My parents Norm and Sharon Lynch at their 50th high school reunion at Washington High in Two Rivers. This event had greater significance than that. They were high-school sweethearts (before the term became a cliche) who got married in college and stayed married for over 50 years, until dad died.
Here’s an excellent, thoughtful Facebook post from my brother-in-law, Steve Naab, from my first marriage, to the late Kathleen Naab. Steve has lived with multiple sclerosis for decades. I’m not sure what prompted him to reflect and comment, in straightforward terms, on the subject of cancer, though I believe he did see my recent remembrance post on my sister Betty, who died of cancer recently.
He inspired me to reflect on the death of my mother, Sharon Jann Lynch, whom I’ve never written about. She, like her fifth daughter Betty, died of colon cancer. As per Steve’s request. I’m C&P-ing his comment instead of “sharing.” I’m also C&P-ing my response below.
Readers are welcome to respond below in the blog’s comments section.
Steve Naab, Lodi, WI
January 27 ·
With the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation you will never be 100% because your immune system is weak.
Certainly, in the hardest moments of life, you realize who your real friends or people who really appreciate you. Unfortunately, like most friendships, Facebook friends will leave you in the middle of a story. They will publish a “like” for the story. They may not really read your message if they see that it’s long. More than half has stopped reading. Some may have gone to the next post in your news summary.
I have decided to publish this message to support the families of friends and relatives who have combated this terrible disease to the end.
Now, I focus on those who take the time to read this message to the end. A small test, if you want, just to see who reads and who shares it without reading.
If you have read everything, choose “like” so I can thank you for sharing this on your profile.
Cancer is a very invasive and destructive enemy for our bodies. Even after the end of treatment, the body remains broken even in an attempt to repair and restore the damage caused by the treatment to fight the disease. It is a very long process.
Please, in honor of a relative or a friend who died of cancer, in remission, continue to fight cancer, or even have cancer, copy and paste this message as a post on your Facebook.
How often have we heard the others say, “If you need something, do not hesitate to call me. I will be there to help you.” So, I bet that most people who have seen this message (maybe even reading to the end) will publish it to show your support to the family / friend who knows the struggle.
Copy and paste – do not share this message.
I would like to know who I can count on to take a minute of your day and really read this. If you complete this, write “done” in the comments.
My brief response and reflection (followed by a couple of responses from FB friends) do virtually no justice at all to the extraordinary woman, mother and spouse Sharon Lynch was, a subject for another time. I wanted to keep the focus on the ravages of cancer, Steve’s subject:
A happy partial-family photo of (left to right) father Norm Lynch, sisters Nancy and Betty Lynch, Kevin Lynch, and mother Sharon Lynch.
Kevin LynchDone. Steve, your comments ring as deeply true as long-suffering hunchback Quasimodo swinging on the ropes as the ponderously beautiful bells of Notre Dame peal over Paris. They ring for me regarding both my mother and my sister Betty, both who died of colon cancer.I believe this is the last photo I have of my mother. She’s in the hospital after her cancer had progressed to the point where she’d soon be in hospice. She is greatly comforted here by Birdie, the precious therapy dog of my good, old friend John Kurzawa.I watched mom die. She wasted away when she stopped eating, but she remained beautiful to the end, until the day I came to her bedside with an orchid plant, a gift from me and big-hearted sister Sheila. Sharon turned and opened her eyes when I spoke to her, but I’m not sure what registered. She said nothing. Coincidentally, I’d gotten new glasses that day which might’ve distracted her. I’m not sure she saw the orchid while I was there.I fear I failed to muster very many consoling words for her that day. I knew the end was near. She had told me a while earlier she was afraid to die. But not that day day. She was ready. I’m glad she’d gotten a chance, a short time earlier, to see my satirical cartoon of Scott Walker. She’d always enjoyed my detailed drawings.When I was leaving, her nurse came in and said, “She is beautiful.”“Yes, she is,” I replied. Her eyes were closed during the whole visit, except those few moments when I’d addressed her. It’s hard to know how much of her had wasted away, as Steve Naab, alludes to. With cancer, life diminishes inexorably if, sometimes, fitfully. By then, mom was a study of small, concave shadows I’d never seen in her before.Sharon J. Lynch died early the next morning. Sister Nancy called me. Years later, I didn’t see my comatose sister Betty die in Saint Petersburg, but I spoke “with” her twice before she died, with sister Sheila holding her phone up to Betty’s ear. Upon her death, the second of my six sisters to pass after Maureen, I wrote a blog remembrance of her.Another very dear friend, Tom McAndrews, is dying of pancreatic cancer. The days dwindle down, to a precious few.Brother Steve Naab, thanks for prompting this discussion. I hope more people read you and share their thoughts.This is a personal favorite photo of my mother, certainly since she has passed to another realm, evoking as much. I took it after an outing in Madison, where I lived at the time, while she waited, in the light rain, for her husband Norm to pick her up to return to Milwaukee.Here’s a link to my Betty peace (Rest in Peace): https://kevernacular.com/?p=15494Remembering Elizabeth “Betty” Lynch of Wisconsin and St. Petersburg, FloridaRemembering Elizabeth “Betty” Lynch of Wisconsin and St. Petersburg, Florida