Letter to the editor- Widow thanks community | TahoeDailyTribune.com
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Letter to the editor- Widow thanks community

Sometimes we make snap judgments and go on having erroneous opinions all of our lives. However, sometimes God shows up and discloses that there is more to a place or a situation than our physical eyes see. This is what happened to me in your community.

My husband (Dexter) and my son worked in San Jose 11 years so we had been through the South Lake Tahoe area many times. We loved the magnificent, awesome, natural beauty of the area and we thought that the homes and cabins were charming, but that is the point at which we saw the place accurately. We thought we saw a place where shallow, pleasure-seeking “me, me, me” people congregated to have pleasure, waste time, seek glory and just lead self-centered lives without meaning, without substance and without God.

We came here to attend our son’s wedding on Oct. 28, but the morning of the wedding day, my husband suddenly died in our motel room. The paramedics came quickly and wonderfully revived my husband. One noticed that I was a Christian and told me he was also and that he would be praying. He and another paramedic made several trips to the hospital to be with us. I have never heard of paramedics being that caring. I was profoundly blessed by their compassion and their faith. They told me that their church was praying for Dexter. A lady with an intercessory prayer ministry, who was also from their church, came and prayed with power and love for Dexter. I will always remember and love these people.



From the first to the last, every person in the emergency unit of the local hospital was gracious, efficient and very caring. I was treated politely, compasisoantely and with true grace. I was overwhelmed by the kind tenderness people showed.

The first doctor who explained what had been found, talked to me at length. He never once looked at his watch or tried to cut the talk short even though his wife was scheduled to have twins prematurely that afternoon. I would have excused any doctor under those circumstances to be abrupt and promptly gone, but he was of a much finer cut than that.



The following day another doctor came in on his day off to explain Dexter’s condition and to discuss Dex’s chances for coming out of the coma. I know how precious a day off is, so I think this was way beyond the call of duty.

Every person who came into Dexer’s room to either clean the room or to work on him was thoughtful, polite and just plain nice. I learned more about lung conditions from the lung therapist than I had learned from Dex’s visit to Mayo Clinic.

I marveled at the nurses who attended Dex. Truly they were extraordinary. Each had unique nursing skills and qualities. They were all proficient but they had differing kinds of beauty in the way they went about their work. Each was like a perfect beautiful jewel shining in the place where God had placed them for that moment. I will always treasure them in my memory.

The first day Dex was hospitalized I was told that in addition to the pulmonary fibrosis that we knew about, he also had another serious condition that would require a long operation and four to six weeks of hospitalization. I wondered what I could do, as I could not stay in a motel that long. The split moment that the thought came into my head that maybe I could find a small apartment that would not cost an arm and a leg, the beautiful little lady who was working on Dexter said to me, “I told my husband about you and we have a little apartment you can use. I come to t the hospital every day and you can ride with me.”

Dexter never came out of the coma. I believe God gave him extra days so that my son’s wedding day and the day of his dad’s death would not be the same. The bride was from Wales and there were guests who had flown from Wales, England and South Africa, so the wedding could not be postponed.

The night Dexter died, I stayed at a motel across from the hospital. They gave me a room with a large bedroom, bath and kitchen for $30. This is in the town I thought was totally mercenary!

Death is unbelievably hard, but truly in your town every kindness, every skill, everything possible was given in indescribable beauty. Oh, yes, there is one more thing.

In 1965, a mortician told my husband that if he had 30 good funerals a year he would live like a king. From that point on, Dex’s opinion of funeral homes was pretty negative. God in his wisdom and with his sense of humor had Dexter die in the only town in America that had prices that Dexter would have thought were “just right.” What a lovely, lovely town. What lovely, lovely people.

Thank you all so much for all of your goodness and kindness. God bless and keep each one of you.

Rachel Kowalsky

Alpena, Mich.


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