If you are reading this, know that I have crossed over. I am in a far better place today than I was yesterday. Relief from the disease ALS is what I’m feeling, and it feels awesome.
I was born on Election Day, 1958. My mom’s doctor kidded with her that I would be a politician someday….not happening! At a very young age, I knew I wanted to be a carpenter, like dad. In 1977, after high school, I joined the carpenters union and did just that until my retirement in 2017. Work hard, play harder was my motto.
My idea of fun changed in the more recent years. I enjoyed volunteering at the Buffalo Food Shelf and at the Wright County Jail. While volunteering for Simpson Housing Services, I found real joy in helping the homeless. My Christmas Day tradition became bringing homemade treats for all to the shelter in South Minneapolis. Sometimes I would stop by the shelter, to drop off a “care package” to the person sleeping on their step on my way to work.
After retiring, I adopted a rescue dog, named Bonnie. We walked a lot usually making a stop at Buffalo Books and Coffee, to see her friends and get a pup cup. Bonnie made a lot of friends on our walks… always getting a treat or a pet. She gave many people a reason to smile.
Diagnosed in September of 2022 with ALS, my life was impacted beyond words. So many friends, neighbors, and relatives have been there for me. Each of them making my journey a little easier. But I can’t imagine doing it without Belinda, the love of my life. She supported me and brought me comfort through the toughest of times. Never giving up, even when I wanted to—committed to the end.
I am survived by my brother Doug (Becky Tatge), my sister, Ruth Ann Vikla, my soulmate, Belinda Hanson, and my dog, Bonnie; and preceded in death by my parents Cliff and Lorraine Spike.
By my request, there is no funeral, memorial service, or celebration of life. I’ll see you on the other side… adios, my friends!