Kathryn J. Langstraat

I turned 32 on Saturday, February 11th and was planning on spending a long weekend in the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument since I had permits to Coyote Buttes North and South. However, last Friday morning my mom had a heart attack when she arrived at work and was rushed to Elmhurst Memorial Hospital.

Since I was in Page, Arizona, I drove down to Flagstaff and got on a flight back to Chicago so that I could be with my mom and my family.

Unfortunately, her brain was without oxygen for too long and she never recovered from the heart attack. She was put on a ventilator until Tuesday afternoon at 3pm when she was taken off of it. The neurologist didn’t expect her to survive more than a few minutes off of the machine, but she was strong and lasted for another 14 hours on her own. Her breathing was very fast and heavy at first, but slowed down throughout the night until she peacefully passed away around 6am on Wednesday, February 15th, 2012. My dad, sister and I were by her side all night until the end. She loved Valentine’s Day so I think it’s fitting she held on until the next day.

I really hope she knew how much I loved her, even though I never said it much.

Here’s a photo of my mom and me dancing at my wedding in 2005.

I am currently still in Chicago for the wake and funeral this week. Then I will be driving back to Grand Junction with Amanda. When I get back I will definitely need to get back into the desert.

8 Responses to “Kathryn J. Langstraat”

  • Bret Edge Says:

    Randy: I’m so terribly saddened to read this news. My heart, thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family. My Mom passed away in November, 2001 in an eerily similar manner. She lived in Georgia and I lived in Arizona. I was only 30 when she died and was “too busy” to call her as often as I should have. To this day I regret not making the time to chat for a few minutes once a week and to visit her more often. I didn’t make it back to Georgia before she passed away and I know I didn’t tell her often enough how much I loved her. I know she knew it, but it still hurts to know that I had the chance and didn’t do it. Her birthday was yesterday and it’s always a tough day for me.

    At any rate, please know that I’m thinking about you and I hope you’re able to find some peace in the love and support of your family and friends.

  • Bill Bean Says:

    I’m very sorry for your loss, Randy. Bret said it pretty well but I suspect it’s a failing that all sons have. I never spent enough time talking to my parents. What stays with me most is that the last time I saw my Dad he hugged me which is something he never did during my adult life. Now, nearly 20 years later, that thought is nearly overwhelming for me. The solace comes from knowing that despite my failings they knew how much I cared for them and I know they loved me.
    My thoughts and prayers will be with you and your family.

  • Kristy R. Langstraat-Bolte Says:

    This post is very nice, Randy. Mom would have loved it.

  • Richard Wong Says:

    My condolences to you and your family, Randy. We’re the same age so I can only imagine how difficult this must be for you.

  • Richard Says:

    Our condolences.

  • » Life & Death | Coyote Buttes North ADVENTR.CO | Trip Reports Says:

    […] This trip report is dedicated in loving memory of my mom, Kathryn J. Langstraat. […]

  • Life & Death | Coyote Buttes North | IntrepidXJ's Adventure Blog Says:

    […] This trip report is dedicated in loving memory of my mom, Kathryn J. Langstraat. […]

  • Randy Says:

    As an avid biker and desert lover, I quite enjoy your photography and often utilize the google earth maps you provide. I haven’t ever met you but my mom died suddenly in February when I was in my early 30’s and I was moved by your tribute. Thank you.