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Christmas Letter 2010 to The Staff of The Fridley Applebee's

Introductory Note: The below letter was provided to the Staff of the Fridley Applebee’s for Christmas 2010. The letter was intended as a thank you for the kindnesses and courtesies extended to me by the staff during the past year and in honor and memory of June K. Berg a victim of Alzheimer’s. The Fridley Applebee’s has also permitted me to place a small card holder in a prominent position at their front reception desk. The purpose of this card holder is for the distribution of June’s website address cards. These are cards that act to advertise Alzheimer’s awareness. The rear of the card briefly outlines the impact of Alzheimer’s on the American public. Underneath the below copy of the letter printed here, are reduced size photo replicas of the actual two pages of the letter to illustrate the Holly leaf border used on the actual Christmas letters.

 

Christmas 2010

TO: All of the Staff at the Fridley Applebee’s!

June and I have had many pleasant memories of Applebee’s that extends back to the early 1980’s. We were first introduced to an Applebee’s during a visit to our daughter Susan in Cary, North Carolina. We both liked the atmosphere, layout and surroundings of Applebee’s. At that time there were no Applebee’s in or near the Twin Cities. We were happy when Applebee’s started to appear in the Twin Cities area several years ago. I remember how pleased June was when she saw the sign in the fall of 2004, announcing the future Fridley Applebee’s to be built on a site on Central near 694. Unfortunately at the time, June was already deep into the darkness of Alzheimer’s. (June at the time was already in the 7th year of her journey into Alzheimer’s.) By the time of the Applebee’s grand opening in early 2005, June was in the care of a Nursing Home.

June had been my wife and companion for over 50 years at the time of this sad event in my and June’s life. June and I had traveled the world together. She had made my life an adventure. June and I were a part of the first ever, forensic science conference held in the Soviet Union (Russia) during the height of the cold war in 1969. June was at my side for approx. 100 forensic related travel trips in and around the United States and Europe. London became June’s favorite city after we visited the UK eight times on forensic science matters over the years of the 1970’s, 80’s and 90’s. June a very humble lady with a big smile and kind eyes, had a personality that never strayed far from that of the farm girl I first met from Colfax, Wisconsin in 1951. I miss her so very much. June was and always will be the light and the love of my life.

For a time I was too devastated to visit the new Applebee’s in Fridley…it also did not seem fair to June who could not be with me and who was daily slipping more deeply into the blackness of Alzheimer’s. No one who has traveled into the shadows of Alzheimer’s has ever returned. There have been no medical or miracle cures. Eventually after God called June home in October 2008, (“I go to prepare a place for you” John 14: 2 - KJV) I started stopping by from time to time. This all changed last Christmas, when two of my Grandchildren gave me a gift certificate to Applebee’s -  this event evolved into my steadily increasing presence at this fine facility.

I so much appreciate the friendly staff at the Fridley Applebee’s. Everyone seems to always have a bright smile and a pleasant word for me. I like the ambiance and I feel comfortable whenever I am a guest at the Fridley Applebee’s. I started a routine of every Monday night having dinner at the Fridley Applebee’s. When available, I always picked one of the end booths. I was stunned, pleased and humbled when one Monday night a few months ago, Denise O’Connell, one of the friendly Managers surprised me with “June” and “Stan” brass name plates on the seat backs of my favorite booth. Denise reminded me that I always said “June is with me in Spirit”. Suddenly, I am not only coming in for dinner on Monday nights but also most every Tuesday Recently I have added most Friday’s when I also have a standing date with my daughter Julie. Applebee’s has certainly brightened my life for me.

While everyone that I have had contact with at the Fridley Applebee’s has been very friendly and considerate, I would like to personally thank the wait persons and Hostesses who have had to put up with me during the past year. Specifically I would like to mention the following: Alyssa, Ashley, Buffy, Courtney, Jenna, Joelle, Jordan, Paige, Marisa, Niki, and Shane. I also like to thank the management team of Denise, Dave and Kris.  If I have overlooked anyone, I apologize and plead my age.

I also wish to give a special thank you to Jordan, Courtney, Denise and Buffy who took the time to visit June’s website (www.junebergalzheimers.com), read about Alzheimer’s and make a note in “June’s Guestbook.” They will never know how much pleasure their notes about June give to me and perhaps also to June if she looks in on us. Hopefully they will be better equipped to spread the word about Alzheimer’s and thereby encourage the necessary research and funding that may someday find a cure for this disease that took away June’s memory, her personality and finally her life. I would encourage and invite anyone who has not visited June’s website, to please do so. I would also be happy to have your suggestions on improvement of June’s website. I am pleased that the Minnesota Department of Health has advised me that June’s web site is a good resource for professionals. We have over 170 articles and essays on the site. We have had over 100,000 visitors last year from 108 different countries. Even places like Syria, Iran and Outer Mongolia are interested in Alzheimer’s,

Let me also thank the other staff members of Applebee’s that provide the necessary support (kitchen staff, bartenders and others) functions that enable the waiters, waitresses, hostesses and, managers to provide the primary direct frontline services  and contacts that impact my life and the other Applebee customers and guests.

Thank you so much and a Merry Christmas to all!

 Stan Berg and for June

 

June and Ellen Christmas 2000 at 6025 Gardena

 

This picture above (June and my mother Ellen on left) was taken at June’s and my home at 6025 Gardena Lane where we hosted Christmas for the family for many years. This year 2000, was the last year that June decorated and put up a Christmas tree. June was already in her third year of Alzheimer’s but doing quite well. The tree has remained up all year around now for 10 years in honor and memory of June. Strangely, it never needs dusting! Both June and my mother Ellen died as victims of Alzheimer’s – almost exactly one year apart!

 

Applebee's letter 2010 a

Applebee's  Christmas Letter 2010 b.

 

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