title explained

Onward and upward! something that you say in order to encourage someone to forget an unpleasant experience or failure and to think about the future instead and move forward.

My e-mail: jjmiller6213@comcast.net

Saturday, June 12, 2021

 If you have been reading this blog for the last few years, you have seen me write about my neighbor Dar.  The strong-willed, strong-minded, assertive Dar.

She visited me one evening about 7 weeks ago.  Her 100 year old Dad lives with her and every once in awhile she needs to escape.  So she waits until he falls asleep for his evening nap and scoots over here for 45 minutes.

She had walked her normal 3 miles that day.  Diagnosed with a very rare blood disease, Waldenstrom Syndrome--a form of Hodgkins cancer, but no symptoms, so they are "watching it".

Two nights later, as I sat here in my computer room, looking out at her house, I saw an ambulance pull up and attendants going into her house.  I naturally thought it was her Dad, but about a half hour later, the gurney came out and it was Dar, sitting on it.

The next day I called a couple of her friends here in the park--Jackie, who lives next door to Dar and right across the street from me--was in bed asleep and didn't know anything.

Dar's housekeeper who lives down at the end of the street didn't know either, but had Dar's daughter's phone number and would find out.

Dar's daughter, from North Carolina, had just come in that very morning.  They were getting together so that Dar could make out her Will.

Two days later, I heard that Dar had been having extreme stomach pains and vomiting, so the ambulance was called.  Tests had been done.  She was to have surgery.

Now, this rare form of blood cancer can remain dormant for years and then appear in an internal organ.  There is no known cure.

Dar had a tumor, the size of a large bake potato removed from her Pancreas and two smaller ones--lemon sized, removed from her kidney, liver and had her spleen removed.  

She was in hospital for 10 days and then came home on Friday, May 8th.  The next morning, her daughter, Dad and her sat down for breakfast and all of a sudden, Dar said, "Oh", and fell over onto her left side.  The day before Mother's Day--when her granddaughter was expected to arrive.

Back into hospital.  She had a stroke.

She was in hospital for 10 days and they wanted to move her to a care/rehab facility, but the facility said she wasn't well enough for them to take care of her.

Finally got her moved in the last of May.  Even though Dar could speak a bit and knew her daughter/Dad/granddaughter, within four days, she suddenly decided to turn her back to the door, refused to eat or drink and kept her eyes squeezed tightly shut and refused to speak.

Jackie went to visit her at the care center and said it was awful.  Dar looked awful and Jackie wished she hadn't gone.

I told Jackie and Dar's other friends, "Dar is just waiting for her Angel to come and escort her home.  Her faith is very steadfast and deep and she doesn't want to be here anymore."

Dar died Monday, June 7th.

Everyone was shocked, but I thought, if she did make it through the stroke with rehab, she'd still have some debilitating effects from it and then the cancer?  Would she want to deal with the treatments?  Would she want the pancreatic tumor to come back and kill her?


It feels very strange to look out these front windows and see her house all closed up, her car removed from the driveway.  I keep expecting to see her pull in with her car.  I keep waiting for her to open my door and walk in.

She had such a dynamic, strong, vibrant personality, that it feels like something is missing from out neighborhood.

Today, her kids opened up her house so family, neighbors and friends could gather together and talk about memories.  It was a nice gathering.


Darlene C. Nadeau

May 13, 1942 - June 07, 2021

Darlene C. Nadeau, age 79 of Brighton, passed away after an extended illness on Monday, June 7, 2021. She was born May 13, 1942 in Detroit, the daughter of Clovis and Betty (Holtz) Nadeau. She is survived by her children Lisa Nalepa, Jeffory Nalepa, Connie Hetu and Wayne Hetu. Grandmother of Jeffory, Ashley, Zoe, George, Eleni, Hopejoy, Corey and Shea. Great-grandmother of Cooper and Hunter. Also survived by her father Clovis and brothers Mike and Terry Nadeau. Darlene was a manager of several restaurants. She enjoyed taking her day trips to to many places especially Frankenmuth, liked attending church, was an avid walker, liked her coffee and enjoyed spending time with family and her father. A memorial gathering will take place at a later date. 


  1. Sorry to hear about your neighbor/friend's passing. Not an easy way to go.

  2. I am sorry she passed. I hope she can rest in peace free of pain. That is really sad, but she is no longer suffering. I know you will miss her visits.

  3. I am so sorry for the loss of your friend. Her health issues would have made life miserable, if not intolerable, and I know God decided what was best for her. I know you will miss her.

  4. I am very sorry to hear about Dar. I enjoyed your posts on her visits. She was a true character! I mean that in a very positive way. Last month I lost my ex-husband and it was similar in that it was a hard way to go and it has affected me more than I can express. Like you I keep waiting for another phone call and it will never come. Life goes on, but so differently.

  5. Rest in peace, Dar. I feel like I know her from the stories you have shared. I look forward to seeing who moves in!

  6. My sister, Carol, who loved your blog (died one year ago) really enjoyed your Dar stories. She would have been sad.

  7. Wow! You just never know when it's your time.....but Dar was ready. And God's timing is always perfect - even when we can't see that.

  8. Dear Judy, some poet said that anyone's death "diminishes" us. Friend, Neighbor, Family Member--all have had a claim on our heart. our affections. our love. And so when a person dies, we are diminished. I am so sorry, that you have lost a good neighbor. One whose life enlivens yours. At times like this, I remember the words that were given me after Dulcy--a cat with whom I lived for 17 1/2 years--died. (I know that the two deaths aren't equal, but Dulcy was my family and so she meant so much to me.) These are the words she gave me: "At the end, all that matters is love, my love for my human and hers for me. I have planted the memories of our life together in here heart. She will find them there when I am gone and they will comfort her." I trust that your memories of Dar will comfort you as you grieve. Be good to yourself. Peace.

  9. Awwww. My condolences to Dar's family, and to you. And a happy birthday to you, Judy! xoxo

  10. I'm sorry also, Judy. You lost a friend, and that's sad.


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  12. Goodness, I'm sorry about Dar, but sounds like she is in a better place! You're right, from one day to the next, we never know.
    I've been having some memory problems, and somehow so came upon my blog on my tablet -- which led me to yours. I don't know how I forget things so easily, but I, of course,v remember this blog well. I guess it's been an odd year, and since I wasn't blogging, I forgot about a lot. I hope your back is better, Judy, and glad that Helene got your beautiful doll house! I hope I won't forget to drop in again! 🙄 I just have been in space, I guess! I keep telling Ed I'm forgetting everything, but he just shushed me when I do...now I am worried about forgetting blogs!!😮

  13. That is sad about your friend and neighbor Dar. A friend of mine died recently, age 89, she turned her face to the wall, I visited her and reminded her of the good times we had enjoyed. My Christian faith gives me hope of happy reunions one day.