Lorna Damon

Obituary of Lorna Damon

Lorna (Hanafin) Damon, a devoted wife, mother, daughter, and friend, passed away after a long and courageous battle with breast cancer on Friday morning, March 13, 2009. She was 43 years old. Lorna was born in Winchester. She grew up and was educated in Burlington. She graduated from Burlington High School in 1983. She attended University of Massachusetts and was a graduate of Mt. Ida College. She had worked as a Sales Represenative at Pitney Bowes for a number of years. She had also worked the Marriott Hotel chain, where she assisted in openings of hotels in Newport, RI and Maryland. Lorna accomplished much in her short life. She loved to travel and experiencing the many different cultures in the world. After graduating from College, she toured Europe. A couple of her favorite adventures were traveling to Ireland with her father and spending her honeymoon on safari in Kenya. She enjoyed living in the North End of Boston, Newport, Rhode Island, and in Maryland. And when it was time to settle down and have a family, she returned home to Burlington. She liked to fish and held the Striped Bass Record on Marthas Vineyard until actor Spike Lee upstaged her. She enjoyed bicycling and participated in the Pan-Mass Challege riding from Stockbridge to Provincetown. She enjoyed swimming, skiing, and horseback riding. She had a strong faith in God and was an active parishioner at St. Margaret’s Church. She loved being a wife and mother. She made the most with the time she had with her husband and children and her memory will hold a special place in the hearts of all her family and friends. Lorna was the beloved wife of 10 years of Todd A. Damon. She was the loving mother of Casey and Jack Damon. She was the daughter of Shirley (Salimeno) Hanafin of Burlington & Dennis, MA and the late John “Jack” Hanafin. She was the sister of Laure Johnston & her husband Mark of Marshfield. She was the special aunt of Amanda & Taylor Johnston. She was the daughter-in-law of Cynthia & Eric Dietler of Morristown, NJ and Calvin & Roseanne Damon of Milford, PA. She was the sister-in-law of Cheryl & Andrew Jorritsna, Tiffany & David Pick, Calvin “JR” Damon Jr. all of Milford, PA, and John & Sara Dietler of Pasadena, CA. Lorna was also survived by many aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends. Funeral from the Edward V. Sullivan Funeral Home, 43 Winn St., BURLINGTON (exit 34 off Rt. 128, Woburn side) on Monday, March 16 at 10:15 a.m. Followed by a Mass of Christian Burial in St. Margaret’s Church, 111 Winn St., Burlington at 11:15 a.m. Visiting hours Sunday 1-5 p.m. Interment in Chestnut Hill Cemetery, Burlington. Memorials in Lorna’s name may be made to the Susan B. Komen for the Cure, P.O. Box 650309, Dallas, TX 75265-0309. For directions, obituary, and online guest book see www.sullivanfuneralhome.net or www.saintmargaretschurch.net Lorna Damon Remembered I will try to briefly honor my wife for whom words simply cannot do justice. Lorna had a passion for life and enjoyed getting the most out of everything. She believed in her family, her faith and her determination. It was hard to have a casual relationship with Lorna because she did not take life casually. It was little surprise by the number of people that came out to honor Lorna these past two days, because she had a way of touching people’s lives. The best way I can describe how she touched someone’s life, is to tell the story of how I met and ultimately fell in love with Lorna. We met on Martha’s Vineyard by chance when we both shared a summer rental for a week with mutual friends. As I did in the past summers, I brought my bike, fishing gear and my anticipation for an adventure. I started the week with my usual bike ride out to Gay Head, when Lorna told me she was training for the Pan Mass Challenge (for those of you unfamiliar with the PMC, it is an annual bike-a-thon fundraiser that supports the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute) Of course, she choose the hardest route, 2 days from Sturbridge to Provincetown about 200 miles total. So we set out for our ride together. Along the way she told me how she liked to fish and had booked a charter trip, which coincidentally I did as well. She told me how the year before she held the Vineyard record for Striped Bass for a while before Spike Lee beat it with a larger catch. Throughout the day I learned about her love of music (in which she had cool taste), sports (in which she could talk about with the best of them), travel and to top it off – she had a convertible. I started to think it was my luckiest day of my life. That or I was being set up by my friends with an incredibly gourgeuos guy. Needless to say by the end of the day I was in love. Head over heals in love. The rest of the week was just one great day after another. On the way back home, I called my friend and told him I met the girl I wanted to marry. I was living in Philadelphia at the time, so after 10 months of long distance I packed up and made my way up to Boston with little more than the love in my heart to start my new life. Right from the beginning the love she had for her family was obvious. Her