My apologies for taking so much time between blog posts. I’ve been spending a tremendous amount of time and effort getting our affairs in order and trying to figure out how to “run” this house. Lynn and I had an incredible partnership … she “ran” the house, in addition to all sorts of other things she took care of and was involved in. I had my career outside the house. I was the money man … but she was the glue that kept it altogether. In one of my recent FB posts a friend of mine was commenting on the beautiful home that Lynn and I built together. He asked, “How many staff does a place like that require?”. Now I recognize what he was saying was a bit “tongue in cheek”, but I tell you what … it took a lot of effort to keep things straight around this place … tend to the boys, the dogs, volunteering, and a whole host of other things. She was a “staff of one”, with let’s just say a lot of outsourced service providers. She didn’t get a ton of help from me given the hours I worked and how much I traveled … irregardless … she managed it all very well. So, now I’m overwhelmed with taking on this additional responsibility. But don’t worry … Superman will figure it out.
As I’ve said all along … we’re going to continue telling this love story … the full body of work that is Lynn. I say “is” because the impact of her “work”, the lives that’s she’s touched … lives on. It’s also important to us that we continue to bring attention to this dangerous disease called depression. Both my sons … Brendon and Ryan … spoke at their mom’s send off on Tuesday, June 20th. In the midst of the saddest time of my life … I had one of my proudest moments. My boys … showing that they are really incredible men. I want to share with you the remarks that Brendon made that night … in front of ~200 people. This comes from a young man who has firsthand knowledge of what depression is really like … I was simply amazed by his courage and his poise under these extremely difficult circumstances …
“Throughout the years that I spent with my Mom, I’ve learned so many things from her and I have a lot of great memories. She was an amazing woman and I’m proud to say that I’ve inherited a lot of her good qualities. Unfortunately one of the things we shared was depression.
First and foremost, I want everyone to remember what a strong woman my mother was. I’ve heard a lot of people say that it doesn’t make sense or that they don’t know why she’d do this. That’s because depression doesn’t make sense. Sometimes there really is no good reason.
Way too often people associate suicide with someone being weak or selfish. But anyone who knows my mom should know that she was neither one of those things. It was her strength and unselfish nature that held this family together. She brought joy into the lives of so many people in this room. She put everyone else’s happiness before her own and she was always someone you could lean on for support or talk to. I could always depend on her when I needed strength and positivity. When everything in my life was crashing down around me, she was the one standing strong and lifting me up with her calm and reassuring voice. She fought for me, when I didn’t have the strength to fight for myself. Having someone like that in your life is priceless and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. It’s something about her that I will never forget or take for granted.
One of the most important things my Mom showed me was what a loving wife and partner looks like. She loved my father more than life itself. And it was so obvious to anyone that met her. I understand that no marriage is perfect, but my mom and dad were an example of what every married couple should aspire to be like, and I am forever grateful for that. They were honest with each other, compassionate, loyal, patient, communicated well, and made sure that my brother and I always were always their main priority. Some kids aren’t fortunate enough to witness what a strong, committed marriage looks like. But because of her, we were lucky enough to grow up around a healthy and loving relationship, and learned from it. Fortunately for me, I’ve been in a relationship like that for almost 5 years now, and I’ve found the woman who will be my wife someday soon. I know how much my mom loved my girlfriend Christa. I’ll never forget the day she told me that she knew I would marry her. She recognized the love that we have for each other, and it reassured me that I found the right woman.
My mom and I both struggled with depression. It was something that we talked about frequently. She was very open about it with me and we both confided in each other. So I can honestly say, she was happy and doing the best she had been in a long time. Not everything was perfect, but mentally and physically she was doing great. Her spirit was bright and hopeful. She was really looking forward to life. So that’s how I know that she truly didn’t want to go. She didn’t want to leave us. But depression can be so overwhelming sometimes that it takes away our power to make logical decisions. It takes a hold over you, and it can make you do drastic, irrational things that don’t make sense. But what she did does make sense to me. Only because I understand how depression can destroy someone’s mind so quickly and unexpectedly.
So please don’t ask or wonder why she did it. Because she was NOT unhappy. She DID NOT live some sad or awful life. She deeply loved her husband, her sons, her family, her dogs, and all of her friends. She just simply lost a battle with a disease that has no true cure and can break the will of even the strongest people.
Although I’ll never truly get over the loss of my mother, I have found comfort in knowing that she is finally at peace. As people, we walk through life searching for happiness, but we’re only able to catch brief glimpses of it. It’s those moments that we hold onto and cherish. My mother truly enjoyed life, but sometimes the sadness deep inside of us never really heals or goes away. That’s what makes depression so unfair. My mother didn’t take her own life…it was taken from her, by a disease that leaves us helpless to our own emotions and insecurities. It’s something that makes us honestly believe that we have no choice. It’s a disease that will never be fully understood or appreciated for how destructive it can be. But we need to realize how debilitating it is, so that we can spread awareness and hope to others that feel the same way as my Mom did. Because I never want anyone else to experience the pain that we all feel right now.
The day that she died, a piece of me died along with her. But my mother will forever be my reason to keep fighting, no matter how tough life may get. Her beautiful soul will always inspire me to look for the light, in a world that can often be so dark. Her loving spirit will always be with me and I will never feel alone. So even if there’s days where I don’t want to go on anymore, I’ll keep on living for my Mom. I will always continue to fight against depression and make her proud. I love you Mom.”
I’m going to close this post with an example of one of many notes I’ve been receiving since this all happened and my boys and I have been speaking out. This comes from a friend of mine from high school, Lisa Carbone, on 7/16/17 ….
“Your Love story that you started. All your words from you and your son that you have been writing has helped me so much. Since I had my brain tumor removed I’ve gone through this depression! I finally started becoming more open about this thanks to you, it sucks at times of what comes good out of a tragedy and loss. I’ve lived my life for my kids, being super mom! But some days it’s just gets so hard hiding behind this fake smile!! Thank you again for all your sharing“
OK one last thing … I need feedback! Please, if you like what you are reading … hit “like” at the bottom of the post. But better yet … right a comment … tell me how this is impacting you or someone you know and love. And share, share, share … let’s help as many people as we can. Love, caring, and sharing is free!
Much love – Lance