Munira Premji

Munira and Lynda - July 2013
Living in the Front Row of Life — Munira and Lynda in July 2013

I spent a beautiful afternoon yesterday with my friend, Lynda Cavanagh, and her husband Dave.  Lynda and I have been friends for more than 20 years when we worked together at Scotiabank.  I have wonderful memories of going to Lynda’s place for tree trimming, year after year, when Shayne and Sabrina were little.  We would decorate her beautiful Christmas tree with strings of popcorn, drink warm apple cider and laugh and talk well into the night.  Lynda is a dynamo and was one of my very first role models.  I remember saying to Nagib many times,”when I grow up, I want to be just  like Lynda”.  20 years later, I still feel that way.

It’s not that we have the same interests or priorities.  In fact, we are quite different in the way we live and approach life.  Yet there is something that binds and connects us through time and space.  What draws me to Lynda is her being, her spirit and her human-ness.  She is also quite incorrigible and has a “can do” attitude about life.  Lynda and Dave have travelled to many parts of the globe, from Africa to Russia.  And when they travel they do it like the locals; getting to know people, visiting their homes, living amongst the Masai in Africa.  To them, life is not a spectator sport; it is a gift to be experienced and cherished; it is an adventure, and they are active participants. They live in the front row of life.

Over time, Lynda and Dave moved away from Toronto and our visits with them became less frequent.  When I was diagnosed with cancer, I called Lynda to let her know.  Cancer was the gift that brought Lynda and Dave back into my life and now, it is as if we had never been apart.  We just caught up and continued and the years just melted.

Let me tell you why I adore my friend Lynda.  She took up fencing in her mid 60’s.  Yes, fencing – the martial art of fighting with blades, wearing all that white garb!  She did that for 4 years.  This year, she took on the art of woodworking because she thought it would be fun.  She plays Bridge regularly.  She is Past President of a charitable organization that raises funds to support local events for the community, including children and seniors.  She golfs twice a week.  And for her 70th birthday next year, she is planning to participate in the Camino de Santiago, where she will walk 25 kilometres a day for 30 days in Spain.  Her reason for doing this?  Adventure, time for reflection and seeing Spain in a unique way.  Did I mention that she still works 3 days a week?

Seeing Lynda and Dave together is a treat.  They are dramatically different.  Dave is the planner, the logical thinker, the practical one.  I asked him what was the secret of their relationship.  I had expected to hear the usual answer of communication or respect.  He surprised me by saying that “the key to a successful marriage is helping the other person in the relationship to be successful”.  I am going to make this a conscious part of my own relationship with Nagib.  And then of course Lynda chimed in, as she would, to say it is always kissing the other person when you leave the house, even if it’s to get groceries.  Nagib, be forewarned!

As a coach, one of the tools that I use with my clients is a guided imagery to introduce them to their “future self”.  This is who they are at their very best 5 or 10 years from today. Who they are without doubt, fear or self-imposed limits. From this lens, I encourage them to design their current life so that it is in alignment with their highest and best future self.  After spending time with Lynda and Dave this week, I am inspired to do this activity myself and to look to my future self for guidance on what is right and true for me, and the path I want to embody from a place of possibilities.

The Cavanaghs and the Premjis


  • mylegacytoyou , October 30, 2014

    Loved the read. If I had a “when I grow up” thought it would be to be like you! Thinking of you and sending you loads of love.

    • Premji Family , November 2, 2014

      You always make me smile, my deva! I just tried to call you and looks like your number has changed. Miss you so much! Want to reconnect! Call me?

  • Anonymous , October 28, 2014

    I am so glad you are back
    keep writing , it makes us empowered for sure! Yu are incredible! we love you

    • Premji Family , October 28, 2014

      It feels so good to start writing again! Thank you for taking the time to comment. It inspires me!

  • lucy , October 28, 2014

    Thanks Muniral for writing. Had missed connecting with you through the blog. Wish you only the best and your friends too! Lucy

    • Premji Family , October 28, 2014

      Habari Lucy! I am coming to Mombasa in December and would love to meet you in person! I am so happy to hear from you. I also wish you all the very best that life has to offer!

      • lucy , October 30, 2014

        Will be happy to meet you. Karibu Mombasa! I have loved the blog, you have mentored me, i get myself thinking about you, i pray for you always- I share the messages/posts with my hubby-guess he also knows you now!

  • Anar Adatia , October 27, 2014

    Sonia Choquette has just published a book about her Pilgrimage to Camino de Santiago. Walking Home…A Pilgrimage from Humbled to Healed. Friends are a blessing indeed.

    • Premji Family , October 28, 2014

      Thanks Anar! It is quite interesting this pilgrimage. I will pick up the book you recommend. Thank goodness for wonderful friends in our lives…

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