Mom, Dad, Sister, Brother In-Law and nieces were very important in her life. The trips she took with her Father to Ireland and BC/Notre Dame game were retold dozens of times, – by both of them. She would talk on the phone with her Mother every day. She would even call her after an all day visit when she got home. She would look forward to horseback riding trips with her sister and spent hours having fun and games with her nieces. Her Father liked to call her the “Biggest Kid of the Bunch” – and she was. When it was time for children of her own, she applied those same values in our home. The quality and content of Casey and Jack’s lives were Lorna’s priority and focus. Almost everything she did was involved and related to the children. Even before she became sick, it was hard for her to be away from our kids for any amount of time. She found it difficult to even go out to dinner without the children, no less be away over night. Given the fact that family was so important to Lorna, we choose to move to Burlington and be close to the rest of her family. The idea of our children growing up with so many of their cousins was a no-brainer. Her Aunts, Uncles and Cousins have been such a constant part of our world; life would be unimaginable without them. For years we searched for a home elsewhere with no success. When we finally decided to look here, our offer was accepted on the first house we looked at. It’s clear now that Burlington was the place where we were meant to live. The love and support we received from her extended family as well as the wonderful neighbors and friends were truly a blessing. When Lorna was told that her cancer had come back nearly 4 years ago, it was her love of the children that gave her the power to fight the decease. When we were told that the average expectancy for someone in her condition was under 2 years, her response was “That it was an unacceptable answer and outcome”. She had 2 small children and she intended to watch them grow up. With that determination, she battled through treatment. Radiation, several different hormone and chemotherapy treatments, physical therapy and acupuncture, as well as the harsh side effects did not break her strength of mind. She went through all this without complaint. Her courage was inspiring and others drew strength from her motivation, which ultimately came from the desire to be there for our children. The day before Lorna passed away, I promised her I would carry on her values and beliefs with our children. I tried to assure her I would do everything within my power to protect them and raise them in the manner in which we believed. I promised I would keep her memory alive in their minds. So as I did with my vow of marriage with Lorna, I will do so with my vow to keep her memory alive. I ask you all to do the same. Thank you for all your prayers, love and support. Todd Marianne Russo’s words of remembrance I’ve known Lorna since we were little girls. We were Pop Warner Cheerleaders together, Jr. Coaches together and Candy Stripers together and we had what Lorna called “Parallel Lives”. To start with there were our Dads, two men with big hearts, a certain sense of mischief and incredible generosity. Being the youngest of two daughters we had special bonds with our Dads and they didn’t just love us, the adored us. One day when Lorna and I came home from getting her a new wig, we went outside on the back deck to show her Dad. He was sitting and he looked at her and his face lit up with the biggest smile I’ve ever seen. She asked him if he liked it, if he really liked it. She didn’t even have to ask. He assured her that he did, but the look on his face was of complete joy. That’s the way our fathers looked and treated us, with complete joy. When Lorna was 16 Jack bought her a sports car. He asked me if I was enjoying the car. It was like he bought that car for all of us. He was so generous and I believe that Lorna got that gift of generosity from her Dad. Then there is our Moms, two Italian women who cook and clean and clean some more. Always helping us. Always trying to do something to make our lives easier. Our Moms are our backbones. They take the most abuse from us, but they never waiver. Shirley is one of the strongest women I know. Her devotion to her entire family is immense. Lorna was so thankful for her Mom and she told me many times how she could not do it without her. Lorna and I shared many stories about our Moms and laughed so hard. We were out to dinner one night and Lorna and I were in the ladies room. She was fixing the skirt she had on and I said to her, “I thought you were wearing your capri’s tonight?” She said, “I had them on but my Mother said”, “You’re wearing that??” like our Mom’s do. We laughed so hard in the ladies room because at 40 years old she still went upstairs and changed out of the capri’s. We still listened to our Moms. The respect and the love Lorna had for Shirley is beyond words. Shirley knows that because Lorna told her but more importantly, showed her by the way she lived her life. Then there are our Sisters. There were times growing up when we didn’t know what to make of them. They would do or say things that didn’t make sense to us. But we knew we could always count on our Sisters and that as crazy as they seemed to us at times, they would never let us down. When Lorna and I were kids we wanted to see the movie Grease. Back when there was no Blockbuster, DVD or Pay on Demand. The movie was in the cinema and when it was gone, it was gone. Laure drove us to every cinema in the State of Massachusetts and we saw Grease 13 times! Lorna and I would be laughing in the car saying, “She’s alright that Laure!” Lorna loved her nieces Amanda and Taylor (who she called Tay). She told me proudly of things that were going on in their lives. She was an incredible Aunt and she knew that the girls loved her as much as she loved them. That brings us to our husbands. We chose men who are fun loving and friendly. Men who made us laugh and we enjoyed being with. Through the ups and downs of marriage, Lorna was always pleased with what a great Father Todd is and how much love there is between Todd and the kids. To have a Toddler and a baby and a wife with terminal cancer, that is not what you plan on. It’s not how you imagined it to be. Lorna would get upset if Todd looked like he couldn’t handle it all, but really who could? We talked a lot about this and she was tough on him at times, but in the end she told me he did an incredible job taking care of her. That he stepped up to the plate and the reasons she married him were clear to her. She was content knowing he could take the best care of their children and she could be at peace with that. The biggest and most important part of Lorna and my life is with no doubt our children. She lived and fought so hard to be with her children, to make memories and share special moments. She volunteered tirelessly at the school and church to be a part of Casey’s experiences. Her biggest fear was that her children would not remember her and she wanted them to know that she tried so hard to stay with them. She fought so hard not to leave them. I always assured her that no matter how young, the imprint she made on their hearts would always be there and the enormousy of her love would be strong enough to endure. She was comforted by that, but she continued on fighting to move forward and steal as much time as she could. I want everyone to know that the last 3 ½ years have been about living, not dieing. We have done so many important and wonderful things. She decided from the beginning that there would be no pity party. We would hold our heads high and move forward. She lived a great life in a short time. She traveled all over the world and met so many incredible people. She told me not be sad for her because she really did so much. Her biggest accomplishment and source of happiness was the family that she and Todd created together. She would not take any of it back. She was grateful to her wonderful neighbors, friends and the community. She has an enormous extended family who meant the world to her. Aunts and Uncles, Cousins and then her Cousins children and then their children and on and on. Such beautiful people. Always there for her. So many memories growing up and all through her life. And then there is Todd’s family as well who she always told me were so great with her children. She had a true faith in her religion and was comforted by that. Lorna and I would sometimes just go for a ride in the car to get out. She would apologize for not being able to walk and I teased her about us being the drive through girls. We’d get a latte and cruise around. Once she leaned her head back and I asked her if she was alright. She smiled and said “I’m great, this is normal, except for that part of you driving!” We laughed and she said, “Thank you.” Once we stopped at a red light and there were 2 older ladies in a car beside us. She asked me if I thought we would be like that someday and I said yes, but that I would be the pretty one driving and she would be the other one. She rolled her eyes at me and told me I could be the pretty one, “that’s fine” and we laughed. We always laughed. In the emergency room we laughed. In her room a few days before she died, we were still laughing. Her beauty on the outside was undeniable, but her beauty on the inside far surpassed it. She was not perfect. She got mad. She had bad days. But she handled herself with grace, courage, strength and determination. I can’t imagine the earth for me without her. It is a whole lifetime of memories and secrets, laughter and love. She was my best friend and she was the best friend. I once told my daughters that if they could have just one friend, I wish they could have a friend like Lorna is to me. I wish that for everyone. Casey and Jack are her legacy. We’ll all make sure that they remember her and when Casey’s older I just might share a few of her Mom’s secrets with her. Lorna is our angel now. The last words we said to each other were, “I love you”, and “I love you more”, and “No, I love you more” and back and forth. She smiled and rolled her eyes and let me win. That’s what your best friend does for you. God Bless you now Lorna. We’re all in awe of you. We’re all so proud of you. We all love you.
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