My heart is broken….

David Lee “Nick” Duerkop passed away Friday, July 22, 2016, after a long and difficult battle with cancer.

Nick for paper

Nick was born Aug. 18, 1957, to Donald and Lucille (Peterson) Duerkop in Wabasha, Minn. He grew up in Alma, Wis., and moved to La Crosse at age 15. He graduated in 1976, from Logan High School.

Nick loved working on cars and small engines. If it didn’t work, it did by the time he got done with it. He especially loved working on the old classics. His favorite being a 1957 F100 he bought from his brother, Gerald, and Sue’s 1965 Mustang. His love of old cars caused these two to win trophies at car shows. He was very proud of this.

He met Sue in the mid 90s, and they married March 20, 2016, after being engaged for almost 20 years.

Nick is survived by his wife, Susan of Ettrick; son, Loren of Hokah, Minn.; stepdaughter, Megann (Travis) of Hokah; stepsons, Brandon (Rebecca) and Adam (Ashley) of Houston, Minn.; siblings, Burnell (Ruby) of Rockland, Charlene of Vista, Calif., Bruce of Red Wing, Minn., Daniel (Patty) of Mauston, Mary Lynn of La Grange, Mo., Kevin (Lori) of Holmen, and Cindy of Westfield, Wis.; Italian son, Matteo, of Bolzano, Italy; and grandchildren, Cullan, Caiden, Logan, Lucas, Juliana, Hannah, and Andi of Houston, and Ryley and Lennox of Hokah. Father and Mother in Law, Stuart and Ruth Ann Dibley, Brother in laws Jim(Dawn) Dibley and Scott Dibley, and sister in law, Joan (Kelly) Wiese.

He was preceded in death by his mother, Lucille; father, Donald; and brother, Gerald.

A funeral service will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday, July 27, at Coulee Region Cremation Group and Funeral Home, 133 Mason Street, Onalaska. Visitations will be from 10 a.m. until the time of the service, and 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 26, at the funeral home. The Rev. Luanne Sorenson will officiate.

Coulee Region Cremation Group and Funeral Home is assisting the family.

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Last night was rougher…

Keep fighting

Found this on FB last night.

It’s so hard to keep fighting. If I had an HOUR to myself so I could scream, it would help.

I got home last night to find him laying on the couch, almost unable to move. I think LF being there is wearing him out. It’s just more stress. A little consideration would be nice. He’s an incredible nit picker.

But apparently the stress diet is working. I’ve lost 3.5 pounds in the last couple weeks. I hope it keeps going so the seamstress has to take IN my Mother of the Bride’s dress for my daughter’s wedding. Megann and I were just talking about that yesterday. Nick really wants to be here to help walk her down the aisle.

“I’m hoping for that, too.” she stated.

It’s not looking good. If he IS still here, it will be in a wheelchair, I’m afraid.

At 4pm I woke up to hit the loo, let the dog out because strangely he followed me to the door. Very seldom does he do this. Well, we had company. A white dog with a darker head and tail and 3 large spots on his left side…was sniffing all over my front yard around my cars. Jegs was growling so this wasn’t a good thing. He usually gets along with everyone.


At 5am, Nick woke me. He was FREEZING cold. I tried to get him to take his meds. “I thought you already gave them to me.” Very confused. At 7am he was drenched in sweat. He’s getting the fevers. Yay. Just changed sheets on Monday night, now tonight I’ll change them again. Also tonight, we have to get more paperwork straightened out.

I just want to be home.

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Yesterday was pretty rough….

….I called home about 1pm. LF answered the phone. (some know who that is, others……no need to worry)

“Where’s Nick?” I asked…wondering why he answered the phone instead of it going to voicemail.

“He’s in the bathroom.” OK, have him call me right away.

20 minutes later, Nick still hadn’t called so I called back.

LF again answered the phone. (Grrrr)

“Where’s Nick???” He’s still in the bathroom……He’s been in there like half an hour (like that fact JUST dawned on him)

I almost screamed into the phone GO CHECK ON HIM!!! (this apparently never occurred to LF till I told him to do it.) All I could see in my mind was Nick slumped on the floor.

Nick had been in the bathroom for over a half hour, nauseous, throwing up clear (not good) and then there was blood in it.

Hospice was finally called, Mark came out, got him situated and back on track. Nick slept most of the afternoon. Mark strongly suggested he get BACK on his anti nausea meds. They doubled his liquid Morphine. Oxycodone….he’s been taking ONE with the Morphine tablet. I made him take 2 LIKE THE LABEL SAYS!

