MADALYN ELAINE "LYNN" ZUNINO-FONG July 8, 1948 ~ April 12th, 2015
At this tragic time, our family asks for any donations to help cover any costs, our mother's final expenses, remaining bills, hospital expenses, and anything left will go into a trust fund for her grandson's education. Thank you truly for your time and anything given, even if all you can do is read her story. It means the world to us to feel the love and support. We will surely need it, and will continue to as each day passes, we miss her more. Still in complete shock, we are trying to make sense of it all, and understand the best that we can, as it all happened so fast.
We were given only a day to understand, grasp, let go, and say goodbye. <3 We love you forever Mama!
A very short month ago, our mother, Lynn was hospitalized for what she thought were cold symptoms. In an instant, she became dependant on high- flow oxygen and was rushed to Enloe Hospital. The diagnosis was, exacerbation of COPD from pneumonia. This alone was a lot for us to grasp, as we did not know where to begin to manage lung disease. The strong and very independant lady we admired for all that she was, was this ill? How would we get through this? We knew that we had always gotten through everything, just having eachother. After three weeks of watching her blood counts, and oxygen saturation go up and down, countless ct's, x-rays, and antibiotic rounds, her doctor suggested a biopsy of her right lung.
On April 9th, she bravely underwent a thoracoscopy, biopsy, and thoracotomy. She wanted to know her diagnosis if any, the soonest possible, so she could then, "Fight and be here for her girls, and watch her grandson grow up". She was so proud to be Asher's grandma. She bragged about him every chance that she got. Going into surgery,she assured us that she would be just fine, and that she, "LOVED US MORE". She always made sure that we knew that!
April 10th, was the hardest day that we had yet to endure. Hearing that the person whom you hold closest to your heart has lung cancer was unbearable. This hit us so hard, we couldn't move. Our biggest fears were rapidly becoming reality. Being then told that the cancer was so agressive, already in it's 4th stage, and that treatment was not an option was beyond excruciating for us and for our family. We were advised to spend as much time with our mother as possible, and that there wasn't much time left to even do just that. We were still so hopeful, confused, upset, in hysterics, heartbroken, and left not knowing how to even feel. We smiled at her though tears, because, she taught us to always find a reason to keep a smile on our faces. She always taught us to embrace the good out of every situation. She taught us how to be everything that we are. She kept her strength up for us, never complained of pain, worry, sadness, or fear. She always did that for us, no matter what we went through ,or what the circumstances were over the years, she always stayed so strong.
She impressed her nurses and doctors daily with her always being in good spirits, positivity, strength, sense of humor, and how proud she was of her family. Anyone and everyone who had the privilege of knowing her would tell you the same. Mom always had a kindness about her, so much so that it's hard to come by people like her. A laugh that was contagious. She was funny, and always had cute phrases and funny things to say. She was always so encouraging, every chance she got, she made us feel like everything was,"ok" again, and that we could do anything we set our minds to. She would do anything for a stranger, and ANYTHING for her family. Mom was so beautiful, she radiated warmth and love. She had a soft, gentle soul, and in every way she was a genuine lady, with a heart of gold. She was selfless, kind hearted,classy, honest, and truly so beautiful in every way possible. She loved whole heartedly, and was so proud of her girls and grandson. She gave perfection to the names, mother, sister, grandma, aunt, friend. She believed,and we knew , every thought, every day, and every move she had ever made was for us. She said in the last couple weeks, "If I"ve ever done anything right, it was you girls". She believed that she did her best to instill all that she was, and then some in her daughters. She was always our everything, and everything that we hoped to be.
April 11th was a beautiful day, one that we will forever treasure, and one that we will never forget. After twenty six hours of being on a ventilator, she talked again, she laughed again, even cried again, She was able to have heartfelt talks, and strolled down memory lane with both of us girls, and with both of her brothers. It was in some ways the best day we had in the whole three weeks of being there. We spent so much time talking, and reminescing of the past, good and bad. We are forever grateful for that. She wanted us to know that no matter what, she did everything for us, and always wanted us to be happy. She somehow still found ways to be happy, and ways to keep her spirits lifted. We moved the following day to a different room, finally out of the ICU, but, sadly and so suddenly to the oncology wing. We put up her many, "get well soon cards", Asher's painting for his, Grammy, and her momento calendar from back home: Nevada City/Grass Valley. She was surrounded by her loved ones all throughout the day. The night fell fast and we stayed with her, one of us on each side,never leaving her alone.
On a beautiful spring morning, Sunday, April 12th, at 8:30 a.m. a cool breeze blew in through the window, and took our mom with it. Sam had her right hand, and I had her left. It was peaceful, gentle, kind and calm, just as she was... just as she deserved. Birds then gracefully flew by...just for us. We know with all of our hearts, that was her way of showing us that she was still with us, and always will be.
Mom loved reading, movies, the comfort of a cup of coffee, the lake, the beach, spending precious moments with her grandson, her girls, and her family and friends. She collected turtles, and appreciated the beauty of nature, birds and hummingbirds brought her peace. She spent every day with her bestfriend,her beloved cat, Missy. She was a huge fan of Elvis and The Beatles. Mom grew-up in Nevada City, and lived several years in LakeTahoe, Sacramento, and Gridley. She worked for Butte College for seventeen years, she enjoyed the beautiful campus, and all of the friends that she had made along the way. She retired in 2012. Mom traveled with friends to Hawaii, as well as a cross country trip to experience New York. She always planned to go back to Hawaii, and spoke of planning trips to travel more. We plan to take her back to Lake Tahoe, someday when we're ready.
Until we meet again... we love you, Mommy!