June and Christmas Time - 6025 Gardena Lane!
- Published on Friday, 23 November 2012 14:52
- Written by Stanton O. Berg
(Photo above is 6025 Gardena Lane - Christmas Season Winter 1998)
June loved Christmas time and the Christmas season more then any other time of the year. June often said she wished that “Christmas came twice a year.” For June the season began with the sending out of her many Christmas cards to her family, her relatives and her friends. She always wrote a message inside of each card and was never content with simply signing the cards. The cards June purchased pre-season for later mailings were always the finest and personally selected by June.
Our family Christmas tree was also one that had been selected and later personally decorated by June.
June hosted every Christmas Eve for the family at 6025 Gardena Lane beginning in 1966. The family had just purchased a lot, designed and constructed our new home earlier in the year. While June had hosted Christmas Eve for the family at our former home on Washington Street during the prior few years we lived there, it was 6025 Gardena Lane that became the Christmas Home. The hosting of Christmas at 6025 Gardena Lane continued every year for the next 31 years. It was only when Alzheimer's became a part of June's life that she was forced to discontinue this loved annual family tradition.
The Christmas Eve's evening activities would begin with a large Christmas dinner for all. Traditional Christmas music was played throughout the house during the day and evening via a stereo system with speakers in every room. This music and speaker system was one that June purchased, had installed and paid for out of her own funds. A fire in the living room fireplace would also be a part of the Christmas Eve activities.
Following a sumptuous traditional Christmas dinner, it was gift opening time.
Everyone would assemble in the living room where the gifts had been placed under the Christmas tree…to more then overflowing.
Christmas Eve was always a fun and a joyous family occasion.
Erik who was one of June’s and my grandson’s was born in November 1978. It was only a little more then a month later during Christmas Eve 1978 that our new Grandson Erik became featured as a gift under our family Christmas tree.
Our daughter Julie is Erik’s mother. Julie in a display of her sense of humor had earlier obtained a huge Christmas stocking with her name on it. Julie had placed this huge stocking up near the Christmas tree as a not so subtle suggestion for other family members to fill her stocking with gifts.
Little Erik who had already been placed under the Christmas tree, ended up rather appropriately inside our daughter Julie’s huge Christmas stocking…in a Christmas Eve photo, little Erik can be seen peeking out over the top of the Julie’s huge stocking.
Such are the memories that are so typical of the joy of Christmas Eve at 6025 Gardena Lane in those wonderful years when June was June and Alzheimer’s was not one of the words in our family vocabulary.
It would be twenty (20) years later before June was diagnosed (1998) with Alzheimer’s…our life after that day in January of 1998 would never be the same…it would be the beginning of the end for June and Christmas at 6025 Gardena Lane.
Christmas Eve 1998 - 2007
June was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in January of 1998 following short term memory problems noted in 1997…thereafter June’s participation in Christmas gradually diminished. Our daughter Julie took over the hosting of Christmas for the family at her home beginning in December 1998 and did so until June became a resident of an Alzheimer's care facility in 2005. During the years that June was in a facility, (2005-2007) the family met at the facility on Christmas Eve.
June decorated her last tree at our home at 6025 Gardena Lane for the Christmas of 2000. This last tree decorated by June has remained up and decorated since Christmas time 2000. It is my intention that this tree remain up until after the last "Bell has Tolled" for me.
Christmas has always been a season that brought great Joy to June. As such June was always the one that assumed the responsibility for all the preparations for Christmas including the sending of the Christmas cards.
Unfortunately as her Alzheimer’s progressed, so did her difficulty with even the most simple of the Christmas card preparations.
In order to make the process of preparing the Christmas cards for mailing easier, we staged the process into a daily project of a set number of cards per day.
Each card required a short note or comment, dating the card, stamping, signing, and finally the addressing of the envelope. Our goal was to send out only 5- 6 cards a day.
I would try to handle the addressing of cards (to avoid errors) and June would do the signing of the cards. She would like to write an additional line of greetings. Even this simple task was very difficult for her in mid stage Alzheimer's and frequently resulted in words misspelled, in the wrong order or just simply inappropriate. It was heart breaking to see her difficulty with the tasks that was once a thing of joy in former years. Many times she would give up in frustration but would usually want to try again the next day. Because of her loss of short term memory, June would forget the previous days difficulty only to repeat the previous day's heart break. June was not able to participate in Christmas card or other preparations after the year 2004.