When I got home, he was sitting in my green wing back chair. Looking like death warmed over. His color was so off, he looked like he was ready to tip over onto the floor. His voice, once so strong, is now barely audible. I dropped my bags(not a good idea with ceramic cups inside) and ran to him. He couldn’t find the remote. “I was on the couch but I couldn’t find the remote. I don’t know where it went….? Sue, I can hardly walk.” He was totally wiped out.

I grabbed the remote for him (was right next to where he was sitting on the couch), got him back on the couch, and just sat down and held him.blink of an eye

I think everything is coming to a head…

Peace and dignity. That’s all I ask.

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He doesn’t beg…(updated)

…..for me to stay home with him anymore.Nick 71716.jpg

I’m hoping it’s because he know I can’t instead of his being at the stage where he’s turning inward. I will be able to later. Too bad I have to wait till there’s no quality time left.

I just talked to him on the phone a few minutes back. He has the dry heaves and some blood came up.

This cannot be a good thing. Hospice is coming. He may be going to BRF Hospital. Will keep y’all informed. Just because this is where I let it out.

And so it begins………………..?

Update: Hospice came to the house. Sternly told him he NEEDS to take his anti nausea meds along with his other meds to stop the upset stomachs.

He threw up a bit and there was blood in it. He sounds awful on the phone. This tells ME that there is more to it than just nausea. Or it tells me he’s been throwing up more than he’s told me.

I also found out he did NOT tell them how bad the pain was Friday night and Sunday night. He won’t take the liquid morphine till morning. We had to use it several times extra this weekend. In talking with Hospice I found out that he can take it every HOUR if he needs. Not ‘just as needed’ which to him is every 12 hours. They are also doubling that for him so it helps more.

The meds thing will change. I will be making out a list, counting the pills, he will need to mark off when he takes them. No sense in this. He needs to be better at pain management. The bottle says every 12 hours, that’s when he takes it. Hospice told him to take every 8 hours. But because the bottle says 12, that’s what he remembers. And his fear of getting addicted……it was explained to him, yet he clings to HIS idea.

Why am I not in a room with padded wall paper……..?

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I got a little taste of life “after”….

….last night. In two things I’ve not had to do ‘alone’ for 22+ years.

I’d been putting off lawn for a couple nights. Wednesday because of a car club ‘meeting’ at our house. Tuesday because I had to run to Blair right after work and didn’t get done with that in time.

So last night, I bit the bullet and got on the John Deere. The monster. I call it ‘The Beast’ because it is…….a BEAST. It’s big and difficult to handle. And it eats grass like crazy!

BUT I DID IT!! I even figured it all out to get it started, the deck lowered and the most important little hidden thing……………HOW TO START THE BLADES!!

I’m so proud of myself.

east view

I started the lawn and got one lousy round into it and ran out of gas.(right where that ‘light’ is pointing) Toddled over to the garage, FOUND the gas can, FOUND THE GAS CAP! (cause it wasn’t where I thought it was) emptied the gas can (remember this part for later) into the tank and kept mowing. Got the lawn all mowed in about 2 hours. Wow….Then I parked the beast in the shed as he ran out of gas. Perfect timing!

Then remembered a place about the size of a truck that I didn’t go back and finish up. It’s behind the garage and not THAT big a deal but….. Remember the gas can? Yeah. I will need to finish up that little spot tonight.


Brown Shag rug.jpeg

This is the other thing I did alone last night. There was a cream colored chunk of carpet in my living room. I’ve had it for purt near 30 years. So it’s not in the best shape. It needed cleaning and I just don’t have the energy to rent a carpet cleaner.

So I bought this instead.

ERMERGERD!! It’s so soft and fluffy and nice to walk on barefoot. It felt so good!

So I had to roll up the old chunk which included getting it out from under the stand you see with records and DVDs on it. It also holds Nick’s stereo. I finally got it out, rolled it up and it’s now out on my screen porch where it will live out its days in carefree abandon. It wasn’t that heavy? just bulky and hard to handle alone.


Then I opened the packaging on this new rug and rolled it out. Again, not that heavy but it is bulky. I had to move some furniture and then I got it all laid out………….except putting it under the stereo stand.

I’m not going to.

In a few months my living room will completely change. I’m not going to have someone bust a nut trying to lift that shelving unit enough to scoot that corner under it. The shelving unit might even be gone or maybe I’ll put it behind my desk because I’m selling the 1953 Philco Console radio/record player that’s back there now. The stereo goes to the child and some of those albums on it go too. So no real point in fixing that rug.

