, you were well and truly loved.  

 So I know that all of her friends, co-workers and family will remember one thing about Linda.   She loved intensely, passionately, and joyfully.  


Just as her chickens flocked to her when she called….girrrlls, we all flocked to the warmth of her love.  

 All of us carry a spark of that love within us.  How we nurture and use that love will be Linda’s enduring legacy.  She was the heart of our family, and for us to go on with our lives, we must take her example seriously and love as intensely, passionately and joyfully as she did.  Linda accomplished many important things in her career and in her life, but the greatest of these was love.


  1. I am playing in a golf tournament on 9/30 in her honor and I thank you for the page and the opportunity to get to know her a little.

  2. Thank you for sharing. I will always remember Linda.

  3. Fond memories of Camp Stoney, jokes like "What's in the box?"


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