Initially I bought into the myth that Alzheimer's was basically a memory disease. I understood that with patience, understanding and some adjustments, I would be able to take care of June in our home for her lifetime. It was later that I came to understand the cruel scope of Alzheimer's disease.
In reality, June's brain was slowly dying and the short term memory (later long term) were only the beginning symptoms of this terrible disease.
By Christmas time 2003 (Photo on right) Alzheimer's was beginning to change June's personality in a negative way. June would demonstrate anger, sadness and suspicion that I had never seen before...these moods would change and for a part of the day, June would be the June of old. These changes were sad and heartbreaking...this would become more pronounced in 2004.
As June's brain slowly died, it would began to shut down the body functions. (walking, talking, eating etc.) June's physical and emotional being would completely change and eventually her proper care would be far beyond what I could manage for her alone in our home.
On 16 March 2005, early in the 9th year of her journey into the shadows of this terrible disease, June was placed in an Alzheimer's care facility. Fear becomes a part of their daily life in the middle to late stages...eventually June became almost totally non responsive in her last year and rarely opened her eyes.
On Thursday morning 23 October 2008, June passed away from the complications (Aspiration Pneumonia) of this disease.
June was and will always be, the love and light of my life. While June and I were not married in the Christmas season, June has been the greatest gift I have ever received...perhaps she was a gift from God...For me it was as a poet once said:
"All the Toys of the World Broke"
Christmas - 2008
After an absence of 10 years, Christmas returned at last to 6025 Gardena Lane in December 2008. At the request of our granddaughter Emily, Christmas Eve celebrations once again returned to 6025 Gardena Lane. I originally had mixed feelings when Emily requested that we again have an old time Christmas Eve like those in her memory as a small girl.
Although I am a sentimentalist and hearken to the thought that:
"All Hearts Come Home for Christmas",
With June gone, it all seemed so futile. I should not have worried as it all worked out far better than I imagined it would.
A dozen of the children and grandchildren assembled at 6025 Gardena Lane for a joyful evening in honor of June. This was the first Christmas celebrated at 6025 Gardena Lane since 1998. It was also the first time that the Christmas Tree had been lighted on Christmas Eve since the year 2004, the last year June was home..
The Christmas Tree has now remained decorated and up continuously since June last arranged and decorated it for the Christmas of 2000. That was the last year before Alzheimer's started taking control of June's life. (Our daughter Julie had taken over the hosting of Christmas Eve for the family for several years (1998-2004) in her home. The family central gatherings stopped the year June left 6025 Gardena Lane to be cared for in a nursing facility - 2005.) I had never turned the tree lights on again for Christmas after 2004 until 2008. The tree has never been taken down nor the decorations or lights removed. The living room where it is located is also an unusual room - there is no significant dust - every other room in the house has abundance of dust but not this room. The tree and decorations never appear to need dusting.
Photo Notes: Identification of all the photos on this page beginning at the top and on down the page to the bottom lower last photo. There are a total of 11 photos on this page.
1. The top center photo on the page is a wintertime view of our home at 6025 Gardena Lane during the holiday season of 1998. This was the year that June was diagnosed following her noting of short term memory problems in 1997.
2. The second photo – on the right side of the page is the Christmas tree over-flowing with gifts on Christmas Eve at 6025 Gardena Lane in the year of 1975.
3. The third photo - on the right side of the page is our one month old grandson Erik under the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve 1978. Erik is a gift in his mother "Julie's" stocking!
4. The fourth photo - on the right side of the page is the Berg family on Christmas Eve at 6025 Gardena lane in 1994. (L – R) Grandma Ellen, Daniel, Susan, Julie, Stan, June and David.
5. The fifth photo - on the right side of the page is June and Stan on Christmas Eve 2003. Alzheimer's is starting to effect June's personality in a negative way for varying time periods each day. Our daughter Julie is hosting the family gathering for Christmas Eve 2003....June was in the 7th year of her Alzheimer's dark journey.
6. The sixth photo - on the right side of the page is June with her million dollar smile on Christmas Eve in 1997. This was the year that June first note some short term memory problems.
