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Christmas Returns to 6025 Gardena Lane

After 10 years, Christmas has returned at last to 6025 Gardena Lane. At the request of our granddaughter Emily, Christmas returned to 6025 Gardena Lane. I originally had mixed feelings when Emily requested that we again have an old time Christmas 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. (God prepared a place for June and took her to heaven on Thursday October 23rd, 2008.) 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 1999.

It was also the first time that the Christmas Tree has been lighted on Christmas Eve since 2004. The Christmas Tree has remained decorated and up continuously since June last arranged it all for the Christmas of 1999. That was the last year before Alzheimer's started taking control of June's life. (Our daughter Julie had taken over hosting the Christmas for the family for several years. The family central gatherings stopped the year June left 6025 Gardena Lane to be cared for in a nursing facility - 2005.) I never turned the tree lights on again for Christmas after 2004. The tree was 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 dust - every other room in the house has abundance of dust but not this room. The tree and decorations never need dusting. 

(The picture below I have framed and it is 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 Christmas December 1996 - just a year before her testing and her subsequent January diagnosis of Alzheimer's.)

 June Christmas 1998 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 then 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. It had not been turned on since June left 6025 Gardena. 

Two large pictures of June dominate the north wall. The sad note to the evening was of course the absence of June who was always the centerpiece of the celebrations. It was also sad in 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. 

Everyone arrived between 5:30 and 6:00 PM and by 9:30 PM and 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. Christmas Day dawned with bright sunshine and a beautiful day. Pastor Harley's sermon on Christmas Day at Redeemer Lutheran was "Be Not Afraid." (Angels message to the Shepherds - Luke 2:10 KJV) I should have heard this message earlier!

For the story of June’s favorite home at 6025 Gardena Lane and the poem I wrote about this home during a day of deep sadness, click on the below link: (This was June’s home for almost 40 years. It was constructed shortly after the previous home was severely damaged in a tornado. 6025 Gardena Lane was the first home the June participated in the selection and purchase of a lot on a small hill, helped with the design of the home and watched it being constructed. 6025 Gardena Lane had a special place in her heart.)

 “6025 Gardena Lane – June’s Favorite Home”


Comments (1)
Star Tribune article
1Sunday, 16 August 2009 13:40

Mr.Berg, My wife and I just read the story in this morning's Star Tribune that you wrote. You obviously feel like you were truly blessed to have your wife in your life, but I have to say, your wife was truly blessed to have someone like you in her life. You are truly one of a kind and an example of how all husbands should feel and act towards their wives. May God's blessings be with you always sir.

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