June K. Berg - 80 Years of Age - 2007 -
- Published on Tuesday, 27 May 2008 15:57
- Written by Stanton O. Berg
(June K. Berg - 1994)
- A Day in the Life - Late Stage Alzheimer's -
"June, today November 8th 2007 is your birthday. Your eleven year battle with Alzheimer’s has left you lying wounded, vanquished and exhausted.
Like a snuffed out candle, only the slightest spark remains of what was once a warm, bright, vibrant and glowing lady.
Your mind only in the “now”, wanders through unfamiliar surroundings. Some people look friendly, some look familiar, and some do not. Some surroundings are void or dark. Some areas are so sad that you cry. All are confusing. The simple act of coughing or sneezing frightens you. You sit with your eyes closed drawing a curtain on a world that is always bewildering and sometimes frightening.
Well meaning friends and relatives try to jog a no longer existing memory with references that are also long gone.
When you awaken from a sleep or simply open your eyes it is into another strange and different world. There is an occasional flicker of familiarity but that is quickly lost.
Your injured mind has abandoned you to a mental feeling of isolation and solitude. Your signature smile that would always light up your face is forever gone...The sound of your voice has been stilled. Even the touch of your hand cupped over mine is just a memory. You cannot walk, eat or bath without help. There are occasional uncontrolled tremors.
Your life has been reduced to little more then a mere existence. While you are like a stranger who no longer knows me, you remain and always will be, the love and light of my life.
I know that you are ready for God to take you home to a better world free of the shadows of Alzheimer’s. I still however cling selfishly to the remaining vestige of the lady who was and is the centerpiece of my life. I stand helpless as I see my life’s treasure being pulled from my grasp and slowly slipping away."
"Satan's Work not God's Work"
Our Redeemer Lutheran Church Pastors Dave, and Harley as well as our previous Pastors, Gene and Cliff, all assure me that God is not the author of June's Alzheimer’s suffering...God is working hard to bring some good out of June's long dark twelve year journey into the shadows of Alzheimer's....this is Satan's work and not God's work...God is always working to bring some good out of Satan's evil...the story of June's journey into the shadows of this terrible disease Alzheimer's, has touched many lives...almost immediately after having the above discussion with my Redeemer Lutheran Pastors, the below three saints appeared as if God on cue was verifying for me that yes, he does bring good out of Satan's evil: ...James E. Starrs, Deb Apuli and Patti J. Paulson:
James E. Starrs
One of our forensic science friend’s, James E. Starrs, is professor of law and Forensic Science at George Washington University in Washington DC said this about June...it was on a Christmas Eve that he was in prayerful contemplation at a local Chapel when he had thoughts of June...
“your June ….has been an inspiration to me to devote myself more unselfishly and lovingly to my wife ...Out of the tragedy you are suffering under, this good, I thought you should know, has blossomed.”
(James E. Starrs)
Deb Apuli, of nearby Hopkins, a lady in the process of her second divorce, and an associate of the Le Creuset company, after reading about June, wrote:
"I remember vividly how I felt when I read your loving tribute to June. I felt in aw of your deep and abiding love and commitment to her and grateful that those beautiful characteristics existed! Your words became a beacon of possibility and hope..."
“True love really does exist…Thank you for putting a light back on in my heart.”
Patti J. Paulson
A lady that neither June nor I had ever met, (Ms. Patti J. Paulson) of Minneapolis developed a powerful Alzheimer’s educational Microsoft power point PPS...presentation that she dedicated to June...we have since updated that presentation many times...
The presentation is currently in a newly issued 12th Edition (2016) and features 87 slides...
June, your inspiring life and your battle with Alzheimer’s has also caused great spiritual changes in my own life. I have lost my initial anger and bitterness with God. I have also become an active advocate for Alzheimer’s education and funding. At the same time my love for you has only grown stronger. You were my constant companion in my forensic science travels here and abroad. You are the reason that my life has been an adventure. In your life you have done the things that many people only dream of, yet your character and personality have remained that of the original warm, friendly modest farm girl from Colfax, Wisconsin that I first met in 1951.
Our oldest son Dave tells me that because of you, he found God. Because of your prayers and example, I also found God. Dave now feels that God has not taken you home as God feels we can all still learn from you. Perhaps Dave is right....
June, your 80 years have made and is making this a better world for all of us... your suffering will not have been in vain. However with my narrow view of the world, my love for you and the suffering you have gone through, I find it difficult to equate the scales of justice...the world loves you too...approximately 30,000 persons have visited this page since it was created...
I ask you sweetheart, if you travel into life’s sunset before me, "walk slowly – wait up – and watch for me....Listen for me to call your name...
June was called to her Heavenly Home by God on 23 October 2008.