For now.

And then.

I sat down. Looked at all I had done in the few hours since I got home, looked at Jegs, and said “you know? This is how my life will be in a few months.

Or less.”

He got up, put his gorgeous head on my leg, and looked at me like “I know Mom.”



I sat there and cried.

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I do NOT like C/P but this is GOOD!

The following was written in 2013 by Orlando Sentinel columnist Charlie Reese. It was his last post. Three years ago someone pointed out who to blame and because it wasn’t what people wanted to hear, it got lost in the finger pointing. So, keep on blaming the black guy in the White House or the Liberals and keep patting the 544 members of Congress and The Supreme Court on the back for doing their jobs well and see how much changes.

545 vs. 300,000,000 People

-By Charlie Reese

Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them.

Have you ever wondered, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, WHY do we have deficits?

Have you ever wondered, if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, WHY do we have inflation and high taxes?

You and I don’t propose a federal budget. The President does.

You and I don’t have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations. The House of Representatives does.

You and I don’t write the tax code, Congress does.

You and I don’t set fiscal policy, Congress does.

You and I don’t control monetary policy, the Federal Reserve Bank does.

One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one President, and nine Supreme Court justices equates to 545 human beings out of the 300 million are directly, legally, morally, and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country.

I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem was created by the Congress. In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered, but private, central bank.

I excluded all the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason. They have no legal authority. They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman, or a President to do one cotton-picking thing. I don’t care if they offer a politician $1 million dollars in cash. The politician has the power to accept or reject it. No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislator’s responsibility to determine how he votes.

Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con regardless of party.

What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall. No normal human being would have the gall of a Speaker, who stood up and criticized the President for creating deficits.. ( The President can only propose a budget. He cannot force the Congress to accept it.)

The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating and approving appropriations and taxes. Who is the speaker of the House?( John Boehner.(Now Paul Ryan) He is the leader of the majority party. He and fellow House members, not the President, can approve any budget they want. ) If the President vetoes it, they can pass it over his veto if they agree to. [The House has passed a budget but the Senate has not approved a budget in over three years. The President’s proposed budgets have gotten almost unanimous rejections in the Senate in that time. ]

It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 300 million cannot replace 545 people who stand convicted — by present facts — of incompetence and irresponsibility. I can’t think of a single domestic problem that is not traceable directly to those 545 people. When you fully grasp the plain truth that 545 people exercise the power of the federal government, then it must follow that what exists is what they want to exist.

If the tax code is unfair, it’s because they want it unfair.

If the budget is in the red, it’s because they want it in the red.

If the Army & Marines are in Iraq and Afghanistan it’s because they want them in Iraq and Afghanistan ..

If they do not receive social security but are on an elite retirement plan not available to the people, it’s because they want it that way.

There are no insoluble government problems.

Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice they can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the power to regulate and from whom they can take this power.

Above all, do not let them con you into the belief that there exists disembodied mystical forces like “the economy,” “inflation,” or “politics” that prevent them from doing what they take an oath to do.

Those 545 people, and they alone, are responsible. They, and they alone, have the power.

They, and they alone, should be held accountable by the people who are their bosses. Provided the voters have the gumption to manage their own employees… We should vote all of them out of office and clean up their mess!

Charlie Reese is a former columnist of the Orlando Sentinel Newspaper.

What you do with this article now that you have read it… is up to you.
This might be funny if it weren’t so true.
Be sure to read all the way to the end:

Tax his land,
Tax his bed,
Tax the table,
At which he’s fed.

Tax his tractor,
Tax his mule,
Teach him taxes
Are the rule.

Tax his work,
Tax his pay,
He works for
peanuts anyway!

Tax his cow,
Tax his goat,
Tax his pants,
Tax his coat.

Tax his ties,
Tax his shirt,
Tax his work,
Tax his dirt.

Tax his tobacco,
Tax his drink,
Tax him if he
Tries to think.

Tax his cigars,
Tax his beers,
If he cries
Tax his tears.

Tax his car,
Tax his gas,
Find other ways
To tax his ass.

Tax all he has
Then let him know
That you won’t be done
Till he has no dough.

When he screams and hollers;
Then tax him some more,
Tax him till
He’s good and sore.

