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Dolores Krause- so glad to call you my mother in law April 19, 2010

Posted by makingyourdashcount in Uncategorized.
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My husband’s family comes from a tradition that does not eulogize their dead.  I find that difficult because for me a eulogy is a gift; it gives friends and families time to pause and remember while crying and laughing about the loved one they lost.  So this is my written gift to my mother in law, Dolores Krause, who died April 15th, 2010.  As I write it I will laugh and cry, because I already miss her.  Dolores liked to laugh and she had an engaging spirit that made even new acquaintances feel like old friends.

She was the epitome of the stereotypical Minnesota homemaker:  baking, sewing and keeping a tidy home both physically and spiritually. We are left with recipes for cookies and hot dishes and memories of frozen snickers bars and layered jello salads.  We can display intricate counted cross stitch and as her eyes aged her embroidered linens.  She was the definition of grandmother.  Each of her 8 grandchildren felt as though they were the sun, moon and stars when with Grandma Krause.  They were.

Dolores was the most organized person I have ever met.  There are records of every purchase- how much was spent on the Kodak  35 mm  camera and the digital one that replaced it. She loved geneology and documented every branch of the family.  She saved letters that John wrote to his elementary school aged brother James, when he was in college. She saved news paper clippings and documented family events. As I write this boxes of records, negatives and photographs sit tucked into every corner of their apartment.  The research was all physical.  She wrote letters. She read newspapers. She sleuthed her tree and those of her children.

Dolores was spiritually centered.  She lived her Lutheran roots and trusted God.  She did not advertise her religion; she never proselytized.   Hers was personal , sincere belief.  At the same time, she accepted people whose beliefs were different from hers-  she accepted me totally as her daughter in law and loved me as a daughter through the years, celebrating our family’s life events in the synagogue without restraint and with total  support.

I learned spirituality through Dolores.

Although I know the dates are documented in the binders we have yet to read, she was a Mayo Clinic patient for several types of cancers starting in the early 90’s.  It started with an ocular cancer, and then breast. In 1993 the diagnosis came back as multiple myeloma.  Until recently, we did not realize what a grim prognosis multiple myeloma is. This cancer of plasma cells affects 3 in 100,000 people each year. Only 35% of diagnosed patients survive the disease 5 years. (American Cancer Society)

Dolores lived a joyful, loving, full life for 17 years after her diagnosis!!!!!!! We attribute this to several things:

  1. She was lucky enough to get into one of  Dr. Philip R. Greipp’s clinical trials.
  2. She did EXACTLY what Dr. Greipp and her support team (including dieticians) asked her to do.
  3. She had the loving support of a husband who adored her.  When she needed help, he completed her. She was surrounded by friends and family who helped her keep her spirits when she needed boosts.
  4. Finally, she trusted God that everything would be okay.

I am so glad we had the gift of all of those years, since statisticians would have bet against it.  As one who has never understood the mother in law jokes, I have learned so much from my mother in law over the past 30 years.   I already feel a huge hole in my heart.  I will miss you, Dolores.

Most of all, I will miss your sense of humor and ability to laugh (at yourself;)  I will miss the lilt in your voice.  I will miss your unquestioning love and devotion to family.  I will miss your pragmatism and beauty that you brought to my life.  I will miss the mother in law I love.  Your spirit will continue to guide my life.

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