Skip to content
empire wedding dress

Linda Givens was like an older sister to me when we were in seminary, protective, demanding, supportive, tormenting, loving. She was one of the first people who made me face my imposter syndrome head-on. When I told her I was terrified during presentations in our doctoral seminars, she told me that to the contrary, when I presented I looked like I thought, "I know what I'm talking about, and if you don't like it, you can just go to hell." After my job interview at Cal Baptist, when I was awaiting the hoped-for job offer call, Linda called me and pretended to be someone from Cal Baptist and then laughed hysterically when I fell for it. When I came out to her, she said, "Well, it's about time." empire wedding dress

Those years in Louisville, I spent time with Linda's family, her husband Wayne and their children Mandy and Travis. Today Wayne reminded me that I introduced him to fuzzy navels, which was my idea of hard drinking back then. I took Mandy to her first concert when she was 11--Whitney Houston! And I was a bridesmaid in Mandy's wedding, long after wearing a bridesmaid's dress was a good idea for me.

Linda died suddenly in December, and today we celebrated her life and released her ashes into the ocean at Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, where she and Wayne have lived the last several years. Listening to Mandy and Travis talk about their mom underlined all the love and nurture I had seen in Linda all these years. She and Wayne raised a couple of terrific kids, and I count myself fortunate to have been among this family's friends.

Ed Richardson , another seminary friend, made the trip to Delaware too. Bob Brocious got stuck in the snow in Louisville, but we knew you were there in spirit. For all the SBTS folks, Ed and I tried to represent you well! Mandy reminded me what a significant time in Linda's life our sojourn in Louisville was.

I've probably gone on longer than Linda would have liked, but I wanted you all, especially you SBTS folks, to know we said goodbye. Linda had been after me for years to come visit, and I always thought I'd make it in a summer or two. I'm sure she would think it served me right to have to come now in the middle of winter and freeze my backside off on the beach.