Photo Notes: Photo above by Jim Gehrz was taken at the Benedictine Nursing Home at Innsbruck on 31 October 2007, a few days before June's 80th birthday. June and Stan spent many quiet hours in the Holy Spirit Chapel in front of the Altar...June was then in late stages of Alzheimer's and was almost totally non responsive. The occasion for the above photograph was a feature article by the Minneapolis Star-Tribune entitled: "Stan and June: "To Have and to Hold for 55 Years"...."Duets - Entering the Winter of LIfe" Star Tribune Com/Lifestyle - Saturday November 24th, 2007 - This was actually the 1st of 2 Feature articles done by the Star-Tribune on June and Stan's life together...The 2nd feature article was done for Memorial Day in 2010...Saturday May 31st...it was entitled "A Lasting Goodbye"...The setting for the 2nd feature article was June's grave at Lakewood Cemetery...see notes below on publish dates.
Published Dates - Minneapolis Star - Tribune
1. First Published in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Celebrations-Birthdays, Thursday 8 November 2007, for June's 80th birthday.
2. The basic description of "A Day in the Life of Late Stage Alzheimer's" as printed above (Paragraphs 1-8 in bold print) were republished in honor of June's Birthday on 8 November 2015 in the Sunday edition of the Minneapolis Star Tribune for June's 88th birthday.
3. Normally I publish 3 or 4 tributes to June every year in the Minneapolis Star-tribune. I always select the Sunday edition closest to the event in view of the much larger publication numbers on the Sunday's. Some may be tributes to June on a birthday such as this one, some may be for Mother's Day, Valentines Day or on our anniversary.
The occasion for the above photo was a special feature article that the Minneapolis - Star Tribune was publishing entitled: "Stan and June: "To Have and to Hold for 55 Years." Lifestyle . Saturday November 24th, 2007 - Section. This was actually the 1st of 2 Feature articles that the Minneapolis Star-Tribune did on June and Stan....the 2nd feature article was done for Memorial Day on May 31st, 2010, Variety Section entitled: "A Lasting Goodbye"...the setting for the 2d feature article was June's grave at Lakewood Cemetery.
Mariza Borg - Sydney, Australia - (6 October 2016): "What a beautiful page you created Stan... Your beautiful June forever in your heart, forever sharing the sunshine in your lives. God's love is all the good we have in this world. He gives us light and hope. He has given each and every one of us at least two personal miracles. One being the miracle of life and the other the miracle of this spectacular home we call earth. Of course He has given us so many more miracles it's just that too many of us take them for granted. We just need to open our eyes and heart to know them. We may have had a lot of suffering throughout our miraculous journey in life, only the MIRACULOUS is from our Lord, the suffering/evil, is injected by the devil. How blessed you are with the miracle of June in your life and how blessed was June with the miracle of you in her life. Keep fighting the evil Stanton, God is right here, arms and heart open wide, caring and loving as you teach so many the value of love, devotion and peace within ones soul. A beautiful tribute and page. Thank you for sharing."
Marsha McKneely Ault - Nacogdoches, Texas - (6 October 2016): "I especially enjoyed your friend, Mr. Starr's comments, how you and June have inspired him to be a better husband to his own wife. You continue to inspire and to teach others. I think it all is perfectly stated. In the first paragraph where you describe June that she cannot feed herself or bathe herself. "
Missi Todaro Williams - New Orleans, Louisiana - (6 October 2016):"I read it. I think you have it nailed down pretty good! Stan, you describe things so well. I think it's just right!"
Mary B. Walsh - East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania - (6 October 2016): "Oh yes, you have it right Stan, but then I believe you had it right all along. Even at your lowest moment; struggling with bitterness, you were processing, working through such a terrible loss."
Lynda Etlicher - Rice Lake, Wisconsin - (6 October 2016): "I myself feel Satan is behind a lot of suffering. I also feel our faith is being tested. So many times we give our problems to God and then we take our problems back in our own hands why? We don't trust that he doing it fast enough. I don't know the answer. I do it all the time. and yet my faith is strong."
James Denton - Pana, Illinois - (6 October 2016): "J am always amazed at your great tributes to your precious wife. Thank you for sharing."
Kathy Williams - Madisonville, Texas - (7 October 2016): "Very nicely worded."
Nikki Lee Pettigrew Slaven - Arkansas City, Kansas - (7 October 2016): "What a lovely tribute from a loving husband to his beautiful wife. His faith in the Lord's eternal blessings is very inspiring...I wish you the best, Stan."
Gabriella Rader - Portland, Oregon - (10 October 2016): "Right on point Stanton. Well said."
Linda Morse- Beerwah, Queensland, Australia - (10 October 2016): "What I found was a wonderful tribute page. It is well set out clear and easy to navigate. The links all work and the additonal information menu bar is excellent. It speaks of your personal touch and to your love and devotion to June. It is a page of rememberance but also of information . A very good page Well done."
June passed away on 23 October 2008 after a long and almost 12 year's journey from the time of her first symptoms in 1997. June died from Aspiration Pneumonia, a common Alzheimer's complication. June's funeral notice as published in the Minneapolis Star in October 2008 can be seen on this website in the drop down menu under the "In Memoriam" label - or just Click on: