From the Vandenbergs

Kelsey Ray Vandenberg, 20, Fort Madison

Despite the radiant light of the beautiful face above…our world is darker forever.

After a two-year battle with pulmonary hypertension, an idiopathic siege, that served side-by-side with the debilitation of Type 1 diabetes, our youngest daughter Kelsey was taken from us at 6 a.m. Thursday morning.

We are blessed to have a publication in which we provide news and information to North Lee County. But as a family business that people have to come rely on for the past four years, we have to sometimes be transparent in why you didn’t get your product.

This sassy wonder brought joy to Fort Madison School teachers, but never really fit into the mold of the high school peer. She left high school early to start her education toward becoming a forensic psychologist. Kelsey made the Dean’s List at the University of Iowa this year.

Our morning was horrific as we told her it was OK to let go. Lee and I have been twisted and torn. Our oldest daughter Taylor couldn’t get back fast enough to say “Good Bye” and I’m a little mad about that. She said her good byes in private to her only sister through an open window at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinic’s Decedent Care.

Taylor and Lee held each other shaking in the back of our SUV on the way home, and I stayed focused on making sure I brought those two home. I walked in the door and completely lost it, fell crumpled to the floor at the corner of our cabinetry. Her book bag sat alone under our kitchen table. All alone.

Pulling myself together with the help of this 26-year-old from Manhattan was an easier task, I wondered through soaked eyes, “Why”. I don’t know when I”ll have that answer and it may or may not come. But one thing rang between my temples… a message to our readers.

Give your children an extra hug… an extra look… and an extra kiss today and think of them. Running off to work… to school… to play, and remember that there is no doubt – “Every day is a treasure…. and today, our Kelsey is your key.”

We love you all….. we’ll be back.

9 thoughts on “From the Vandenbergs

  1. May your beautiful Kelsey soar with the angels, singing in that heavenly choir. She is forever in your heart. Blessings, Jane Whidden Ostheimer, born in Fort Madison,

  2. I’m so very sorry for your loss! I can’t imagine what you all are going though. I send you all of my prayers, and condolences. Kelsey was a very bright and beautiful woman inside and out.
    All of mine and my families love sent your way Chuck and Lee.
    Love always,
    Miranda Crank.

  3. So sorry to you all my neighbors…I just became aware of this. Please let us know if we can help in anyway. God bless you all.

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