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Each holiday Steve and I spent at Hope Lodge was special. The staff, as well as volunteers and civic groups, brought in a delicious smorgasbord of meals and desserts. In
addition, they made the holidays as fun and festive as possible for those of us who were unable to be home for the holidays. What a boon it was for those undergoing chemotherapy and other treatments, as well as for their families, myself included.
As the Christmas holiday neared, the staff at Hope Lodge decorated trees, brought in cookies and punch, and entertained us with parties, games and music – all in an effort to make our stay as “normal” and memorable as possible. What a caring staff.
In April – the day before Easter – Steve lost his 17-month battle to lymphoma. Our new friends, with whom we had shared recent holidays, supported our family with hugs, compassion, warm sentiments and encouragement for our son’s own Resurrection Day.
Those so-called strangers from Hope Lodge became part of our family during the holidays – and one of the toughest times of our lives.
Patti - St. Joseph, Missouri
A Memorable Motel Holiday
The windshield wipers of our 1939 Mercury beat furiously as Dad peered through the darkness of the Oklahoma highway, saying he thought he saw motel lights up ahead and that we were going to have to stop for the night.
We had all of our worldly belongings packed in the trunk and the back seat of the car. After living in California for a year and a half, we were moving back to the farm in Kansas, and I was delighted.
We had planned on getting to Grandma Kroeker’s for Christmas, but the winter weather had slowed us down. It was December 24, 1942, and we were headed to Buhler, Kansas, where our whole family was waiting for us at Grandma’s house.
Now we were snowbound in a little motel in Oklahoma, and we all knew we probably wouldn’t get to Grandma’s to see everyone on Christmas Day. That was depressing because I was looking forward to seeing my cousin again.
My parents made the best of the situation for my 11⁄2-year-old sister and me. After we were settled into the motel room, Mom made her way to the little grocery store located inside the gas station, and Dad got permission from the station’s owner to patch our tires.
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