Sad/Happy Trip Home For Me

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draclvr
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Sad/Happy Trip Home For Me

Postby draclvr » Sun Jul 05, 2015 8:00 pm

We just returned from a trip up to my home town in NW Iowa - about 600 miles. My brother-in-law passed away last week. He had fought cancer, had a stem cell transplant, had both his legs amputated and a myriad of other health issues over the last 14 years. The man never complained, nor did my sister who was his primary caregiver for all those years too.

it was equal parts of crying, laughing, eating and drinking. He was a well-loved and active part of the little community up there - about 750 people. He had been a part of the fire department for 44 years and the Fire Chief for many years, so they had some special parts of the funeral and burial. The one that brought all but the most stoic to tears was an official dispatch at the cemetery after the priest was finished, which they played over the loud speaker system. The fire department dispatcher sent out a "last call for Dave Langenhorst; time 11:03 on July 3, 2015." It went out over the entire dispatch area. The funeral director made sure I was able to get the mini-van with my 91 year-old mother right up by the burial service so she could hear every thing. Not a dry eye in the house.

It was a joy to see the cousins ranging in age from 9 to 18 having so much fun together after all the tears. My sister is doing well - she said she knew that after 14 years of fighting to live, it was finally time. She has a huge support system up there and will be fine. Her two boys and their families will make sure of that. She's actually looking forward to finally getting to do some things she couldn't do before because of Dave's health issues - like coming down here for a visit!

The trip home was a nightmare! It normally takes about 9 – 10 hours, but traffic was backed up into stop and go traffic for at least 60 miles all the way into St. Louis. We got off the interstate way out and only had to deal with about 20 miles of it, but good grief! It added over an hour to the drive, so we are exhausted!

A bunch of them went to Wadi’s for lunch and Bloody Mary’s today. My sister picked up mom at the nursing home and she even had a Bloody Mary. I told my sister Donna to have one for me and mom said she did! She had one for herself and one for me!

Wadi’s is a little bar and grill in Hudson, South Dakota – population 600 – and they are famous for their Bloody Marys. One of the staff at the nursing home took mom and two other ladies from the home there in December for supper and Bloody Marys and then they drove around the country and looked at Christmas lights! They loaded up the wheelchairs in the special van at the home and headed out one Thursday night. It’s just across the Big Sioux River between Iowa and South Dakota.

I hail from an interesting part of the US!
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. When life gives you tomatoes, make Bloody Marys.
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LadyKestrel
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Re: Sad/Happy Trip Home For Me

Postby LadyKestrel » Sun Jul 05, 2015 11:28 pm

It sounds like your brother-in-law had a good send off, Drac. Condolences to you and your family.
Winter is an etching, spring is a watercolor, summer is an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all. -Stanley Horowitz
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Re: Sad/Happy Trip Home For Me

Postby mbday630 » Mon Jul 06, 2015 6:49 am

I had tears in my eyes reading this. What a fighter! So sad for you and your family but what a way to celebrate his life.
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Stella
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Re: Sad/Happy Trip Home For Me

Postby Stella » Mon Jul 06, 2015 6:56 am

Sorry for your loss, but what a wonderful celebration of life!
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draclvr
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Re: Sad/Happy Trip Home For Me

Postby draclvr » Mon Jul 06, 2015 8:15 am

Thank you, all. That is a very good description - celebration of a life well-lived in spite of mountainous obstacles.
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. When life gives you tomatoes, make Bloody Marys.
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Re: Sad/Happy Trip Home For Me

Postby StarLite » Mon Jul 06, 2015 9:29 am

So sorry for your loss Draclvr. Your bil sounded like quite the fighter and it was very nice of the fire department to remember him in such a lovely way. My sincere condolences to you and your family
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Jude
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Re: Sad/Happy Trip Home For Me

Postby Jude » Tue Jul 14, 2015 4:00 am

My condolences, Drac, to you and your family.
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Val
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Re: Sad/Happy Trip Home For Me

Postby Val » Thu Jul 16, 2015 12:11 am

Sad for your loss Drac. But what a wonderful send off he had! Celebrating the end of long years of suffering and peace at last. Glad to hear your sister has plenty of support.
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Re: Sad/Happy Trip Home For Me

Postby draclvr » Thu Jul 16, 2015 8:00 am

Thanks, Starlite, Val and Jude. I think my sister is doing OK... after caring for him so completely for 14 years, it's proving hard to realize she doesn't have to do this any more.

Unfortunately, we got bad news again yesterday. My younger brother's wife's ovarian cancer has returned - it showed up in two lymph nodes in her chest during her 3 month checkup. She will begin IV chemo with an oral chemo every 15 days next week. She told me the worst thing was having to tell my sister so soon after losing her husband. My mom is just beside herself.
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. When life gives you tomatoes, make Bloody Marys.
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Re: Sad/Happy Trip Home For Me

Postby StarLite » Thu Jul 16, 2015 8:42 am

OMG Draclvr, this is awful news especially with what you've just been through. They say though if you catch it in time you can beat it. Keeping my fingers crossed for a speedy recovery :flower:
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Val
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Re: Sad/Happy Trip Home For Me

Postby Val » Thu Jul 16, 2015 10:03 am

My heart goes out to her and the rest of your family. Sometimes life just sucks big time. :(
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Stella
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Re: Sad/Happy Trip Home For Me

Postby Stella » Thu Jul 16, 2015 10:50 am

Ugh! Chemo is the pits! I'm sending lots of hugs. :bighug :bighug
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draclvr
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Re: Sad/Happy Trip Home For Me

Postby draclvr » Thu Jul 16, 2015 10:53 am

Thank you, everyone. You know it only too well, Stella! She did really well with all the initial chemo and the surgery and then more chemo. Hopefully, this will knock those out and she can go for awhile without chemo again. It was exactly this time of the year she was diagnosed last summer.
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. When life gives you tomatoes, make Bloody Marys.
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Re: Sad/Happy Trip Home For Me

Postby Diat60 » Thu Jul 16, 2015 11:13 am

Just read this thread through - so sorry to hear of your family's tribulations. Seems like the old adage "it never rains, etc." holds true again. Fingers crossed for a silver lining.

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