7. The seventh photo - on the right side of the page is Stan with his Santa Cap for Christmas Eve 2003. June was in her 7th year of her journey into Alzheimer's...still doing well but Alzheimer's was starting to take control of her and my life.
8. The eighth photo – on the right side of the page is of June…this is a framed picture presently on the north wall of the Living Room, opposite the fireplace in a commanding 27" x 37" size. This is June at 6025 Gardena Lane during the Christmas season in December 1996 - this was the year before the December of 1997 that June went through her testing and subsequently was diagnosed with Alzheimer's a month later in January 1998. This tree was decorated and erected by June.
9. The ninth photo – on the right side of the page is of June at Christmas time in the year 2002. While the year 2002 was June's 6th year into Alzheimer's, she was still doing very well and was able to participate in the joys of Christmas. It was in the following two years that the disease began to gradually take control of her life
10. The tenth photo – on the right side of the page is Christmas time in 2000 at 6025 Gardena Lane. June is sitting in front of Christmas tree with my Mother Ellen (Nedland) Silbaugh sitting in the chair. This is the last tree that June decorated before Alzheimer's begin to take control of her life. This tree decorated by June, has remained up continuously all year round since this Christmas in 2000. Both June and my mother Ellen have since passed on as victims of Alzheimer's.) It is my intention to keep this tree up until I am no more! (June was in her 4th year of Alzheimer's in the year 2000.)
11. The eleventh photo is a center page heading with June in a Christmas wreath...The photo was originally taken in 1994...wreath added later.
12. The twelfth photo – in the lower center of the page is the Redeemer Lutheran Church Candle Light communion Service on Christmas Eve 2011 (Photo by Keith Olson)
The living room was June's favorite room. All of her favorite arrangements were in this room. The Clavinova that she loved and played was at that time in this room. The gas fireplace that June saved the money for and paid to install, is still providing warmth, cheer and a bright glow. After June left our home following the 2004 Christmas, the fireplace was not again turned on until we resumed Christmas gatherings in 2008.
Two large pictures (27" x 37") of June dominate the north wall. The pictures were taken at a photographic angle such that no matter where in the room an individual may be standing, June always appears to be looking directly at the individual. June is of course sporting her usual signature million dollar smile.
The only sad note to the evening was of course the absence of June who was always the centerpiece of the celebrations. It was also sad that June could not enjoy the company of and meet her two new great grandchildren Owen and Katrina. I am sure that June was present in spirit and was happy to see what was happening once again in the home she loved so much. Little Katrina, less than a year old, was a point of brightness on this Christmas Eve with her good humor, smiles and energy, a loving reflection of her great grandmother June.
The Christmas tree and decorations for 2008 were the same ones that June arranged in the year 2000. This tree and the decorations have been up continuously (all year round) since Christmas time in 2000. It is my intention that this tree and its decorations shall remain up in memory of June as long as I am alive. (See picture below of Christmas 2000, the year the tree was last decorated.)
Everyone arrived between 5:30 and 6:00 PM and by 9:30 PM all was quiet again at 6025 Gardena Lane as the last guest departed.
Even the weather cooperated with a more pleasant Christmas Eve temperature and an abatement in the snow. The next morning, Christmas Day dawned with bright sunshine and a beautiful day.
Pastor Harley's sermon the next morning on Christmas Day at Redeemer Lutheran was:
"Be Not Afraid."
The Angels message to the Shepherds -
(Luke 2:10 KJV)
I should have heard and listened to this message earlier!
2009 Notes: We had a repeat performance for Christmas Eve 2009. We again had 12 guests for the evening. Included was June's nurse (Carolyn) who was on duty the afternoon before June passed away. It was a very nice evening with good attendance in spite of the area being hit with the worst snow storm in two seasons.
2010 Notes: Our attendance this year was down slightly with 10 guests for the evening. Carolyn was again in attendance. Another snowy December. Two of the grandchildren were very young (Katrina and Owen) and were delighted with the opening of their gifts. Their joy in turn gave pleasure to every one.
June's tree decorated in 2000 still remains up but age is taking a toll. Most artificial trees such as this one, are up about 30 days a year. June's tree has been up for 365 days every year now for 10 years. Structurally it is no longer sound and has had some deterioration. The top third no longer has the original full symmetrical figure or outline. The tree is something like me with age, the foundation is no longer secure. I noticed this morning at Redeemer Lutheran, that as we went up for Christmas Communion, my step was unsteady as I climbed the 3 steps to the alter area.
