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" Nobody Answers When I Call Your Name!"

"When I Call Your Name"

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June Berg 1994   ---

It was several years ago that June stopped answering me  "when I called her name"... sometime in the late stages of her twelve (12) year journey into the darkness of Alzheimer’s. It was perhaps in year ten (10) of the twelve (12) years of her struggle and battle with this disease that..."No body answered when I called her name!"

The song "When I Call Your Name" (1989), was first made popular by Vince Gill and reminds me of June and our last days together and my journey of grief since that day in October of 2008...the day that God took June away to her Heavenly Home.

I revised this old song to be June’s and my song and how our lives were changed by Alzheimer’s. When this song was first introduced in 1989, it would be another 10 years before Alzheimer’s entered our lives. At that time in 1998, neither June nor I really knew what the term “Alzheimer’s” meant!...the horror of the disease, or how it would impact and change our lives forever...or that some day I would say: "June , Nobody Answers When I Call Your Name!."

And even now in the house that was once June and my home, I still talk to June whenever I enter the house…two large framed smiling photos of June on the north wall of the living room greet me every time I walk in the back door…I talk to June as if she were still there…"but nobody answers when I call her name."...

And now when I drive the car up our driveway, I always look for June’s face in the window watching for my return…while I do not really expect to see her, I do know that if and when I do see her… that final "Bell Would Just have Tolled for Me” and our reunion is about to begin!

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Note: The above comments were made and were applicable in the days prior to my injury from a fall prior to 1 November 2016...so this story should be considered based on my life in the days prior to that time... 

 

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Nobody Answers When I Call Your Name!

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Revised by Stan Berg 2013.*

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I spent my day, thinking of you!

I rushed to my home like I always do.

When I walked through the door,

My whole life was changed.

June, nobody answered...

When I called your name!

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Only the lonely sound of my voice calling…

...and an echo of quiet and sadness.

 Just like the rain, my tears started falling.

June, nobody answers...

When I call your name!

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 * Revisions: Title change, two verses removed,  numerous word-changes...

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The original Song by Vince Gill:

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Vince Gill

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"When I Call Your Name"

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Note: For an original and beautiful poem by a fine lady poet from Nacogdoches, Texas, Marsha McNeely Ault, just scroll down to the 'Reader's Comments" section below...Marsha aptly named it "A Heaven's View".

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June and Alzheimer's

June’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis came in late January 1998 following short term memory problems noted in 1997. June in her role as a nursing home visitor, knew at a very early date, the blackness and the depth of the distant approaching Alzheimer’s storm clouds. June displayed a concern for me. I remember well that Sunday (Ca. 1999) when June brought home the “Care Notes” pamphlet from our church - “Handling Grief as a Man.” She said nothing; just left it out for me to find and to read. I also remember the time that she detected one of my episodes of emotional sadness as I watched her illness progress. She tried to console me by saying “Don’t worry, I will be alright Stan!” I am sure at the time, we both really knew otherwise.

Thereafter, I lost June slowly, tear drop by tear drop during her long and exhausting journey into the shadows of Alzheimer’s that lasted for almost 12 years.

For the first 8 plus years I took care of June at our home. The first 6 years of these years were relatively easy years that only required accommodation for her short term memory problems. We continued to travel extensively and did the many things we had put off in past years. In Years 7 and 8 the disease started closing in on us as we saw June’s personality changes and eventually hallucinations and behavioral changes. In year 9, June went into a nursing home. As the disease progressed she had seizures, lost ability to walk or talk, had difficulty swallowing, eating, and became incontinent. During the last year and a half, she rarely opened her eyes or even responded. Aspiration pneumonia, a common Alzheimer’s complication ended her life.

June gave me a lifetime of unconditional love during our 56 year’s marriage and a life with only the regret that it is now over and that June has had to suffer the horrors of Alzheimer's. I owe her and God an unending debt! Her passing was as if a most beautiful symphony that played during our life together, now fell silent!

Before June's Alzheimer's diagnosis, our world and her character and personality were represented by a vast sea of bright and beautiful lights. After her Alzheimer's diagnosis, these bright lights all begin to slowly dim. As June slowly slipped deeper into the shadows of Alzheimer's, the lights gradually flickered out one by one.

Eventually the time came during the last two years of her life, when the brightness that marked our world and June’s life was replaced by one of darkness.

