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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Mark - The Cousin I Loved and Hopes Journey

 Hopes Journey nonprofit agency is an amazing haven of love and healing.  I welcome you to peruse the website on the link I have left here.  So the story goes.......Our Story

Hopes Journey began as one man’s dream to build a home filled with love, laughter, family

and friends. Kerry Lund was a Christian man comitted to helping those in need. Before

Kerry passed away in the summer of 2008, he built his dream, however it is still a work in

progress. Since then, a small group of friends, all touched by cancer in some form or

fashion, decided to join forces to ensure Kerry’s dream would live on.

The dream blossomed into what is ‘Hopes Journey,’ a retreat catering to those who have
survived or are currently fighting a life-threatening disease. The grand opening is to be in June 2011, however they need desperately funds to finish all the dreams they have for this haven of love and healing.  They need to finish a
lower level massage therapy room, library, multi-purpose room, craft room, third
bedroom, and sauna, as well as landscape the outdoor area and construct a serenity
garden and pathway.
Hopes Journey will be open to everyone, yet its main purpose will be to provide a respite
for the special women in our lives who may be finding life even more challenging after
becoming afflicted with a life-threatening illness. The struggle to maintain enough
energy to fight cancer and juggle regular routines and responsibilities can be
Hopes Journey is a place where they can put reality on hold-even if just for a few days-to
be pampered and surrounded by the peace and serenity of nature.
It is our hope that the fear, anxiety, and pain cancer patients are forced to bear, will be
replaced with a renewed spirit, inspired to persevere on life’s journey. With your help
and support, we can make a difference in the lives of others.

This haven is my cousin Marks' wifes vision ,that she is making a reality. Read on......

I love my cousin Mark. He is one of those people in my lifetime, that taught me so much about love of family and life. He is my older cousin.  My family of origin, spent a lot of time with Mark and his whole family as young kids. Our cousins had eight kids in their family. A good old catholic family.  They lived out in Minneapolis in a modest  home with an alley in back.  Us lake kids from Lake Minnetonka, thought these alleys were really neat.  We would play fun alley games with both families. Oh, the good times us Rogers' and Sandwiggies had.   Our familes had eight and five kids respectively.   Lets see if I can count them here:  Joe, Tom, Ann, Mary, Mark, John, Dick,  and Eddy.  For my family:  Dan, Shelly, David, Linda and Laura.  Can you imagine this whole group getting together. What a blast.  A child's dream.  We loved to go to our cousins house for visits. 

One Christmas, we spent the entire holiday at our cousins home.  It was the most memorable holiday I can ever remember as a kid.  My mother had just passed away and my dad had us go to our Aunt Philly and Uncle Dicks loving home for a long visit.  We were nurtured and loved over that painful  holiday vacation.  This, I will never forget. 

My cousin Mark was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  He was so young and we all hoped, believed he would make it and kick that cancers' xxx.  He passed away and a huge void was left in my families hearts.

When Mark passed away, he left a beautiful wife Lori and fantastic kids.  They had a cabin up north that was a slice of heaven.  This is where Marks death resurrected and Lori his wife began a non-profit for cancer stricken families to heal and find serenity.  Marks' memory lives on in this special place. 

They will be having an event in November.  Please let others know about this place, that will give so many families respite from the ills of cancer.  Perhaps you can tell others to go check this place out. Perhaps you may want to volunteer or give financially to this great cause.

 This picture is the trip my family took to Mark and Lori's cabin shortly before he passed away.   Left to right: Laura,Linda, Mark, Aric, My kids Jacob& Ellie and Missy the Dog

 This article was written in honor of my beautiful cousin Mark

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