2011 Update: This year our Grandson Steven was able to attend Christmas Eve with us at 6025 with Tuta and their year old twins Ileana and Sophie. These little sweethearts are in constant exploratory action and leave no dull moments. June would have been thrilled!.
Our Grandson Erik came earlier for a short visit along with his children, Marijane, Owen and Kartrina before leaving for his Christmas Eve dinner at Big Lake. Katrina is also a very active little charmer that June would have been delighted to spend time with. Granddaughter Emily was also with us. As usual, Our daughter Julie did the cooking and the main course was a Christmas ham. Of course the meal also included Lefsa and pickled herring, long time Norwegian favorites. Geno assisted with the preparations. Our oldest son David was present with Khim and they provided the evening Champagne!
Later in the evening Emily, Julie and Geno made the short pilgrimage with me to the near by family church (Redeemer Lutheran) for the 10:30 PM Candle-Light Communion Service...a beautiful annual church tradition.
Our senior Redeemer Pastor Dave Glesne delivered the Christmas message to a full house. This beautiful service left me very emotional. I am sure June was with us all in spirit and certainly in memory.
One of the current long time Redeemer lady members (Donna Wessling) was kind enough to speak with our granddaughter Emily concerning her grandmother June and what a special person she was. She told Emily how June was the first person to greet her and talk with her when she was a first time visitor to the Redeemer Church many years ago. What a fitting note on which to end the year 2011.
We also had a Christmas Day communion service that was also well attended! Pastor Harley delivered the Christmas Day message:
"Emmanuel, God With Us.!"
Christmas 2012 Update
Our 2012 plans for Christmas Eve at 6025 Gardena Lane would be smaller this year. Our attendance was slowly slipping each year. This year we had only 6 of us in total for a Christmas Dinner and an evening of gift exchange and family conversation in the living room by June’s Christmas tree and fireplace. (My daughter Julie and her friend Geno, my granddaughter Emily, Khim our son David’s widow and step grandson Andre and myself. ) When we first resumed Christmas at 6025 following June's death in October 2008, we had 12 family members present for that Christmas. This year for the first time in his 34 year life, Erik did not join us. That meant Erik's children Marijane, Owen, Katrina and his new baby June would also be absent. The evening ended with a side trip to our Redeemer Lutheran Church for their 10:30 PM Candlelight Communion service. It was my hope that June would be with us all in spirit.
For me, this 5th Christmas without June is a very sad time and perhaps my saddest…it does not get easier for me as the years slowly pass and our Christmas Eve attendance dwindles. Our son David's untimely death on October 18th added a sad note. David was like his mother June, always displaying a great smile and a joyous disposition.
Christmas 2013 Update - the End of a Tradition!
Because of a dwindling family interest, the Christmas 2012 may be the last of the yearly family gatherings at 6025 Gardena Lane...coincidentally with my typing these comment, I heard the song being played on June's stereo system "I'll be Home for Christmas, You can count on me!"...I also thought of the saying I had repeated some many times in past years: "All Hearts Come Home for Christmas"...both are now as outdated as I am in this world...
I spent a lonely 2013 Christmas Eve at 6025 Gardnena Lane...I was alone with June's memories of Christmas past...none of the children or grandchildren paid a visit to our home, the past center of their Christmas Eve actvities when they were all children and later young adults.
I spent the eveing alone listening to the Chirstmas CD's purchased by June in past years and all played on June's stereo system with speakers in each of the main rooms of the house...a system that June had installed from her own savings...I also sat by the warmth of our gas fireplace...another special home installation by June from her own personal savings...and of course I again turned on the lights of our Christmas tree that June last decorated in the Christmas year 2000 and that I have kept up and decorated all year around now for 13 years...the year 2000 was the last year that June was able to decorate a tree because of the effects of her Alzheimer's that dated back to the year 1997 when she first noted short term memory problems.
Because of the weather being both very cold and snowy, I elected to not leave the house Christmas Eve for the normal 10:30 PM candle light service at the Redeemer Lutheran Church that both June and I had been members of over 50 years...a sad evening that I could not help shedding tears for the memories of the many happy past years and Christmas Eve's at 6025 Gardena Lane...now gone forever!...the end of a happy tradition that has now become only a memory...
