Hi there, guys and dolls! This month’s Take 5 is a sad, but blessed one all the same. Andrea and Heather here, taking over again for Barbara Jean. We want to tell you about a dear friend and fellow Cozy Cat Press author, Lyla Fox, who passed away earlier this month. It came as a complete shock to us — we had communicated recently and sadly in a hurry, not knowing she had been unwell, leaving the brief conversation agreeing to talk again for longer real soon, well wishes and happy faces on both ends. We had only about a year to get to know her, but valued her warmth, friendship, sense of wit and humor, and kindred spiritedness all the same. We’re doing the Take 5 a little differently this month — jumping the random martini pitcher draw and questions to share with you 5 things we knew about Lyla. Please take the time to get to know someone who left us all too soon.
1. Lyla had a loving family — Growing up in a family of 5, she valued and embraced the people in her life. Then Lyla met Bill and together they created a marriage of 45 years that brought two wonderful people into the world, Betsy and Tate. She was enormously grateful of her family, nourishing them with food, love, encouragement and praise, sharing their successes and triumphs with the world.
2. Lyla was a great storyteller — One of Lyla’s lifetime dreams so happily came true just last year. She had two novels published by Cozy Cat Press — Snoop and Murder on Cinnamon Street and had been working on more. Her writing was full of humor, intrigue and curiosity that made her stories both an exercise in thought and a pleasure to get to know her characters.
3. Lyla was a voracious knitter — A very talented one, indeed. Also very generous with her gifts. Not only had she used her skills to keep her family warm and protected, she shared her gifts with friends, family, as well as to others who may need extra warmth in the winter, in the form of blankets, scarves, sweaters — items that gave that hugging layer of tangible care and love. Last year she did such a neat thing — she took part in a reading and author appearance in a local yarn store, something that combined her loves so perfectly, like a duck to water.
4. Lyla had a terrific sense of community — Reading a blog entry of hers, gave us a very fresh sense and perspective on small town life. She shared her thoughts on gossip, casting it in a very positive light. Her view was that it was about care and concern for your fellow man, about their lives and well-being, out of love and not out of salacious maliciousness or envy. Her words gave us pause to think about our own thoughts on the matter and made us understand life with others better. She was not afraid to speak her mind, but did so by sharing opinions, not passing judgements. And for that, she was well respected and loved. Right now, as we are posting this blog on Sunday, April 27, 2014, in her long time home of Kalamazoo, the family and community are hosting a Celebration of Life for her in the State Theater, rejoicing that they got a chance to share in Lyla’s journey. The dress is casual, with popcorn and soft drinks, in a movie house that brought Lyla joy. Such a wonderful way to show how much everyone cares.
5. Lyla was a great teacher, with still so much to share — Lyla was taken from us all far too soon. She was a passionate and devoted teacher for more than 30 years. She made an impact and lasting impression on her students, many of whom have expressed their gratitude and respect to her family. Personally, we had only known Lyla for about a year, but she was always there when we wanted to talk, share experiences, a laugh or needed advice. Lyla, we didn’t have time to get to know you more, but are blessed for the opportunities we’ve had and will miss you dearly.
The Fox family have set up a donation site to help in the cure and care of breast cancer. Please consider contributing in her name by clicking on the link: Lyla Fox Never Stop Helping Fund
We’ll leave you today with a quote that Lyla shared. “You have never really lived until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.”
Andrea and Heather