I cannot further delay to report the tragic heartbreak that occurred in our family on July 6, 2013, when my former wife, Sharon Schabel Kralik, died.
Sharon’s passing came far too early. At 56, her life had never been easy, but it was about to get better. She had plans to remodel her condo, and was looking forward to spending time with her son at his new house at the beach. She was making plans to go to her nephew’s wedding. Then her motor skills suddenly deteriorated, and an MRI revealed aggressive and inoperable tumors throughout her brain.
When I first saw Sharon, she was dancing on a table at a party that a friend had swept me into in the spring of 1979. I could not take my eyes off her. Neither could anyone else. This picture of her was taken in the following years, as she undertook the work of her life, which was to be the mother of her two sons.
There was good cause for anger at the cruelty life so swiftly showed her just after Mothers’ Day, but the one person who most deserved to be angry was not. She showed no anger, only love. In battling her illness, Sharon was courageous, and absolutely uncomplaining to the end. For the last months of her life her beloved sons were with her at all times, and their devotion must have shown her the success of her life’s work in bringing them up. We knew that she felt the pain and knew the injustice of her illness. Yet Sharon showed us an example of courage and endurance and tolerance for indignity and pain. She was welcoming to all who came to see her. Loving and forgiving to all. Even me.
What people like Sharon supply the world is not achievement or wealth, but what the world needs more and values too little, unquestionable, and unquestioning love. And that is of so much more value. As St. Paul said. “If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.” Sharon had love, and Sharon’s love was truly something.
Here is a link to her obituary in the L.A. Times.