2015 Update: Because of my advanced age of 87, I have elected to no longer drive after dark nor in inclement weather...I also now walk stooped over and with the assistance of a cane and a walker....this very much restricts my mobility on Christmas and New Years....again this year as last, I was alone on Christmas Eve at 6025 Gardena Lane...I continued my now 5 year old tradition of delivering packages of chocolates and a personal Christmas card from June to all of the residents of the Benedictine who are able to receive such gifts....we initially started out distributing 50 packages of chocolates and cards and have gradually increased this number to the present 65...there were no visitors to 6025 Gardena Lane during Christmas day or evening. See below comments on June's Christmas programs...
.....Note: We did have grandchildren visitors at noon on Christmas Eve Day 2015...My Grandson Erik and my Granddaughter Emily arrived at noon and spent 2 hours with me on Christmas Eve Day...With them were my great grandchildren (Erik's children) Katrina, Owen and June...June was named after her great grandmother June...My daughter Julie was scheduled to spend some time with me later in the day on Christmas Day or early evening, but other matters changed her priorities and that did not happen...
June's Christmas Charitable Programs
Special charitable programs are conducted each Christmas time that honor June and reflect God's love as well as to promote awareness of Alzheimer's and the other dementia diseases. At June's church home of 50 years, the Redeemer Lutheran Church, a program is in place to donate free tickets to the Ladies Christmas Dinner for those ladies having economic hardships. These tickets are gifts from June and are accompanied by a letter from June with her picture and a reference to June's Memorial website. A program is also in place at the Benedictine Health Care Center where June spent her last days. This progam is designed to provide free Christmas gift boxes of chocolate candy accompanied by a personal Christmas card from June to the residents. This gift and card are both delivered by Stan on Christmas Day. Stan acts as June's agent and assistant to do what June can no longer do from her heavenly home. Both programs are a reflection of God's love. These are truly gifts from June and the funds to pay for the programs come from June's share of Stan and June's lifetime savings during their marriage years. These are also two (2) of June's dozen or more official Purple Angel World Ambassador dementia/Alzheimer's awareness programs.
Candlelight Service Christmas Eve 2011 - Redeemer Lutheran Church - Fridley
June would have loved this rendition of Silent Night by the Celtic Woman - June also loved the violin - a reminder of her Dad and favorite Uncle Jake, who both played the Violin: I think that it is the most beautiful performance of "Silent Night" that I have ever heard...a fitting end to this discussion of June and Christmas!
© 2012 Stanton O. Berg
Teresa Mayo - Maryville, Tennessee - (20 December 2012): "Thank you for posting your family Christmas memories. I think that leaving the last tree up that June had decorated all year round is a beautiful memory to have and a great idea. It's ways wonderful to read about other families traditions. I read the link to June's obituary also. Now, that's the kind that I love to read. Including as many life details as possible. Thank you for sharing and merry Christmas."
Elaine Wharmby - Tamworth, United Kingdom - (20 December 2012): "Again a beautiful read. Your family is truly blessed by June. All the beautiful memories and things she did that made Christmas at your home so special she has passed on to your daughter. As long as Christmas is celebrated this way you and your family will always have Junes' Christmas as she loved it. Have a wonderful and memory filled Christmas filled with the love of June and the happiness of your family."
Dianne Cogar - Springfield, Ohio - (20 December 2012): "Stan your zeal makes me happy too! Keep up the beautiful honor you pay June...she deserves that!...(27 December 2015): "Such a beautiful tribute to June... I love the " through the years' memories! You are so awesome at organizing these wonderful thoughts and pictures Stan. In fact, better than anyone I know!!"
Ursula Zarecki Sypniewski - Toms River, New Jersey - (20 December 2012): "Thanks for sharing your precious memories with June! Always enjoy reading about them!."...(24 December 2012):"You are really not alone! June is always with you in your heart and memories! You have touched many lifes with your stories! So there are many people that ..."
Regina Shepherd Hill - Burnsville, North Carolina - (20 December 2012): "I think it's wonderful that you love June so much ~ Very inspiring, yet, very sad too... If people can see down from heaven, I believe you've brought a smile to her face. Merry Christmas to you."
