The Page Patch is overcome with sadness. In the midst of preparing to celebrate Christ's birth, we held a Celebration of Life for our bright, loving, outwardly cheerful Heidi, who lost a battle with depression. Heidi chose to end her life on this earth, the day before Thanksgiving, in Honolulu. August 2, 1997 was her 26th birthday, and we were glad to have her visit Kansas that week as we celebrated the 1st birthday of Andrew Allen Monroe.
Our grief has been shared by family and
friends around the world, as Heidi's life was
indeed like "a ripple in the pond," touching the hearts of everyone she met. Neighbors, realtors, co-workers, teachers, and friends from Hawaii to Japan have responded, sheltering us with love and compassion. We are eternally grateful for the calls, the mountain of beautiful cards, thoughtful remembrances, an abundance of food and supplies, and especially for those who have allowed us to reminisce over the beauty and exuberance of her young life. We miss Heidi terribly and feel her presence daily in peach sunrises, golden sunsets, and rainbows in unexpected places. A friend wrote, "God must have needed her smile in Heaven." Our friends, Hiromi (exchange student -1985) and sister, Kuniko Takagi attended the funeral from Japan.
Rick has found some solace in developing a Memorial web site, including verses and
tributes from the funeral, as well as numerous photos of our fair-haired angel. Through the Heidi Marie Page Scholarship Fund we hope her memory and love of education will live on. You are welcome to visit http://www.pagepatch.com on the internet.
Grandson Andy, Dawn and Greg's 17-month
old brought us much joy this year. With Jesse, 16-month old nephew (son
of Carol's sister, Deb), the boys provided smiles and even some laughter
among these recent dreary days. We are blessed to have family
so close with Great Grandma Thelma Stokes (Carol's mom) nearby also.
Deb & Corey purchased 13 acres and when their house is completed will
be only ten minutes away.
We expect to make more visits to Wichita since Andy will be a big brother in April!
It is truly difficult to remember what else may have transpired this year. Little did we know that connections with friends during different trips would be so important. The National Realtors convention in DC, in May, gave Carol opportunity to visit several Virginia friends, (Charlotte & Archie Wiggs, Kitty & Dan Stapleton, Sarah (Smith) & Gary Williams, and Paula Page.) In September, Rick and Carol visited his ailing sister Sue and family in Albuquerque and together enjoyed the Hot Air Balloon Fiesta. Photos of the balloons floating over Sue's neighborhood are particulary memorable since Sue's 10 year fight with cancer ended only 3 days after Heidi's death. Rick's father and sisters gathered with us here.
An October weekend in Decatur, Ill.
to see Judi (See) and Dave Carpenter also allowed us to visit with Karen
Martin and Irene Habsieger in Hermann, Mo. Support of friends and
family helped Carol prepare for a rapid trip to Hawaii the first week of
November. Heidi's first words were, "I'm not going back to
Kansas, I'm not ready to leave." We enjoyed pineapple, a hike
on the trail at sunset, and a walk on the beach. The list of
"If only..." seems never ending.
Our apologies to those friends who had not been contacted. Dawn made calls for three days before realtor friends took over for us. The assistance and compassion shown us was totally overwhelming and will never be forgotten. May this level of help be unnecessary in your lives! God's Blessings be with each of you.