My friend Carolyn Olman died last night of cancer -related issues. She was a member of St. Thomas the Apostle Episcopal Church, Hollywood for 65 years and I have known her since we moved to LA in 1994 and began attending St. Thomas. I have grown to love Carolyn over these past 26 years and I am going to miss her mightily.
Carolyn faced many difficulties in her life, including several bouts of different types of cancer, being hit by a car and then losing her house during the recession. But she retained her dignity through all her ups and downs, never gave up the fight, and came to church every Sunday with a heart that was devoted to her faith and her church family. She was opinionated, feisty and didn’t suffer fools, but she was also kind-hearted, giving and full of love. I am only one of many people tonight who are feeling sad at the thought of not seeing Carolyn when this pandemic is over and church resumes.
Carolyn loved who she loved with her whole heart: her sons, her grandson, her sister, her nephew and several lucky recipients at St. Thomas the Apostle, I am grateful that I was one of those lucky recipients. Her eyes would light up when she saw me at church and she would often pull me aside and tell me in just a few words how special she thought I was. She also loved Ray, who made her laugh.
May light perpetual shine upon my dear friend’s soul. I am lucky to have known her for so many years. She taught me that dignity has nothing to do with circumstance, but instead reflects an inner strength. When I asked her once how she’d overcame cancer so many times, she said, “It’s just part of my nature. I don’t get sad, I get mad. And that anger makes me determined to beat the odds.”
Much love to you, dear Carolyn. Here’s to the next phase on your spiritual journey. Give’em hell up there in heaven! Also, enlist a little aid to send back down to all of us. We are in sore need of it, my friend.