Bernadette Barbour - Newburgh, Indiana - (20 December 2012): "So Beautiful, thank you Stanton for sharing such beautiful memories, amazing, stunning, wonderful. Hope you still put a gift for June at the tree because she WILL be there, just help her open it. Much love and gratitude to you for lifting my spirits all this year, my wonderful Mom is still with us! Merry Christmas Mr. Berg."
Vicki Cadogan - Limerick, Ireland - (20 December 2012): "Beautiful Stan."
Patricia Higgins - Glasgow, United Kingdon - (22 December 2012):"Bless you Stanton but June will be with you , merry Christmas my dear friend...(23 December 2013):" What a wonderful smile june has."
Gilda Yen Torino - Manila, Phillipines - (22 December 2012): "Let's just think that we have special angels watching us and wishing us to be happy while we can until the time that we have to meet them again and hold hands together and never let go. Merry Christmas my friend."
Kathleen Dean - Marion, Ohio - (22 December 2012): "...my special Sweetheart came into my life on Feb 3, 1964. It took him 11-days before he mustard up enough nerve to tell me his name and ask me out. Little did Don know that I was already hopelessly in love with him. Our first date was on Feb 16th and we were married on July 18, 1964. What a wonderful 47 yrs we had together. Don passed away six weeks after our anniversary, Aug 30, 2011. This will be our second Christmas apart. I grew up with Don, I was only 19-yrs old when we married; he was 29. Years ago we had a very famous dairy in our area of Ohio called ISALY's. The man named the store Isaly for his wife "I shall always love you." Many of us know how you feel Stan about June. We share that type of love too. Special prayers Stan... Please know that you are not alone. With love and friendship, Kathleen."
Merideth Sindel - Sydney, Australia - (22 December 2012): "It's not easy, is it, Stan. Maybe the trick is to think of the Christmas prep and goodies etc. as being for others, something you can do for others rather than something that must be done without June. And remember,Christmas comes and ends again. The increased sadness will lift away."
Nancy Owen - Palmdale, California - (22 December 2012): "... so many do not know love until it is lost. You had love from the start. That can never be replaced. She is special and will always be in your heart."
Janice Kennedy - Coon Rapids, Minnesota - (23 December 2012): "I just read your beautiful article about June and Christmas this morning ... (I'm a little behind right now.) It reminded me of what a wonderful person she was (and still is!) I'm sure that this Christmas is going to be even harder on you and your family with Dave's recent passing. I'm picturing them celebrating Jesus' birth together this year! I hope that this image brings you some peace!...(23 December 2013): "You're always in my thoughts and prayers, Stan!"
Christine Pickard - Lincoln, Lincolnshire, United Kingdom - (23 December 2010): "June Will always be in your heart and soul ...I think you were very Lucky to have known June ...Soul Mates I say forevermore ...(24 December 2013): "So pleased you have photo's, I think photo s are priceless, June looks happy in Christmas picture ..."
Timothy "Tim" Hayes - Dublin, Ireland - (23 December 2012): "Stan, that is absolutely beautiful, it brought tears to my eyes. This iis is the second Christmas without my Partner, and i am finding it very very hard, you might say a prayer for me, thank you, and a Happy Christmas to all...(8 December 2013): Stan, you truly are a remarkable man, and the way you share your life with June RIP, and your dedication to June's memory, brings tears to my eyes tonight, and brings to mind my own loved one's that have passed. The tickets for the dinner and boxes of candy is a lovely way to keep June's memory alive. May God bless you and your good works? And love and peace to your family and friends as we approach this holy time of the year. Blessings"
Dianne Creel- Concord, North Carolina - (23 December 2012): "Personally, I think all CHRISTmas is Never the same once our loved ones are celebrating in their Eternal Home. I rejoice with them in their Eternal celebration but~~my heart is always sad during this season, missing my parents. Prayers upward for you Stan and all others. Merry CHRISTmas you and others are in my heart."
Lorraine Wortley - Leeds, United Kingdom - (23 December 2012): "God bless you...my thoughts are with you."
Cher Riley-Hart - Bristol, United Kingdom - (24 December 2012): "Oh take heart Stan, it is extremely hard for you and others at this time of year, and on other special occasion days. I am sure June walks with you and within you."
