Monday, June 30, 2014

Endless Summer

As a child, the word 
was synonymous for me
with reading books.

Lots and lots of books.

Filling my book bag at the 
library with a variety of adventures 
truly made my little spirit soar.

It still does.

I joined a book club ten years
ago, and though our membership
has changed through the years, 
that passion for connecting over 
a good story at our monthly 
meeting ~ usually, lunch ~ 
has not.

A few of our selections have been
made into movies, and we've
enjoyed watching them, together.

Last week The Club went to
see The Fault in Our Stars,
based on the novel we'd read 
and loved last year.

On the drive home, we reflected
on this film and others before it,
which told stories of young people
faced with a terminal illness.

Our younger selves had cried
through Terms of Endearment,
just as our mothers had years
earlier watching Love Story,
imagining ourselves as one
of those young patients.

This time, our emotions aligned
more closely with the parents
of the sick characters as they
witnessed the unimaginable
fight of their children's lives.

Sadly, that indefinable pain has
been the reality for the mother
of a shining light named
Summer White Lynch, who died
last week at the age of 41.


Summer, wife and mother to two
little boys, valiantly fought breast
cancer twice over several years.

Through it all, Princess Crazy, as
she called herself, was determined
to truly live, squeezing out every
bit of joy each day could hold.

And, she did.

With her mom 

Although I never met Summer
personally, I knew her through my
pseudo little sister, Fiona, who shared
inspiring tales of her friend's bright
personality and life with cancer.

As Summer's journey was nearing its
end, mom and daughter collaborated
on a campaign to spread Summer's
joie de vivre and love of kindness,
through little cards encouraging
Random Acts of Kindness (RAOK),
either in Summer's honor or for
someone else who has had cancer.

Imagine that kind of grace.

Keep Calm and Summer On 
has grown from a spark to a blaze
and sweet stories of goodness 
are reaching Summer's family from
around the globe via Jan's email, 
printed on the back of the cards.

She hopes the cards will continue

an endless chain 

of Summer-inspired kindnesses. 

If you'd like to be part of the 
movement, you can print out your
own cards, here, as I did, and
use them generously : )

While I've loved books since I was 
a tiny girl, no hero or princess or
warrior in fictional tales can come
close to capturing my own heart
and imagination as the genuine
stories of people like Summer. 

I just wish there weren't
so many.


PS:  A huge thank you to those
who supported my efforts in the
American Cancer Society's Relay
for Life.  Your donations and dear
words of encouragement will always
be written in my own story.

Image sources:  

Scene from The Fault in Our Stars - Google
 Pictures of Summer - Via Facebook
All others - my own


Elizabeth@ Pine Cones and Acorns said...

Summer is a magical time, life seems to slow down, people seem to take the time to smell the roses, gather more often and yes read so many wonderful books.

I too loved going to the library in the summer and filling up my bag in anticipation of many adventures.

I am sorry to hear of the loss of your friends friend. Cancer is such a terrible disease and it seems as if more and more young people are getting it. We are loosing far too many moms, sisters, cousins, aunts etc to breast cancer.

I hope that you are enjoying a wonderful summer...I have missed your beautiful blog posts as I have had many things going on as of late and have been unable to get around to all of the blogs I love.

I hope you have a great day!

Terra said...

Summer sounds like a real sweetie and sad to see her story end. That is a nice card program you showed us. I too was a book reader especially in summer and always joined the library reading program. I still love reading.

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Stories about REAL people (not the tabloid type of magazines) are what we need more of. Stories that inspire. Suzanne, there are too many of stories as such, but ironically, these are the true heroes. So many.

Happy day dear "neighbor!" Anita

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Oh I just saw that you came over to comment...thank you! Well if ya can't join in on the party, you are most invited to attend and click your mouse and hop about the fun! XOXOX

Joyti said...

I am a "reader" too (I used to read a novel a day in high school, it resulted in very little sleep :p).

I'm sorry about your friend's daughter. There really are too many of those stories. I hope her boys are o.k.

Charm Bracelet Diva {at Home} said...

Hello friend,
Yes I have always been a reader. As an English major I took a class entitled "Film as Literature" where we'd read the book then see the movie....Women in Love, Shakespeare in Love, Clockwork Orange (now THAT was an interesting topic!) Both of my daughters are HUGE TFIOS fans. For my oldest's 8th grade grad present I bought tickets for her and her 5 besties to see "The Night Before the Fault in our Stars" where they got to see the movie first before anyone else and afterwards got to partake in a live Q&A with the director, author and stars. She has an altar to John Green in her room right now:) So sorry to hear Summer's story. Once again you have given me pause and made me take stock of what's important in my life. Thank you for that. Went to the library today with the kids....all our bags were so heavy we almost couldn't lift them! Can't wait to get started.
xo Kathleen

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

What a legacy Summer has left in the really is grace. Thank you for sharing her story with us!
The library was one of my favorite hangouts when I was young...I just got a new card for the library in town. Hope you are having a wonderful summer!

Lisa @ Shine Your Light said...

I will definitely print out the cards and use them in some RAKs we are doing this summer - to honor Summer. Thank you for doing the Relay with my friend's name included, you are such a good person and I am so glad to know you and to read your words.

Sylvia said...

Dear Suzanne, your words always touch my heart very deeply. In the beginning of the year, my father went through prostate removal surgery due to his diagnose of prostate cancer. Thanks to God, he is doing well! I understand the pain these real heroes like Summer, like your friend Kathleen, their relatives and friends and many more need to bear. With honor, I will print the cards and make them a present to number of beloved people who will appreciate them. Thank you for being so inspirational, and so special!

michele said...

thanks for running. for caring. for advocating. for remembering. for stories of summer. the thing about cancer, about disease and suffering is sometimes when you lose, you win. in my case, my signature illness is crohn's disease and while complications from it may kill me, illness has allowed me to suffer and persevere and deepen and hope. see? sometimes you win.

Dianna said...

Oh my, Suzanne. What a precious post. You have such a beautiful gift of putting together words and pictures. I agree wholeheartedly, my sweet friend. "I just wish there weren't so many."


Deborah said...

Suzanne your thoughtfulness and kindness is like a healing balm.
I just saw this movie with my daughter too, although I hadn't read the novel.
What a beauty Summer is and her mother.
What a beautiful legacy!
Love never fails.
Sending you hugs dear friend xoxo

All my heart,
Deborah xoxo

Anonymous said...

What a lovely Summer many ways to see that...the beauty of a sun-kissed Summer day...the season to blossom and grow...and prepare for the eternal harvest.

Summer's name seems to have been divinely inspired for her life's journey.

Thanks for sharing...and so sorry for the loss of your friend.

Anonymous said...

As always, Suzanne, your words and images share another lovely, poignant lesson about the important things in life. Summer's story and gifts of kindness will go on and on. Heartfelt thanks for sharing your wisdom and capturing our hearts! ♡Dawn

Rambling Tart said...

What a beautiful and loving thing to do in memory of Summer. XO

lisaroyhandbags said...

We lived one block away from the library and every summer I would fill my book bag in time to go to the family cottage where I would sit out on the lawn chair reading to my heart's content.
So sorry to hear about Summer - sadly cancer is showing up everywhere - we just celebrated a family member winning the fight while finding out another is just beginning the battle. Hopefully one day it will be a mere memory of a disease. xo

Laura Murphy said...

I love your big tender heart for those who are gone too soon from this beautiful life.

And for those they leave behind.



Oh, how I wish there were not so many, too.