A few years back, I met this guy who was larger than life. Not physically -- though he's very tall -- but in personality.
I'll even say it out loud: Lynwood seemed, at first, kind of flashy to me. It wasn't just his wildly printed shirts or fashion dares, but also his penchant for grabbing life by the tail, seeing where it took him, and enjoying the ride.
Don't get me wrong. Lynwood was an excellent daddy to Shelby and Kylie, and showed more true, honest devotion to his commitments than most people do to their favorite TV shows. He just lived large. If Lynwood's hand was in it, it was grandiose, and all out, and full throttle.
In time, I came to realize that in spite of -- or maybe even because of -- what I initially considered to be his flashiness, Lynwood's depth went far beyond the seats in his Humvee and the road to the deer camp where he so loved to hunt. Lynwood's passion for life included play and work, and from the time I've known him, he succeeded at all of it.
One of the most fun things I got to do while living in Jackson was be a ticketholder to the love that blossomed between Lynwood and Hiller. She appreciated his spontanaeity, and he adored her sweet heart of gold. And best of all, they weren't afraid to tell each other that, much less show it. That's not as common as I once thought it would be, so I revered this trait as a rare gift I had the privilege to watch them give each other.
Hiller told me recently that Lynwood's motto has always been "Don't wait." It's not hard to look back on the small window of his large life that I've glimpsed into and see that very theory come into play. Whether he was talking houses or convincing us to get out of dodge for a trip to the Big Easy, Lynwood never waited.
Today, as I know where his body is, and the much better place where his soul is, I'm so grateful that this larger than life teddy bear of an entrepreneur didn't wait to get to know the short, geeky redhead with glasses. Not because it enhanced his life so much, but because his and Hiller's love and friendship have made such an indelible impression on my world. I have had the honor of working, playing, vacationing, laughing, crying, and sharing comfortable silence with these two beautiful souls, and I'm so grateful for that. They've even seen me at my messiest, and still came back for more. That is true love.
So Lynwood, thanks for living out your motto with me, too, and for not waiting to hang with a less cool kid, despite my initial (and wrong) thoughts about your crazy shirts. Truth is, I could learn some fashion tips from you, even now. Including the motto of not waiting, and of living and loving passionately, which will never go out of style.
Much love, my fun and colorful friend.
I will see you in Heaven, and I will ask for a dance. :-)