• Amy Kimball Engar

Remembering Gaylinn

Gaylinn Anderson passed away earlier this month, and we will miss her very much! Here are so things that we will miss about Gaylinn, and some memories staff had of her.

*Alex Lawrence worked with Gaylinn at her home for the last 2 years. Some of her favorite memories of Gaylinn were her singing with staff to one of her favorite songs, “Sweet Pea” by Tommy Roe. Gaylinn would playfully kick Alex’s butt and when she would turn around and ask her if she just kicked me, she would just have the biggest smile on her face. Gaylinn would give Alex hugs and blow her kisses when she would help her into bed. On many occasions when trying to help her into her recliner, as soon as the seatbelt was unbuckled on her wheelchair, Gaylinn would head dive into her chair and then obviously be on the floor and have a grin on her face. She loved to cook and help make food. She loved the movies Grease and Sound of Music. Alex and Gaylinn would sing along to the songs, well mostly it was just whispering from Gaylinn, but she still knew all the words.

*Jessica Kemper was a staff at her home and worked with Gaylinn for over 5 years. Jessica was working with Gaylinn at her apartment several years ago. This was when she was very mobile and would sneak into the fridge all the time and eat. One time Jessica was assisting with her roommate and the other staff had just come back from grocery shopping with Gaylinn. During this shopping trip, Gaylinn had requested chocolate creamies. When Jessica tried to explain to Gaylinn to make them last for the week, Gaylinn proceeded to fill her hands and pockets with creamies. When she emerged from her room a short time later, it was discovered that she had eaten the entire box of 32 chocolate creamies that day. When Jessica asked why she ate the entire box, she just had a grin on her face and was very proud she was able to eat the entire box.

Gaylinn loved babies! If she saw a baby she was more than happy to hold and talk to the baby, all with a great big smile on her face. Gaylinn also loved animals! There was several times that she was able to go to horse shows and was so excited to be able to feed them and pet them. She loved being around dogs and rabbits, often not wanting to the let them go home with their owners.

Gaylinn liked to keep her hands busy by sewing different materials and cards. She liked coloring, art work and crafts, by putting her time and thought into it. One of the last memories Tammy has of Gaylinn, was her working on her wreck it journals, which is a combination of a scrap book and writing journal, the topic for the day was graffiti. Tammy asked what she would like the outcome of her project to be. She quietly said a lion. So Tammy and Gaylinn googled how to draw lions and watched a video of it. Tammy asked Gaylinn if she wanted to draw the lion or someone else to draw it and she could graffiti it. Gaylinn asked Tammy to draw the lion. She talked through each step of drawing the lion with Gaylinn and asked her to pick out the colors that she wanted. Gaylinn mixed the colors together to make it look like graffiti. Her wide eyes and large smile told you that she was so proud of this project!

Gaylinn always had a dream to ride in a convertible. There was a staff that had a convertible that helped this dream to come true for Gaylinn. Tammy received a phone call at the office that said she needed to go outside and wait for Gaylinn and the staff to arrive. When they pulled up to the office in the convertible, Gaylinn was smiling from ear to ear. Many times you would see them on the road, enjoying the sun and wind from the top being down.

Holly Ihenknoro: I specifically, remember Gaylinn and her long time, long term boyfriend with Darren. When they were together you could always find them holding hands, sitting right next to each other. As they separated to go their own ways, they would give each other a kiss. The love they had for each other was very evident in how they interacted with each every single time they saw each other.

In closing, I have a few words to describe Gaylinn: strong, determined, stubborn, spunky, playful, loving, mother, love of animals, love of babies, love of her family and especially the love of her son! We love Gaylinn and will miss her so much!