By Kyle Woody

“I love you.”

Stunned and unaccustomed to hearing those words, I responded, “Thank you, Lana. I love you, too.”

We both cried.

This exchange happened about four weeks ago.


Whenever someone dies, I try to remember the first time I met the person. If possible, I reflect on my first reaction or perception of the individual – and then I evaluate how our relationship evolved over time.

Even before I met Lana, I was told that she was, um, rather “unique.” When she was hired into our department, I had initial reservations but I always try to remember the words of wisdom from my father: “Believe half of what you see and none of what you hear.”

Over time, our relationship blossomed – especially after I figured out that astrology is just another form of storytelling. And storytelling is where Lana excelled because she was a cosmopolitan woman gifted with an astute memory. She was a superb listener, as well.

But more so, she was compassionate. And that’s what I will always remember about Lana – and will always take with me. She looked out for me during some difficult times. Though she was comforting with her words and support, she was also blunt. Sometimes we need more of that in life.


The exchange we shared about four weeks ago is how I want to remember her. I’m old enough to realize that true friendships do not happen often so I feel fortunate that over four years we reached that moment.

Lana was a mother, a colleague and a friend. But she was also more than that. She was beautiful.


10 Comments so far

  1. Mary Bentley on March 4, 2014 4:09 am

    I am shocked and saddened at Lana’s passing. She always took good care of the Hill Gang, without judgement, opening locked doors, fixing the copier, and being a good shoulder for a complaint. She was a compassionate and caring woman, and will be missed by many! My deepest sympathy to all her many friends and family.

  2. Karen Edwards on March 4, 2014 11:46 am

    Lana was so flexible and accommodating to both Hill Center and the faculty and all the issues with the move, the new building changes and simply how life happens in Hill. She knitted scarves and told jokes. She once told me a joke about the copier while finding the elusive piece of paper jammed in there. We laughed or chuckled nearly every day about something in the Hill halls. She was an easy person to work with and a wonderful person to know. I will miss her dearly. My condolences to her family, many friends and the students and faculty whose lives she touched.

  3. joanie groome on March 4, 2014 1:29 pm

    Every time I saw Lana she would smile and have a kind word to share. She always made it seem she was happy to see you. Such a kind and sweet soul.
    My condolences to her family and friends and all the folks in the Hill Center who will miss her on a daily basis.

  4. Michelle Lang on March 4, 2014 7:10 pm

    I will always remember the first time I met Lana. She introduced herself and said “I’m Lana as in banana!” She had an uncanny sense of humor and outlook on life. She was a breath of fresh air. I was blessed to know her if only for a short time. God bless you Lana <3

  5. Heather Schuck on March 5, 2014 4:50 pm

    Lana was one of the most beautiful and special people I have ever had the privilege to know. I’m am deeply saddened to hear of her loss and will always remember her kindness, her humor, her way with words, and her intriguing and inspiring outlook on life. The world lost an amazing, bright-shining soul this week.

  6. Nikki Bonanni on March 5, 2014 4:58 pm

    I am shocked beyond words and will truly miss our chats. I often would check my mail just to say hi and it always brightened my day. I’m so glad I had the opportunity to get to know Lana even for a brief time.

  7. Peter Muzio on March 5, 2014 7:53 pm

    I am truly sorry to hear of Lana’s passing. She was always kind and caring. She possessed an abundant patience to just listen. Her remarkable uniqueness stands out most in my memory of her. My condolences to her family and the rest of the IC community. Lana (‘like banana’) will be missed.

  8. Jackie Wandell on March 6, 2014 3:25 pm

    I am so sorry to hear of Lana’s passing. She was so kind, and made me laugh every single time we spoke. She was definitely one of kind and always had such a genuine smile. I am so thankful I was able to know her.

  9. Maureen Forrest on March 6, 2014 6:19 pm

    I didn’t know Lana well, but we bumped into each other here and there, over the years, as we worked in different offices at IC. She always struck me as a kind, gentle soul with a wickedly funny sense of humor. So much life in such a small package. My condolences to you, Kyle, and to all the SMM community. She will be sorely missed.

  10. Laura Moore on March 8, 2014 1:44 pm

    I am Lana’s daughter.
    Kyle, I absolutely recognize my mother in your story, and it means so much to me that you understood and appreciated her uncommon combination of wit, empathy, and frankness. She has always been, and will continue to be a presence of fire, imagination, storytelling, and intuition in my life. And her one-liners will continue to narrate my internal landscape as I move forward.

    I am grateful for the comments you have all shared here, and will pass them on to my brothers.

    Many people have asked if they could send flowers or if there would be a memorial. That was not my mother’s style. I think that she would prefer people to acknowledge her passing in their own private ways, and to remember that beauty and magic and stories are all around us all the time- you just have to notice them.

    If anyone would like to contact me directly, you are welcome to email me at editor.moore(at)gmail(dot)com.

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The expressed opinions in this blog are those of the individual authors and do not represent Ithaca College.