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Reflections on an Unusual Month

December 1, 2017

We awoke this morning in Minneapolis to a new month with Advent nearly upon us. All Hallows’ Eve was spent in Rochester & Austin, Minnesota at the beginning of what was to become a month plus journey through the ups and downs of the Valley of the Shadows. My heart is still processing this final journey with Mom. With grit and determination along with a healthy dose of her dry Canadian wit, she fought so hard against the odds. She wasn’t going to let a growing subdural hematoma her the best of her. In the end, though, she ran out of steam.

Like the proverbial cat with nine lives she had battled to overcome two strokes, breast cancer, a double radical mastectomy, various health concerns, diabetes, and the simple reality of a body that was aging even though her mind remained clear.

She left her earthly body the day before Thanksgiving. I arrived a mere four hours to tell her I love her and say goodbye before she died in her sleep. Denise was with her to the very end… a constant companion, caregiver, daughter (she was never considered an in-law by Mom or Dad), confidant, and friend.

Now we wait for our plane to fly back to Estes Park, Presbyterian Community Church of the Rockies, and our Colorado family who have held us in their hearts during this journey.

And now, Dad begins his journey as a widower. His heart is aching with an emptiness that had been filled for 65 years by the love of his life. We are so thankful for the Austin, Hormel, and Westminster Presbyterian Church families who have already surrounded him with love, prayers, presence, and support.

Rest In Peace, Mom. Dad, may God continue to lift you as you walk this journey with us through the Valley of the Shadows.

  1. So sorry for your loss but thankful Denise could be there. Sending up prayers for your dad.

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