I wrote in a Facebook post back in July that the one word that repeatedly comes to mind when I think of my beautiful bride, Lynn, is “LOVE”. As I reflect on so many of the negative issues/events going on in our world today … I know they would weigh heavily on her heart.
When you’ve been married for almost 30 years … October 22nd of this year would’ve been our 29th anniversary … you develop certain routines. During the week, if I wasn’t traveling, Lynn and I had our routine … she’d tape the news and when I’d get home we’d eat dinner, chat about our day, and then sit down and watch the news together. And as we’ve all been witness to there’s been a lot of “bad” news lately. The turmoil around the globe; the divisiveness within our own country; and the never-ending acts of unspeakable, horrific violence are just so disheartening … and I know these things bothered her. I know that what happened in Las Vegas on October 1st would’ve made her stomach turn as it should for all of us … as should the other sickening acts that took place in Ft Lauderdale, Dallas, Charleston, and Paris … just to name a few.
Lynn personified love in just about everything she did. She was an incredible wife to me and mother to our sons … we felt extremely loved every day. She had so much love for her family and extended family … she was absolutely core to this whole family. She was extremely giving of herself … leveraging her knowledge as a gifted PA to help family and friends through various health issues (physical and mental); and volunteering her time for numerous non-profits. She was an incredible friend … she was someone you could confide in and lean on … she was always available for a call (even if I didn’t appreciate the timing … come on she could’ve wrapped up it before I got home from work … she had all-day :)). Seriously, she was the type of person that you could always call or just stop by if you needed some advice or just someone to listen. She was an incredible host … forever opening her home to so many and always making you feel at home.
Now I’ve got to be honest … Lynn wasn’t all “rainbows and butterflies”. She knew how to dish out tough love when necessary. Just ask some of my best buddies how “candid” she could be when we didn’t use our best judgement and put ourselves in harm’s way. Or we exhibited behavior that wasn’t “becoming” of the good husbands and fathers that she knew we could and should be (right Hub, General, and Jimbo?). But even with those direct, firm, and candid discussions … it always came from a place of love … her concern was for our well-being and for our loved ones.
So, what’s my point in all of this. First, I wanted to give you a deeper insight into the absolute jewel that we’ve lost to this extremely dangerous and unpredictable disease. And second, I wanted to convey a thought that if more of us exhibited the loving qualities that Lynn possessed … the world really would be a better place. Look I’m not trying to suggest that she was “perfect” or some sort of saint … but she truly was a wonderful person that was … loving, caring, selfless, compassionate, empathetic, color blind, open-minded, respectful, and supportive. As I continue my own journey in the wake of this very personal tragedy, I’m trying really hard to exhibit more of these qualities that she possessed … and frankly sometimes it’s hard. But maybe if we all paused for a second before acting in a way contrary to these traits … maybe we could personally change for the better. Maybe others would start to see the difference and start to change. And maybe we’d see a ripple effect that would result in a sea of change of positive behavior … that’s rooted in love for one another … and wouldn’t that be cool. Now, I know I’m an eternal optimist … but so be it, guilty as charged … I’ll continue to root for “LOVE”.
Look, I know you can appreciate that this has been and continues to be the most difficult, painful time that my family and I have ever endured. But in the midst of this extremely challenging ordeal, with few exceptions, I’ve been blessed by an extraordinary and humbling outpouring of love and support. So many people … including absolute strangers … have exhibited the qualities that I ascribe to Lynn as they help my family and I cope with this tragedy.
Now, given how much she loved and how much she was loved … I struggle wrapping my head around the fact that “LOVE” was not enough to sustain her and give her the strength to fight through the deep moment of despair that depression brought on. But I’m not going to dwell on that … I’m going to focus on the incredible attributes of love that my wife possessed … and try to live by example … and maybe it’ll make a positive impact on this world.
Let me leave you with this. As I mentioned Lynn was loved by so many. Lynn was an active member of the Wilmington’s Newcomers Club (WNC). On November 5th, 2017 there will be an “Out of the Darkness Walk” to support the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention (AFSP) and the WNC has formed a team to walk and raise funds in Lynn’s honor. I’m so touched by this act … it brings tears to my eyes as I type this. So if you’d like to support and/or can join us, please do. The information for the walk can be found at this link … https://afsp.donordrive.com/. Also, I’m attaching the link to ASFP’s main website where you can find lots of good information and resources related to the suicide … https://afsp.org.