Monday, November 30, 2009

Ellen Arden Burke

Ann, Ellen and Susan at our Grandparents home in Illinois.

Ann, Mother, Ellen, Susan, and MJ

Daddy, MJ, Ellen, and Susan, Colorado

My sister, Ellen Arden Burke passed way the afternoon of Saturday, November 28, in Port Orchard, Washington.

My sister Ellen was an elegant woman, who strove for perfection in everything she did. She was also the most loving and caring of sisters, and I miss her very, very much.

Her doctors are still unsure what her illness was, one thought has been progressive supranuclear palsy. What we do know is that Ellen began suffering from massive and numerous grand mal seizures about 6 years ago and from that point her health rapidly declined. She saw many specialists and visited the Mayo Clinic, but no one has been able to identify exactly what was wrong with her and what caused the onset of the seizures.

Ellen's body is now with doctors and researchers at the University of Washington. Hopefully this research will provide an understanding of what happened to Ellen and help prevent it from happening to anyone else.

My sisters, Ann and Susan, along with my husband Gerry Lamenzo, visited Ellen in late May. If you are interested, there are photos from our trip on this blog under May and June. Ellen was bed ridden at that point and very frail, but she recognized us and we were able to talk with her. It was a heartwrenching visit for Gerry and me because we knew we’d likely never see Ellen again.

I am very relieved that Ellen isn’t suffering any longer. I believe that right now she is in the good company of Dan and Mom and Dad and right now they are catching up and eating Black Bottom Pie. (Because Heaven has got to have good food right?)

And I’d like to think that Ali, Sammy, Keesha, Sundance, Ben, and Simon are hanging around the table getting handouts and belly rubs, and somewhere in the distance Image and Tommy are watching over all of them, waiting to take them on a long fast gallop.

I believe that death is just a brief interruption in our relationships with our loved ones and that’s why, though I miss her desperately, I know I’ll see my beloved Elspeth again.

1 comment:

  1. I knew Ellen's husband, Dan.( I went to grade school, and law school with him in WYOMING)
    Your sister was a wonderful woman.
    My 1/2 sister passed away from MS.
    I wish you the very best. I just kinda wandered in any came across you WWW site. I never though Dan Burke was done right, and got framed.
    It must have been rough on your sister raising the kids alone. A truly brave courageous woman.
    Best Regards.

    Jim Hagood
    Lakewood, COLO
    Grew up in Casper Wyoming


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