June rarely ever opened her eyes to a world that was then alien and strange to her. June had become so tired, exhausted and weary that in the last year of her life she lay like a wounded soldier on a battlefield. God mercifully took June home on the 23rd of October 2008.

June's passing leaves me with an emptiness that can never be filled! I am reminded of the words by John F. Nim:

"For should your hands drop white and empty - All the toys of the world would break."

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"As I have said so many times in the past…I love you June and I will love you until the sands of time stop their endless trickle…there will never be another…I hope that some day as you walk the pathways of your heavenly home, that I will be permitted to join you

"Please watch for me…listen for me to once again call your name…"

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 Reader's Comments

Amy Stiel Almas  - Waterford, Michigan - (28 March 2013): "Brought tears to my eyes and reminded me of my Dad and the struggles my Mom (and family) went through. Thank you for sharing and God Bless you..."

Lynda Etlicher  - Rice Lake, Wisconsin - (29 March 2013):"Sad isn't it?  I do Hope Easter is a good day for you and I know June would want you to have a Great Day too!"

Kirsty Ballantyne Opswa  - Port Hope, Ontario, Canada - (30 March 2013): "You really are amazing.  I am so sorry for the suffering and loss you have endured. But i think what you are doing is helping so many other people in their lives. God bless you and your family."

Anthea Young  - East London, Eastern Cape, South Africa - (1 April 2013): "Thank you, kindly for your posts Mr. Berg... What a STUNNING picture of JUNE."

Sally Gore  - Hawaii - (2 April 2013): "How special."

Alisa Carnall  - Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada - (4 April 2013): "Very touching!"

Bryn Sineath  - Hot Springs, Arkansas - (4 April 2013): "So beautiful I am crying. Alz's is awful thing to see, I know yet it made my mother beautiful to the end. Two days before her death while under Hospice care at Good Sam Nursing home, she reached out to me when I walked in, held my hand which surprised me. She knew... there was "knowing" in her somehow."

Elise Goldstein Widerker  - Brooklyn, New York - (5 April 2013): "Stan, this is another beautiful testament of your deep love for June. Thanks for sharing. Hope all is well with you."

Maxine J. Bailey  - Rotherham, United Kingdom - (5 April 2013): "You know exactly how to portray dementia through words ...It's so apt ...All people in this situation, I'm sure like to know they are not alone and completely understand how it takes away a part of yourself."

Tracy Lund  - Roseau, Minnesota - (5 April 2013): "Reading this I get big tears in my eyes! It is BEAUTIFUL how you LOVED her and love her still!...I understand that Stan! I miss my dad every day! A love like you and June had is what movies are made of! How blessed you are to have had that , most can only dream of having a love so rare, blessings always my friend!"

Lora Rushing Robinson  - Benton, Louisiana - (6 April 2013):"Postings....keep em coming my friend.....and I so love this song, me and my sister used to play this on the c.d. heading home for the two hour drive back home from where we live to where we were raised with this playing as loud as it could and both of us singing just as loud....over and over,thank you for sharing, hugs and hugs, friend."

Vicki Cadogan  - Limerick, Ireland - (6 April 2013): "Brings a tear to my eye Stan, you and June clearly loved each other dearly."

Bryantbruce Md Cheryl  - Pebble Beach, California - (26 April 2013): "Stanton-I have come to know her through you...and I miss her too!  ;-)  Yours is a BEAUTIFUL love story."

Terry Shepherd  - Warsaw, Indiana - (24 August 2013): "That had to be so hard for you Stanton. The woman you loved and had been married to for so long to no longer recognize your voice...(5 November 2013): "it is sad, yet it is beautiful, it ripped my heart knowing the lonliness you feel without your beloved"

Fae Lee  - (24 August 2013): "Was just reading June's blog again. Gosh, to be loved as you love your beautiful June, would really be something. God bless you ".

Lori-Ann Drew  - Providence, Rhode Island - (24 August 2013): "Beautiful Love affair!  My father lost his soul mate two years ago this January.  He too was a care giver till the end.  My mother suffered a stroke at the age of 63 that left her speechless and partially paralyzed.  Your love has many similarities with my fathers.  Like my mother I am sure June is always nearby, and one day she will whisper in your  ear as you make your journey to be with her once again.  God Bless!"

Marsha McKneely Ault  - Nacogdoches, Texas - (24 August 2013): "Stan--.I know that one day you will call June and you will hear her voice and see her running into your arms." (See Marsha's poem below: "A Heaven's View"...22 March 2014): "It will happen Stanton, It will be the most wonderful moment when you and June are in each other's arms once more."

