I don't remember the first time I met Gwynne, but I do remember that she was not like anyone I had ever met before. For one thing, her house was a mess. There was always butter on the counter and dirt everywhere. One time, she even mailed her son, Matt, a care package that contained - among other things - cat poop. She drank wine and told me that Kivas were used to sacrifice shrimp to the aliens. Gwynne was not like other mothers, and I loved her for that.
I loved that she made no apologies for the way she lived. She was full of ideas and stories and was never afraid to pursue them. She treasured her family and her animals and devoted her time and energy to them instead of her floors. I'd never met someone so committed to her ideals. She believed in the power of stories. I always felt comfortable and accepted when I was at her house, and as I grew older, she made the effort to stay in touch with me. She even sent my daughter her only copy of "Goodnight Moon" - a favorite in our house.
When I found out that she died, I cried, but I also reminded myself that there are more important things in this world than a clean kitchen and a dinner on the table at 6pm. I was reminded of all the stories that I want to share with my daughter and the adventures that I want to have. Remembering her life, helped bring a little bit of peace to my life.
I will miss you, Gwynne, but I will continue to be inspired by you.