Honeymoon departure 7D_3013_StaatsI write this entry with a heavy heart.  Last weekend we journeyed south to the Kansas City area to celebrate the wedding of my brother and his new bride.  A second marriage for both of them, they had found happiness and joy and the excitement of their shared future.  Their honeymoon was planned to be a motorcycle ride along the North Shore of Minnesota – an area of pines, and water, and beautiful scenery.  They headed out from our house Tuesday morning and had the time of their lives as they traveled along the shore of Lake Superior.  But the joy turned to sadness in an instant when the bride had a massive stroke on Wednesday morning.  Emergency responders were there quickly and she was airlifted to a trauma center in Duluth.  My brother and I spent the next 36 hours finding our way amongst doctors, surgeons, phone calls and text messages with family out-of-state, and organ donation procedures.  In the end, the damage to my sister-in-law’s brain was too extensive and she passed away on Thursday.  We are all struggling with this untimely change of fate and the sudden slide from the joy of a wedding to the pain of a death.  I mourn the loss of my sister-in-law; a delightful woman who was up to any challenge, who loved her sons and her new extended family, who enjoyed fishing, and who was so very much in love with my brother.  And I mourn the loss to my brother who was so happy with his new bride and looking forward to their future life and adventures together.  I know that the pain will diminish with time, but the hurt is still fresh from these contracted few days.