Anja Lodge's Journal
Written Oct 13, 2013 10:20pmToday, October 13th, is five years to the day since Anja had the first MRI that her doctor ordered after the problems that had surfaced shortly before. While she was still in the MRI, a nurse came to the waiting room and told me that her doctor wanted to talk to me on the phone. He told me then that the scan showed a brain tumor, and we discussed the path forward. That was the moment that we stepped onto the roller coaster for a ride that would last more than four years and nine months.
This weekend, I am attending the fourth reunion of a group of guys (and their wives, in most cases now) who were stationed together at Little Rock Air Force Base in the mid-sixties. We had reunions in 2007, 2009, 2011 and now. This is the first one that I have attended without Anja, and today's date made it especially poignant. These friends have been very supportive and I am extremely happy that I was here. We had - as usual - a great time...
Written Aug 22, 2013 5:23pmToday is one month since Anja died and the day we chose for the interment of her ashes in the Lodge plot at Oak Grove Cemetery. About ten days ago, I started doing a rough calculation of the number of miles that Anja and I drove together in our Model T. With long-distance trips and a great many organized tours, I estimate it at over 14,000 miles. That told me that the only appropriate way to carry Anja from Bopp Chapel to Oak Grove was in the T - me in the driver's seat and Anja next to me in the passenger seat, just as we have always done.
We met at Bopp and set out for Oak Grove, me leading the way in the T and Elisabeth and Douglas following in their cars. We first drove past the house where Anja and I lived the last 35 years of her life (longer than anywhere else) and then drove a combination of city streets the thirteen miles to the cemetery. It was a small group - Elisabeth and Pete, Douglas, me, Jennifer and Cay (two of Anja's closest friends for over thirty years) and the Rev. Millie Slack. I carried Anja to the table that had been set up. Millie conducted a short prayer service and we all had a chance to say goodbye. For the first time in my (admittedly limited) experience at interments, the cemetery manager asked if we wished to participate in the burial. We said we did. Elisabeth placed the urn in the grave and all present put a handful of earth on top of it. A cemetery worker completed the burial and replaced the sod. Elisabeth put flowers on Anja's grave, as well as the graves of her grandparents. (There are now three generations in the grave: my grandparents, my parents and my wife.)
It was a very suitable end to a roller coaster ride that lasted over four years and nine months. Even roller coasters eventually stop and everyone has to get off.
Rust in vrede, schat....
Written Aug 10, 2013 6:39pmTo add to my description of the memorial service, I am pleased to say that Bopp Chapel gave us a video file of the service, which Matthew put on line for all to see:
Those of you who couldn't be here will also be able to participate, if you would like to.