April 11, 2016

Dear Bill,

4 years ago today you left us for heaven. I hope you knew how much we loved you and will always miss you.

Our family is good and we are going to have a 2nd great-grandchild. Little Ben is graduating from pre-school. We still work at creating his memories of you and he still talks about your mustache. I get to see all of the grandkids a lot and that is awesome. I try never to miss a basketball game because we went to all of them together.

I took a trip last summer and spent a couple months in Australia. I was shaky about that kind of trip without you, but I made it. There were so many things that I wish we could have seen together. I am going to try a trip alone again this summer to see Bill in Idaho and up to Glacier. (I am shaky about that one alone, too!).

Like the last time I posted something on the blog, I don't post often anymore. Just want others to know the love stays. The ache gets better, but the love stays.

Love you sweetheart. Always have, always will.


April 19, 2015

I Know That Touch

I know you are having a happy birthday today sweetheart because you are in Heaven.

I am not writing much on the blog anymore, because probably no one else ever sees it. Just in case they do, I want you and them to know that the love never goes away. I still love you, and I still miss you, but the despair has been replaced with a deep gratitude for the years I spent with you and the knowledge of where you are.

I felt your hand on my shoulder the other day. I know you are not here on earth, but I think God gives those of us still waiting here some signs that all is well and that we will be together again. Whatever the explanation, I know it was your hand on my shoulder. I know that touch.

I still miss you so much, but my life is good Bill. I am well and content and busy. I know that would make you happy to know. It is what we each wanted for each other.

Love you sweetheart! Always have, always will.


April 11, 2014

Two Years

Hello Sweetheart!

Today it is 2 years since you left for Heaven. Time goes so fast, and things are changing. We now have 2 beautiful new granddaughters-in-law. They are wonderful, and I love them both. In March Jordan and Noelle had a really beautiful baby girl, Kylie Elizabeth. Can you believe that your blushing bride is now a Great Grandmother??

We all still talk about you a lot and miss you so much. I no longer expect you to walk in the door any minute, but I sure still wish you would. Ben continues to talk about you like he sees you in the room. Maybe he does see you. Maybe that is a gift from God. (He tells us that you still have a moustache and wear a hat.) Ben doesn't remember you like the others do, so maybe God allows him to know you in another way.

It is almost Easter, and I have learned what a gift Easter is. Because of that gift I know that you are in Heaven and waiting for us. More than that I can’t ask for. I find it hard to be in Church during this season because I miss you, but also because I am so grateful for the knowledge that you are in Heaven, so I just sit there and let the tears roll, and I am filled with gratitude that you are in your home.

I love you Bill, always have, always will.


March 2, 2014

6 Months

I realized today it has been 6 months since our last post.  I remember in the days after dad died not being able to imagine giving up this blog because we would be that much more removed from when he was living and breathing and here with us.

I am missing him a lot today.  I have learned about grief that life truly does go on - and it should.  But I miss my dad every day and some days are worse than others.  In April we will reach the two year anniversary of his going home to Heaven.

If you are grieving someone, be patient with yourself.  It truly does take time.

I would encourage anyone dealing with ALS to reach out - to family, to friends, to your doctor, to your ALSA chapter.  If laundry help is what you need, ask!  If you need someone to run errands or just sit with you or your loved one, ask!  There is no shame in asking, that's for sure.  Often people want to help you very much, they just don't know what to do.

One more piece of advice.  If your loved one is losing his or her ability to speak or feels that might be on the horizon, make sure you record them.  Ask questions - and record their answers.  You will be very glad that you did.

Also, get involved in your local Walk to Defeat ALS or other event - The Packard Center, Brigance Brigade, Team Gleason and many others have events to fight this monster named ALS.

August 2, 2013

50th Anniversary

Dearest Bill,

If you were here with me today it would be our 50th anniversary.   I am thankful  to our God for every moment I knew you.  Thank you for being my best friend, lover, confidant, and so many other good things including being a really special Dad to our children.

I am lonesome for you, and it still feels like you should be here…..like you have been gone for a long time but should be home soon.  I wait and almost expect the door to open and see you walk in.

 I can’t write enough to really express how much I miss you, but I know I will see you again.  Until I do...I love you Sweetheart, always have, always will.

June 19, 2013

Choices - No Right or Wrong

We haven't posted for a few months.  We had a fabulous trip to Washington DC.  We met with Sen. Amy Klobuchar from MN, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp from ND, Rep. Kristi Noem from SD as well as representatives from the offices of Senators Johnson and Thune from SD and from Rep. Tim Walz from MN.  We had the opportunity to see OJ Brigance as the keynote speaker as well as hear Steve Gleason speak.  Folks from all over spoke with representatives from their states.  What a wonderful opportunity to speak for my dad.  Many thanks to all in DC who welcomed us and heard our stories.

I have been seeing a lot of articles lately about warriors of this disease.  I greatly admire the way they are fighting this disease and some famous and not so famous make the heroic choice to go on a ventilator and a feeding tube.  Others, like my dad, make the heroic choice to live what is left of their time without these measures.  Is there a good choice?  Is there a right choice?  I don't think so. 

It is important to me that anyone reading this does not view my dad's choices as giving up.  He was simply accepting his fate and he made painful, difficult decisions that took serious balls.  Period.  I can only hope others don't have to make these decisions.  Yes indeed, the people who choose the path of medical intervention are brave.  That takes balls too.  Period.  Either decision is critical and must be very, very painful.

It is also very painful at times to support someone who does not choose medical interventions.  We asked our dad early on to fight for as long as he could, but to be honest with us when he couldn't fight it anymore.  And he was.

From the moment of diagnosis until he breathed his last breath, I wanted to scream PLEASE DON'T LEAVE ME.  But I didn't.  Because I loved him and I love him still and he did what was right for him.  His faith told him who was in control and God escorted him all the way home.

It is important that we do not pass judgment on the decisions that others make when they are in a place we cannot imagine.

April 20, 2013


One of the biggest ways my family has chosen as a way to deal with our grief is advocacy.  Fighting back against the disease that stole our dad, husband, grandpa and best friend.

In May 7-11 my mom, sister and I will be traveling to DC to attend the ALS Advocacy event on Capitol Hill.  One way you can help is to write letters to your congressional delegation.  You can find more information on www.alsa.org or e-mail me at tenhill@msn.com and I can send you the letter template. 

If you write a letter (handwritten or typed is fine) and want to send them with me, please e-mail me.  Be sure to reference Advocacy Day in your e-mail so I open it :)

If you are from a state other than MN, ND or SD, that's ok too.  Just be sure you address the letter to whomever represents you in DC.

Thank you so much!