Then tax his coffin,
Tax his grave,
Tax the sod in
Which he’s laid…

Put these words
Upon his tomb,
‘Taxes drove me
to my doom…’

When he’s gone,
Do not relax,
Its time to apply
The inheritance tax.
Accounts Receivable Tax
Building Permit Tax
CDL license Tax
Cigarette Tax
Corporate Income Tax
Dog License Tax
Excise Taxes
Federal Income Tax
Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)
Fishing License Tax
Food License Tax
Fuel Permit Tax
Gasoline Tax (currently 44.75 cents per gallon)
Gross Receipts Tax
Hunting License Tax
Inheritance Tax
Inventory Tax
IRS Interest Charges IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)
Liquor Tax
Luxury Taxes
Marriage License Tax
Medicare Tax
Personal Property Tax
Property Tax
Real Estate Tax
Service Charge Tax
Social Security Tax
Road Usage Tax
Recreational Vehicle Tax
Sales Tax
School Tax
State Income Tax
State Unemployment Tax (SUTA)
Telephone Federal Excise Tax
Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax
Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Taxes
Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax
Telephone Recurring and Nonrecurring Charges Tax
Telephone State and Local Tax
Telephone Usage Charge Tax
Utility Taxes
Vehicle License Registration Tax
Vehicle Sales Tax
Watercraft Registration Tax
Well Permit Tax
Workers Compensation Tax

Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago, & our nation was the most prosperous in the world. We had absolutely no national debt, had the largest middle class in the world, and Mom stayed home to raise the kids.

What in the heck happened? Can you spell ‘politicians?’

I hope this goes around THE USA at least 545 times!!! YOU can help it get there!!!


I can see why people move out of this country. Me? I’m headed to Italy when I retire!!

Posted in Me


I have had more than one friend tell me “I’m glad you are writing a journal on this.”

I learned 20 plus years ago, how mentally helpful it is to write out the stuff that swirls in your head.

Or like my therapist at the time told me…it’s like a train on a track. Going ’round and ’round….

She was right.

And after I started writing down all the crap in my head, I started feeling better. Less stressed, less frantic I may forget something.

I had SO many facts to keep in order during my divorce. Names, dates, places. I could count on every fall when he got laid off for the winter, SOME kind of court paperwork would land on my desk. How many years of being on High Alert? I get what PTSD is all about.

At the same time, Nick’s child and his, well, whatever you want to call her, were doing everything they could to put both Nick and I in jail, up to and including so pretty PERVERSE shit. (Why THEY weren’t prosecuted for some of the crap they filed falsely, I’ll NEVER know. And no longer care.)

All the stuff going on and the thoughts in my head were literally like a train on a track in my head. And as I wrote stuff out in my journal (hand wrote…no computer then) I found the train got shorter and shorter. (One day I’ll burn those journals)

Until one day it was gone.

Now with all this stuff about Nick’s cancer going on, I was already writing a journal about it in an almost daily email to a bunch of people. When a member of Nick’s family made the mistake of telling me how I was going to run MY house, that stopped. I had found another blog site which became too damn toxic for words so I move almost everything over to this site. I can type and type and type and if you read it? Hey, cool! If you don’t? It’s not for nothing because……

….I don’t have a train going ’round and ’round in my head.

And that’s what matters to me.walking in nature is to see a thousand miracles


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This journey…

…has been a very difficult one so far.

To watch Nick simply fade away like he is doing is heartbreaking to me.

Nick has always had an incredible appetite. Especially for things I make that he loves. I have Chicken in the crock pot at home right now. I couldn’t ever keep him from sneaking a bite. Potato Soup…his favorite and he would eat 5 bowls of the stuff. My beef stew…nothing. He just turns away from everything now. As far as I know he hasn’t eaten a bite today. He has very little appetite at all on a GOOD day. This morning, the dry heaves hit him. So he will eat nothing today. Nothing. He is shutting down.

He sleeps so lightly now, and most of the day, too. His eyes will find me as I crawl into bed, relieved when I finally get there. I wait till he is in bed to do a lot of MY stuff so I’m there if he should need me. He doesn’t like waking to find me gone. He’ll hold my hand or put his hand my leg……all night. It’s just like I’m a lifeline to this world for him.

He is constantly talking about getting his cars done yet. This won’t happen anymore. He’s so thin. He has no strength. This man once gave me a hug 36 minutes long. Now I’m lucky if he can stay awake for more than 3.6 minutes.

I’m watching him sleep more and more till one day he won’t wake up anymore. I just hope I will get to tell him one more time, just how much I do love him, what a difference he’s made in my life, how he taught me to love and how to make love.

We had some rough years. We had some AWESOME years. I wouldn’t give any of them up for love or money. Our experiences together have made me the person I am today and actually? I like me.

