Weekend in Wisconsin

23 Sep

Roger and I headed east yesterday morning.  It was a beautiful day for a drive.  We were heading to Racine, Wisconsin to the home of Rich & Darlene Heiden, the parents of Brian, who died along with Liz and Amanda Spekien.

It has become a ritual around the 20th of September … we all gather — parents, siblings, college roommates and friends — to remember and laugh — the stories flow freely and they make us all smile and remember our kids.

Two years ago everyone came to our home, last year we were in Vadnais Heights at the Spekiens; and this year we all made the trip to Racine.

I’m so proud of Liz’s roommates.  They also lost so much that day.  Not only did they lose their friends who had become their family, but they also lost their home and the majority of their belongings.

They have each persevered.  Fik is in med school in Washington DC, Monique and Bri graduated in May and are working … contemplating grad school next year.  And Afton will graduate in May.  They are doing what Liz, Brian and Amanda would want them to do … go out and live a good life … to the fullest.  That is the best way we can all honor them.

We made a trip to the cemetery to see Brian’s stone.  I’m still amazed when I see each stone.  As parents, we never discussed the headstones for our children.  But one by one as we made the visit each September 20th … we were astounded to see how strikingly similar they all are.

Each are black granite … Liz and Amanda’s stones are the same shape (a tear drop) and we each have a picture of our child etched into the stone.  Each are beautiful and wonderful tributes for three lives cut short.

The sadness has lifted … I feel free to go out and live my life with JOY … always remembering and always loving.

One Response to “Weekend in Wisconsin”

  1. adrialarson September 24, 2007 at 8:53 am #


    I always enjoy reading your posts and look forward to “what is coming next” in your life. You are a fabulous writer!!

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