Victoria Noe

Award-winning Author, Speaker, Activist

A Final Gathering of Friends
Yesterday’s Chicago Tribune carried a beautiful story by Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter Meg Kissinger. She introduced us to Dick Rothing, who at the age of 55, received a shocking, unexpected diagnosis of metastatic esophageal cancer.

He knew he wanted to go home. Home is his family’s compound, “R-Place”, on Little St. Germain Lake in Wisconsin, a part of his life since 1957.

His sister and sister-in-law drove him from Montana for a last visit. His grade school friends joined him in June, and a few days later, Rothing returned to Montana. But not for long.

A few weeks later, he came back to R-Place for good.

This time his best friend since kindergarten brought his son, for a father-son fishing expedition with Rothing, his son and his brother.

He’s much weaker now, resigned to the things he’ll never get to do, but at peace spending his final days in the place he loved so much. He chose the place where his ashes will be buried.

Many people say they want to “go” in their sleep, peacefully. Others say they just want “it” to be fast and as painless as possible.

But there’s something soothing about Rothing’s story. Yes, it’s the ultimate shock to find you’re dying at 55.

But what a gift, to spend your last days surrounded by friends who love you, in the place you love the most.
You can read the full story here:  "Making His Final Rendezvous"