“You have to believe we are magic
Nothin’ can stand in our way
You have to believe we are magic
Don’t let your aim ever stray
And if all your hopes survive
Destiny will arrive
I’ll bring all your dreams alive
For you”- Olivia Newton-John
I’m not sure why Olivia Newton-John’s Magic was the only song that stuck in my head from my early day-camp van-riding days at 3 or 4, but last week, when her obituary appeared, it all came back to me and completely changed the tenor of my day and week, which started out in utter despair at having to find a way to sell all my furnishings here in Bermuda when everyone who does this locally was sick with Covid or off-Island — while simultaneously filing a lawsuit against my landlords and supposed “friends” who’d put me in this position to start with.
I was ANGRY, RESENTFUL, VENGEFUL, PROUD! Expressing more of the Deadly Sins, all at the same time while also grieving, and feeling desperately abused for only trying to do what I do, and have always done. Extend a hand and a support system to those I who have asked for it and hoping my generosity would not be taken advantage of.
But reading her obituary — after a 30-year fight with breast cancer. And remembering the way she’d leveraged her celebrity after being diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992 to advocate for women’s health, breast cancer diagnostics and research as well as environmental justice struck home. Despite having to walk away from her “come-back tour” she hadn’t walk away from fighting for life, from trying to do what she could for others.
And I couldn’t succumb to my self-indulgence of despair and anger. None of that would do anything for me or for anyone. Though it probably would have made my landlords really happy. Instead, I got very thoughtful and organized. And I contacted every single person who I’d shared a kind word, moment or meal with to get advice on what to do. And with that simple outreach MAGIC happened. Everyone came together around me in support. My friend Kim took her own personal time to put all my furniture on Facebook Marketplace to sell, everyone put my listings in their offices, a young couple looking to furnish an entirely new home showed up to buy my bedroom, living room, dining room and kitchen appliances. Leatrice bought ALL my 12 sets of everything entertainment related to keep the parties I’ve hosted going. And, my other friends Patrick and Luke connected me with a local LGBTQ interior designer and furniture consigner, who not only bought my whole second bedroom but carpeting for a Canadian client he was working with. He also promised to consign whatever was left over, and my darling and fabulous Mark offered to move in to protect my space from invasion by the landlords forcing me to go to court. And I even had the luxury of two days to enjoy why I came here. Spending a day with John and his wonderful, feisty wife Dorothy on their boat. Followed the next day with a truly “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” Helmet-Diving adventure with Luke to feed and greet the glorious marine life that surrounds this collection of islands and coral reefs.
So, as I leave Bermuda at the end of this week, I’m going to do my best to minimize the awfulness of my experiences and only remember the magical coincidence of the kindness and love of those who came to support me in these final days.
Holly Lynch is a 20+ year ESG and DEI communications veteran, board member, strategist and investor who has helped individuals and companies tackle the toughest challenges, transitions and transformations in their worlds. Having survived countless life setbacks and two rounds with terminal cancer, while seeing the country-wide collapse of the systems and safety nets for the most vulnerable in and outside our communities, she is now shifting her life and career trajectories to focus on coaching and consulting with those facing down fundamental shifts and transitions as they try to adapt to change while rebuilding their lives and businesses during these unprecedented times.