When the Keldermans throw a party….

by Sarah

Jill approached me a few months ago about having a little something to celebrate me being ten years cancer-free.  Her brother Clint and his wife Rachel are members at Wakonda Country Club and offered to have it there and so it was.  Two weeks before the party, I was given the news of incurable cancer.  What to do, what to do.  I wasn’t sure what my mindset would be, if I’d already be undergoing treatment and feeling poorly or if people would be able to enjoy themselves.  The circumstances changed but the party was the same.  Carry on.  

We were picked up by the Keldermans in Shaq to escort me to the party.  If you don’t know what Shaq is, I don’t even try to explain it.  It’s best just to see it.  Thanks for the photo bomb, Jeff. 


Gary, aka GK, “made me a little something”.  A piece of metal on it’s way to being a truck axle was machined into a cane (pimp stick) and painted pink.  Wow.  I’m a bit of a hazard just by myself but that thing makes me deadly.  I dig it.

People were asked to bring a picture of me that would make me smile if they had one.  I have yet to look at any of them nor looked at what was written in the guestbook.  I haven’t had a chance and I don’t want to rush through it.  The thought of it is daunting and I know it will be hard for me.  It will be beautiful and exhausting.  

At the party, my worlds collided.  I’ve mostly compartmentalized my friends for years.  Seeing so many loved ones from different facets of my life in one room, playing well together and having fun was a really cool scene to witness.  I knew they were all there for me and I felt it.  They mingled and made friends and figured out their commonalities which at a base level is their genuineness and ability to have fun.  I’m starting to find that a high percentage of them are also quite stubborn and increasingly bossy (!!!) but that’s another story. 

I don’t think I could’ve had a better time.  I sensed nothing but laughter and love in the room.  No pity.  The look of pity in your eyes will evoke an immediate and violent reaction from me.  No violent reactions, only laughter, absurdity, honesty, sharing of stories (and WOW were there a lot to be told, I have some very colorful friends), hugs, good eats and cold drinks with a beautiful backdrop.  Twas perfect.  

After we closed down Wakonda, we loaded into Shaq and rolled out to meet those who weren’t ready to call it a night at Star Bar.  Someone’s decision making skills must’ve eroded in an inverse correlation with the amount of alcohol they had because we later ended up at the Park Avenue Pub.  Not a bad place but I’m pretty sure they were trying to extinguish all of us with their drinks.

Thanks to all of the people that shared the evening with me and special thanks to Jill and her extended clan for making such a wonderful night happen for me.  As I said then, the only solace I have is the people in my life and because of them, I am fortunate.   


Musings….I’ve been deliberate about the friends I collect.  Nothing was more apparent to me than how good of a job I’ve done over the years of pulling amazing people close to me.  All are unique, clever, there-in-a-crisis and I know they’ll be with me for the long haul, however that plays out.  I know I can’t do it without them.    

Afterward:   The next morning Dave, Farner and I went for breakfast and all three of us were hobbling.  Me and my cancer-corroded femur, Dave twisted his knee getting out of Shaq and Farner….well, no one is sure what Farner did but his left foot was twice as big a his right and he had a big puncture wound right in the top of it, dead center.  He accused me of trying to infect him with “the cancer” but I’m guessing he got in a fight with the skeleton.