Well for the most part I like me. I’ve done what I need to do to survive. And I will continue to so.

I will also continue to do what I need to in order for Nick to be comfortable as long as I can. Then Hospice will take over. They are coming on Wednesday to install a shower bar. I’m thinking soon a hospital bed will be needed. I need to change sheets so often because he’s freezing when he crawls into bed, wraps himself in a down comforter and proceeds to sweat. All I do is change sheets and do laundry.

And watch him fade away.

I sometimes go into the bathroom…here at work or at home. And just cry. I’d like to just fall back into the wall and slide to the floor, just let it out. But I cannot afford to break down.

There will be plenty of time for that later because right now? He needs me.

I am alone in this. Just as he is alone with his thoughts now…..

Nick at Cross Falls

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3 items off his bucket list in 3 weeks!

L to R: Terrible but I cannot remember the drivers name (Ricky Stenhouse, Danica Patrick and he have a thing going on I guess); My beautiful daughter; her son Ryley; my Nick; and Jack Rousch. It was a VERY special day for Nick.

Jack and the crews

Nick said the Fastenal Employees came in, grabbed a shirt, had Jack and the driver sign it and leave. While the driver (his name in on the tip of my tongue, Ricky Stenhouse Thank you Mike!) was signing his shirt, Nick looked over at Jack and said “I’ve been following you since your Tijuana Taxi days.” He said Jack just looked up at him, put his hand in his pocket and said “I’ve got something for you.” Jack signing the shirts

Look closely at Nick’s hand. See that coin?

Jack and Nick

This is what Jack pulled from his pocket and gave to Nick. On one side, it is carved with a relief of Jack, his daughter,and his son. On the other side is the date he was inducted in the NASCAR hall of fame in 2010 and I think the year Jack retired.

This was the best thing I could get set up for Nick. Corey (Fastenal guy who let me know what was going on) and I working together really lifted Nick’s spirits. I’m so glad it all worked out.

He was still cheesin’ this morning.

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This was a good but busy weekend…..

My oldest grandson turned 16 in June. He got his license on 7/7. So for his birthday present, he got to drive Papa’s truck with Papa. Omg the kid was over the moon smiling! He was so happy he didn’t kill the truck trying to drive this manual transmission. He is used to automatics.

Cullan Papa Truck up close

Yeah….he’s a lot taller than Papa. And bigger. And he loves his Papa to pieces.

Cullan Papa Truck walking back

He decided he wanted to go on the 16th annual Mustang Run this year. “Do I get to drive the Mustang Gramma?” We’ll see, luv. We’ll see.”

JoAnn (coordinator) always does a little speech about people who are on the run for more than a few years. We get to know each other…….

Anyway…..She started this story “There are a couple people here, who, after COURTING for 20 years, decided to finally marry. (She also knows the cancer part but didn’t mention it.) Are there any people here like that?? Raise your hands?”…Nick LOOKED at me! I smiled and got up. This beautiful flower arrangement was for us. The colors are so VIVID!!

That is my handsome long haired grandson I love to bits and back.

Cullan behind my flowers

And of course he got to drive Gramma’s Mustang from Rushford to Winona. He was pretty pumped. And did a perfect job.

Cullan driving my Mustang

My friend from Maine sent me some books a while back. I read them. Didn’t LIKE reading them but I really do need to know what to expect. Hospice gave Nick a copy of one of them. Funny how the title flies outta my head right now but the information is staying there.

Nick is starting to show some of the signs under the Days to 2 weeks period. This is distressing me. It’s getting scary now.

We had a good, low key weekend. A few visitors before we left for Aubree, Brandon and Cullan’s birthday parties at the Haven. Cullan and Papa took the truck for a drive, we had a simple hotdog for supper, then headed home. Nick took a nap. We watched a documentary on …..oh…man. I have to start writing more stuff down! But it was a good ‘un!! I’ll think of it yet….

Sunday was the Mustang Run. He did OK. He is glad he went. He doesn’t want to miss out on things. And yet they wear him out.

So when we got home, Nick slept almost the whole time before bed. And he slept with his eyes mostly open, so I wondered if he WAS sleeping……till he started snoring. The book mentions this as well as the labored breathing.

Today Nick has another surprise a friend and I planned. He doesn’t know he’s gonna get to meet Jack Rousch today. *look him up* Daughter Meg will be picking him up and driving him there. He doesn’t even know she and the boys are taking him. He loves spending time with her and the kids.

He’ll be so happy.

And totally worn out when I get home.

I can’t wait to hear him….

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