I would like to begin by saying that this is not a typical eulogy. Although I feel deep sorrow, as I know everyone else does, this is not what I will be speaking about. I will be sharing family memories of Lindsay, and I invite you to join us in the celebration of her life.
At two weeks of age, the family agreed that Lindsay was the cutest Kimmett ever born. At age five, they knew she was the smartest. Lindsay’s beauty as a baby, child and woman was stunning. Her cheekbones were the envy of many, and her beautiful smile constantly reassured those around her that everything would be alright. But not all of Lindsay’s traits were so delicate. She came from a long line of homerun hitters with the Kimmett trait: Big Shoulders. Her Great Grandpa Hunter Eugene, her Grandpa Bill, her Dad Kelly, her Uncle Russ, her brothers Taylor and Reid were all known to hit the long ball out of the park. They had to…they couldn’t run. Although Lindsay never played much baseball, she had those Kimmett shoulders, and she could carry the world on them.
This was one of many family traits that Lindsay inherited from the Kimmetts. Another trait was her ability to retain a multitude of meaningless trivia, giving her a clear advantage in family games of trivial pursuit and Cranium. (You always gave an inward “yes!” whenever Lindsay was on your team, because you were pretty much guaranteed to win.) Unlike the average Kimmett, Lindsay managed to fine-tune this skill to include useful information, making her the smartest person our family has ever known.
Lindsay could repeat any line from Seinfeld verbatim, and I know she would have appreciated the comparison of our family to “low talkers.” Every Kimmett is a low talker to some extent, and Lindsay was no exception. Some people may have misinterpreted this as shyness, but if you knew what to listen for, most of Lindsay’s funniest remarks were delivered in this dry, matter-of-fact commentary that always made us laugh.
From an early age, Lindsay was influenced by her Dad’s event planning. Anyone who has attended one of Kelly’s events, from the Turkey Bowl football games at the Strathmore farm, to the Ghezetti Cup in golf, to themed concert tours and more, they know that the Kimmetts possess a deep drive to host, entertain, and give generously to those around them. Lindsay excelled in this department, throwing pirate, hockey, superhero and eighties themed parties, (to name just a few) and by hosting her famous turkey dinners for friends. Lindsay’s love of cooking was influenced by the family masters of the craft: Both Kelly and Dianne, Aunt Rhonda, Aunt Angela and Grandma helped her become the wonderful host that she was.
To the Kimmetts, nothing is thrown away if it holds any form of sentimental value, or if there’s even a shred of usefulness left in it. Many of our family members wear shabby t-shirts that reveal their age based on the tour dates listed down the back, and Lindsay and Aunt Rhonda shared a bond with their inability to throw out socks, even when they were riddled with holes.
Probably the best example of Lindsay’s unwillingness to throw anything away were her skates. At the Banff hockey school a few summers ago, Lindsay kept losing her footing and would go sailing feet first into the boards. After practice she took off her skates and realised that the blade had worn down past the plastic. No wonder she had been falling. She showed me her scuffed, worn-torn skates and said, “I guess it’s time to get these replaced. I’ve had them since I was 12.” But what I’ll never forget is watching her on the ice a few weeks later…skating beautifully in those same scruffy skates…She had actually gone out and had the blades replaced.
Why did Lindsay hold onto these old skates and socks? The answer is simple. She was so invested in the people around her that she often didn’t save time for herself. Lindsay was a tremendously generous person, and one of the most generous gifts she gave her family was her time. Dodging the pressures of med school exams and hockey practice (on multiple teams), Lindsay always managed to attend family occasions. Even if it meant driving from Calgary to Canmore to wish one of her younger cousins a Happy Birthday, (and stopping long enough for a piece of chocolate cake, of course), she would make the journey.
If you have spent any time with a Kimmett, you will know that we have a tendency to be accident prone. Lindsay herself constantly rolled her ankles, tripped off sidewalks, and skinned and bruised her knees, but she always picked herself up and laughed it off, blaming the klutzy Kimmett gene. Since she was a child, Lindsay was regaled with infamous family injury stories, from the time Uncle Russ had a Fish-hook through the eyelid, to her Dad’s bicycle banana-seat leg injury, to the various tellings of the “allegedly” faked broken collarbone. These tales may have influenced her decision to pursue ER medicine.
Lindsay’s klutzy gene can be partially blamed on her inherited weak ankles and bad knees, which rendered her, like the rest of the family, utterly useless at running. As Reid once said at a turkey dinner when challenged by Taylor to a footrace: “We are not fleet of foot.”
Though not fleet of foot, Lindsay was fleet of skate, and in 2002 she convinced me to try out for the U of C Dino’s Hockey Team with her. She had over 20 years of ringette experience (this translates to beautiful skater, but not-so-good puckhandler), and I hadn’t played hockey or been on skates for nearly ten years (this translates to….I now play basketball). But she was sure that if we practiced we could make the team. Part of our rigorous training included the Banff Hockey School. And we practiced and we practiced, and we eventually practiced enough to believe we were good enough to try out for the team…which of course we didn’t make…not even close. But leave it to Lindsay to believe in us enough to try.
Since those first days at the Banff Hockey School, Lindsay developed her hockey skills to the point where she dominated the ice. She described herself as a “goon”, and to us, she was the enforcer. Lindsay was able to take what Grandpa Kimmett described as Kelly’s bullheadedness, and transform it into determination. And if you talk to any of Lindsay’s teammates today, they will tell you that she had more grit and determination than anyone on the team. She had transformed from a beautiful skater with a hockey stick, to a hockey player.
Lindsay’s competitive nature was not fixed to the rink, however. She was fiercely determined in all aspects of life. But there was one in particular, one that was passed down from Aunts and Uncles, and one that she was particularly good at: Monopoly. Monopoly games in our family can be compared only to the Feats of Strength during Festivus. We learned from the masters: the quick roll, the persuasive trading of railroads for the green properties (which Kelly insists always wins the game) and the eventual throwing of the board were all part of the road to victory. But why so much ferocity? Because, as per Kimmett tradition, following a victory, the conqueror was entitled to raise his or her hands in the air and declare: WINNER OF ALL GAMES. The stakes were huge, and more often than not, it was Lindsay who uttered these words: WINNER OF ALL GAMES.
Lindsay was also competitive when it came to her brothers. Taylor provided Lindsay with some of her greatest competition, but, depending on the situation, they were also strong allies. Lindsay also competed when it came to Reid, but it was often with others for his attention. On the playground, it was as if Lindsay and Taylor were the captains, and Reid was the player they both wanted on their team.
Lindsay’s competitive nature was matched only by her sense of adventure. Grandma and Grandpa always knew that the younger cousins were in good hands with Lindsay as their leader, especially on their many expeditions into the so-called “junkyard” near the farm. And it was Lindsay’s thirst for knowledge and ability to grill people like her Dad that nearly led her to pursue a career in law. But it was medicine she was destined for, a calling that was no doubt inspired by her insatiable urge to nurture and mother all those around her. You only had to watch her offer Taylor advice, or Reidie a piggy-back ride to know how much she loved them.
Lindsay was our teacher. She taught us that no matter how busy you are, you always have time for family. She taught us humility. She taught us how to get rid of our demerit points from speeding tickets. Repeat lessons were needed for Uncle Russ, as he was a slow learner. She taught us to root for the underdog, as she did when she cheered on the Flames throughout the winning years… and then through those other years when there was no Stanley Cup in sight. No one could accuse Lindsay of being a bandwagon fan. Her loyalty never wavered. In fact, the banner you see was made by Lindsay in 1994. Despite the forgotten “S” in “GO FLAME GO” (there is a tiny “S” if you look closely), that banner cheered on the flames for over a decade. It is now worn and frayed and smells faintly of draft beer, but Lindsay kept it all these years…did I mention that we never throw out stuff with sentimental value?
Because I could talk about Lindsay forever, here are a few words that are significant to different people for different reasons:
Chocolate, (number one), Pooh Bear, Grandma’s sugar cookies, hosting parties, attending parties, Live Concerts (from Keith Urban to U2 to Rolling Stones), any quote from the Office, whenever the Flames won, whenever the Oilers lost, not golf (sorry Uncle Drew), bad singing (another Kimmett trait), Chocolate, Bagatelle, Lefsa, Volkswagen in Puerta Vallarta, Aunt Rhonda’s Christmas decorations, chocolate, double-dipping, yoga with her mum, walks with (or chases after) Kaysi, waterskiing at Columbia Lake, Scuttlebutt, Dusty Nose, and, once again chocolate. To us she was Lindsay, Lindz, Lindsay Leigh,“iindsay” and Miss Linds.
Lindsay's love of chocolate deserves to be mentioned here. On a visit to New York City in 2001 (a trip that was her idea), we stopped at the Carnegie Deli for lunch. When it came time for dessert, there was such a huge selection and everyone was given one veto. Lindsay vetoed "anthing that wasn't chocolate."
It would be an understatement to say that Lindsay loved to travel. I was recently told that Lindsay had figured out that she had traveled to almost as many countries as her age. From early family trips to Yellowstone, Hawaii and across Canada, to a month in Italy, to the peak of Mount Kilimanjaro, she packed a lot into her 26 years and had plans for more adventures.
One of Lindsay's favourite quotes was by St. Augustine:
"The world is a book and those who don't travel read only a page"
As we travel the world, Lindsay will be in our hearts, and we will continue to turn the pages in her book.
Aunt Angela and Uncle Russ should be extremely proud, because they gave Lindsay one of the greatest gifts of all: three little cousins. She was the first cousin to hold each, Hunter, McConnell and Carley, when they were born. They could not have asked for more in a cousin. Lindsay loved to hoist them onto her shoulders, even when they were getting close to her height, and if they needed a lap to sit on, Lindsay was there. She was their big cousin, and they will always look up to her.
To me, Lindsay was more than my big cousin. She was the closest person I ever had to a sister, and she was one of my best friends She was the person that inspired me to travel the world. She was the person that made me want to be a better person. She was, and remains, my inspiration, and I was honoured to give this tribute to her life.
But this eulogy is more than a tribute to Lindsay's life; it is a clebration of her achievements as a person, friend and family member. I have no doubt that Lindsay is here today, because SHE…..NEVER….missed …….a celebration!
Lindsay….WINNER OF ALL GAMES !
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