First for the sad news. We lost another Lucky’s Lake Swimmer yesterday, “Ruby” “Lyn” Walker-Meena. Lyn was a wonderful person that was one of our volunteer coaches for the Man-O’-War swim team (Special Olympics). She coached for the last ten years and really made a difference in these athletes’ lives. She will be missed.
Her son Elliot swam for the University of Florida and joined us today for a swim in honor of his mother. I have posted his email message below.
Dear Friends and Family,
It is with a heavy heart to inform you that my mother, Ruby, passed away peacefully in her sleep Friday afternoon from a battle with cancer that began earlier this year. My father, sister, uncle, and I were by her side at the Orlando Regional Medical Center all week, and we remained there through her final breath.
First and foremost, I must apologize for my lack of communication throughout this situation. I know this catches many of you off guard, but it has been an aggressive battle and this past week things took a turn for the worse. Please believe me though when I say there have been moments that I have tried to share this with some of you. However the reality always turned out to be that conversing with you served as the guiltless distraction I needed.
More importantly, please know that my mother did not suffer, nor was she ever angry or scared. She was as real as it gets these past three months, and will always be the strongest person I know. And in the end, I can now look back and see the beautiful lining that even though cancer won the physical battle, it failed at defeating her grace and compassion.
Going forward, in an attempt to have this matter somewhat private and off of social media, I will keep communications open at the following website – www.rubystrong.org, and the password = rs (two letters)…..Bare with me as I just pieced the site together so needs some updates, but feel free to pass along the info to others.
The site will contain information regarding services, etc. and instead of gifts or flowers I would respectfully like to request that you make a donation to the Special Olympics swim team that my mother coached for in Orlando, the ‘Man-O-Wars’. The website has details of where to send a check or make a donation for MOW, or you can make a donation through my everydayhero page (really hoping to crack that $1 barrier).
As for the future, when the day comes my mother will be buried at Cave Hill Cemetery in Louisville, KY (right next to Colonel Sanders, no joke). Additionally, there will be a memorial held in Orlando a few weeks later, most likely around Lake Eola, and I will also be swimming Lucky’s Lake Swim in her honor that same weekend. This past year my mother swam Lucky’s Lake twice, and this summer we hoped to swim the lake together. Swimming was always a haven for my mother, whether participating or spectating, and anyone wishing to join me across the lake is more than welcome.
In closing, since I probably will be introverting for a while, I want to first apologize in advance if I fail to respond, but second I would like to make a request (or two): this afternoon, during the playing of ‘My Old Kentucky Home’ before the Derby, please find a mint julep to sip as that was one of my mothers favorite traditions. And lastly, if you have a mother to hug please give her an extra squeeze, from me, tomorrow on Mother’s Day.
On a happier note we will be holding a pancake breakfast swim on Saturday May 28th (Memorial Day weekend) As a Celebrate Lake Cane Day. We will have the donation jar out and all proceeds will go to the Lake Cane Restoration Society. The Lake Cane Restoration Society is now a 501c charitable organization and all donations are tax deductible. The money will be used to help improve the water quality of the lake. So come swim and donate so we can “Keep it Swimable”.