by Paula Rhyndress
In a blink of an eye, it’s over. Our beloved Kika is gone. She has passed, died, gone to heaven, joined Adrian, call it whatever you like. She’s gone. Peacefully and on her own terms.
I have struggled over the last couple of days to come to terms with my loss. Although I have always fancied myself a bit of a wordsmith, the words that I have relied on in the past have abandoned me. They fled on Tuesday, along with a bit of my heart and a lot of my joy. Tears and hugs (Covid be damned) have become a fixture. Listening to others share their stories has become a balm on my soul.
Kika was never a flashy person. She was never one to call attention to herself. She went quietly about her business, being a boss, a business person, a sympathetic shoulder, a listening ear. Her smile and laugh could lift spirits. Her sweetness could help anybody over a rough patch. Her generosity helped legions of folks in North Grenville, whatever life handed them.
Over the last couple of months, I have come to realize what a gift North Grenville had in Kika. What made me recognize that was the overwhelming support she inspired in her community when her cancer diagnosis became public knowledge. How many people stepped up to help, how many people donated, how many people wanted to know how she was. I never got the impression that people were just being nosy, but I did get the sense that people had problems believing this could be happening to somebody that never asked for help but always offered. They couldn’t believe that a truly good-hearted person was suffering.
But through all this, Kika maintained her pride and her dignity. She was gob-smacked by the support her community extended to her. She just could not believe the heart-felt good wishes that each and every cent raised, represented. She still struggled to understand why that generosity was directed at her. It was an absolute bitch that she ever got cancer, but it was karma that caused people to open their pocketbooks.
I have been lucky enough, so far, to have had some amazing people in my life. People that have inspired joy, generosity, love, laughter, hope. People who have been through tremendous life struggles and not been bitter or angry. Kika Smith has been, for many years, an inspiration to me. That won’t stop because she is no longer of this mortal coil. I will continue to rely on Kika to be my guide in helping others. If I can leave behind a fraction of the broken hearts she has comforted, I will count my goal met.
Good-bye, sweet Kika. May the next part of your soul’s journey be filled with the peace and joy you have selflessly brought to so many others. Love ya!