Bridie Breen - Manchester, United Kingdom - (25 December 2012): "Stan, the losses are hard but light peace and joy in abundance are wished for you. May 2013 bring many good things your way and to those you love."
Nancy Senechal - Los Angeles, California - (28 Decembere 2012): "Prayers are with you...I miss my parents dearly, especially my dad, the grief got a hold of me the day after Christmas for some reason...I need to get in touch with more people...it seems when somebody goes through a loss, not only do you lose the deceased family member, but other friends and family too...my phone hardly rings...it's kinda lonely...your acts of kindness with residents in the nursing home are to be very blessed...Happy New Year!!!
Lisa Cope - Burton-Upon-Trent, Staffordshire, United Kingdom - (4 January 2013): "I'm very sorry to hear you had a lonely Christmas... it's good to hear you do have people around you though and I'm sure you made some peoples' Christmas in the care home by handing out gifts! Those things can mean an awful lot to people. Bless you for doing that ... I'm looking at your website, thank you for sharing. My grandad has been fairly recently diagnosed with dementia and there's still a lot I need to learn."
John Stevens - Twin Falls, Idaho - (23 December 2013): "Stan I read the web page and it is beautifully presented. Your comment about family interest dwindling saddened me. But people move on and I understand that too. May you have a great Christmas this year."
Lora Rushing Robinson - Benton, Louisiana - (23 December 2013): "Prayers with you Mr. Stanton...I too am out of place in this world...i understand friend...time marches on...in my heart you and yours are...hugs...bless you for...being you."
Bernadette Brady - Dublin, Ireland - (23 December 2013): “To Stan: Christmas Blessings and Best Wishes for the Coming Year…“I hope that you are feeling well Stan and that you will have a nice Christmas. Thank you for the wonderful posts on Facebook for the past year, for sharing beautiful June with us, and for working so hard to spread awareness about Alzheimer’s. Thank you also for your prayers for patients and caregivers all over the world. I am honored to be remembered in your prayers and they mean a great deal to me and to my Mom. “Wishing you a very happy Christmas and New Year…Best Wishes and Prayers across the miles from Ireland to you…Bernadette.”...“PS: You have been in my thoughts a lot as Christmas approaches. Your work to spread Alzheimer's awareness is inspirational and has helped me so much, and so many others. I will be remembering yourself and June during the holidays.”...Stan's Note: Perhaps the nicest or one of the nicest Christmas Cards I have ever received, came today (23 December 2014) airmail from Bernadette Brady of Dublin, Ireland…what a wonderful gift and a huge lift to my flagging Christmas spirits…the above message was in the card...(See: Card below)
Judith Brownstein - Buffalo, New York - (27 December 2014): " Merry Xmas Stan. The June Star burns brightly on my tree (I made one). I'm having a rough time with David this holiday. He is here but I miss him. I hate when I feel he is mentally absent on purpose. I know better...Love to you and June."
Angela Brown - Burnley, Lancashire, United Kingdom - (26 December 2015): "I've read every word Stanton. You really have done your June proud. I can relate to everything, including the problem with mum writing Christmas cards. Mum was always one never to put a message in and just sign her name until the Alzheimer's. She then started writing strange messages and missed signing them."
Toots Scudder - London, United Kingdom - (27 December 2015): "Beautiful photo of June, you have such wonderful memories of your life together. I love the photo of your grandson in the Christmas stocking. The silent night version was absolutely beautiful. I had 43 people for Christmas dinner this year , it was manic for a while but a wonderful day and wonderful memories to keep."
June and Stan were both appointed as Purple Angel World Dementia Ambassadors (October 2013) for the purpose of promoting world wide awareness of Alzheimer's and the dementia diseases. Such an awareness will in turn promote funding for research to find a cure and to promote proper care practices. June was appointed an honorary Purple Angel Ambassador with Stan as her representative in order to promote her many charitable programs that all have an Alzheimer's and dementia awareness connection. June is the only resident of Heaven to have received this honor...and who actually lives among the Angels...The Purple Angel world headquarters is in Devon, United Kingdom.
June's obituary is found on the same blue navigation strip, under the tab "In Memoriam" on the drop down menu or click on this link:
For the memoriam page on my mother Ellen F. (Nedland) Silbaugh, click on the below link: