Although retired, he was going full throttle, busy with his foundation, public speaking, and board work while publishing a memoir. He added a physical fitness regime at 75 while maintaining a close relationship with his wife, children, and grandchildren. Life was good until it wasn’t.
The COVID-19 pandemic wall was erected as quickly as the Berlin wall of 1961. Thankfully, it should not take as long to deconstruct. Ill-prepared, people have been forced to reorganize every aspect of their lives to remain safe and sane. Allen Lynch is no exception.
If surviving birth is remarkable, all people live remarkable lives. Some people face events that are exceptional and therefore attract attention. Allen and his family are those people.
Awarded the Medal of Honor for actions in Vietnam, Allen then went on to assist veterans throughout his post-military career, eventually establishing the Allen J Lynch Foundation addressing the needs of veterans and their families. His personal battle and management of PTSD is evident in the compassion he extends to veterans.
Personal crises struck with the untimely death of a beloved daughter-in-law, mother to three young children. The Lynch family turned the birth of a grandchild, born with critical medical needs and not expected to survive, into a blessing as they rallied to raise a beautiful child who continues to thrive. Allen himself suffered a medical trauma that woke him to the fragility of and appreciation for life.
Having learned that “we make plans and God laughs,” Allen keeps plans fluid as he uses the isolation of the pandemic to assess his pre-COVID life style. His plans revolve around family, staying home to read history and the classics, ruck with his son for fitness, and enjoy his time as husband, father, and grandfather. He meets with people via the internet, avoiding long drives. As his friends long for the end of isolation, Allen admits sheepishly that he is enjoying this time.
Life is good . . .
then it isn’t, then it is, . . . Allen confessed that recovering from setbacks requires a lot of motivation. I have known Allen for almost 50 years (!). Whereas in time of crises I binge watch “Arrested Development” while formulating a move to Norway to hibernate, Allen rants (often a source of amusement for family and friends), expresses gratitude for life, and then steps out on a new path.
I will keep that strategy in mind, minus the ranting.