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Ault

To Stanton O. Berg:

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"A Heaven's View"

If only the heavens could part
and we could see
those who have crossed
into eternity.

Here below on earth we feel
sorrow, pain
our vision so limited
we trudge alone each day.

If we close our eyes
we can feel , we can almost see
our beloved one
watching over us

from heavenly courts on high.
The anguish, the agony of today
will pale in comparison to
the wonderment, the joy

of being reunited one day.

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Bonnie Seip  - Ottsville, Pennsylvania - (24 August 2013): "What a BEAUTIFUL , TOUCHING POEM ....In LOVING MEMORY OF JUNE .... Our BEAUTIFUL ANGEL."

Donald Hiatt  - Clovis, California - (24 August 2013): "I liked your rendition of the song.  I pray it's one I'll never have to write.  You are an inspiration to me, showing that it is possible to carry on in a life not of your choosing.  May the Lord richly bless you as you journey in this land that's not your home, ever looking toward the golden shores of heaven...Don." ..."What a vision of hope you have laid out before us in this beautiful poem. (Marsha's poem) There is a better day on the horizon, golden streets where God will wipe away our final tears...Thanks and Blessings...Don."

Dawn Laursen Galati  - Orlando, Florida - (24 August 2013): "This one gets me Stan, sad and beautiful at the same time..."

Isabel Harper  - Belfast, United Kingdom - (25 August 2013): "It'll be a joyous day indeed. Not yet though Stanton,  all in God's good time."

Julie Stuart  - Fochabers, Scotland - (6 November 2013): "Stan take care ive just been on a read it all. .beautiful n sad...I lost my father in law a few weeks ago to cancer, and have to deal with daily battle with my mum in law and this bloody illness I feel as a family we r grieving for them both....hope the snow is not too bad."

Bonnie Seip  - Ottsville, Pennsylvania - (6 November 2013):  "BEAUTIFUL STORY , Mr. Berg yet again brought tears to my eyes ... I Pray that you can make your trip today .... STAY SAFE MR BERG IN YOUR TRAVELS ... God Bless you."

Ruth Hart Moulton  - Turkey, North Carolina - (6 November 2013):"This made my eyes cry and my heart bleed..."

Chris Hodge  - Wrexham, United Kingdom - (22 March 2014): "Stanton this is remarkably powerful, as are all your posts. June will certainly answer one day my friend, but I'm sure she has plenty of work for you to do here first. God bless you both."

Alzheimer Society of Newfoundland and Labrador, Inc  - Mount Pearl, Canada - (4 April 2014):"Beautifully written, thank you so much for sharing and for all of your great resources and perspectives!  We are thankful for your efforts in spreading awareness on this disease and look forward to more resources from you! - Amelia White, Events Coordinator."

Mary Jill Bringgold  - Cannon Falls, Minnesota - (9 June 2014):  "Stanton, I never tire of your stories about June!"

Andrea Neary  - Manchester, United Kingdom - (24 October 2014): "Such Hope...! Beautiful words. Thank you for directing me."

Donald Mc Cormick  - Linwood, New Jersey - (24 October 2014): "Stan nice thoughts. I talk to my Marie all the tme as well. I took her flowers today like tI always have done on Friday. gave her a shot of coffee while I was there. "

Trudy Dillaway - London, United Kingdom - (24 October 2014): "What an inspirational man...Your devotion is beautiful. I love the poem... It says so much so profoundly, it touches the soul. What a magical day it will be, when you and June are reunited ake care Stanton.... Be very proud of yourself, for you are everything a man..."

 
 
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June's Passing

June 1994

After an almost 12 year journey into the shadows of Alzheimer's, early one morning in late October 2008, an exhausted June felt God's gentle touch on her shoulder and heard the words: "Come Home June!" As June lay like a wounded soldier on a battlefield, it was God's Angels that raised and ushered June into a Heavenly Kingdom to the sound of a chorus of Angels...and in the presence of Jesus and June's new home, a "Mansion on the Hilltop"... where there is no pain, nor illness nor tears...June's funeral notice as published in the Minneapolis Star in October 2008 can be seen on this website on the drop down menu under the "In Memoriam" label or - just Click on:

 

"June K. (Rolstad) Berg - In Memoriam"