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Ann is for angel Posted by Jan Wysocki on February 01, 2002 at 09:17:17:

I have agonized over the loss of Ann and I have tried several times to
put something on paper to express to the Nelsons how the Wysocki family feels
about this tragedy. I read somewhere that knowing how many people were lost
on 9-11 is a statistic; knowing someone who perished personally is a tragedy.
Our hearts are simply broken and we will never be the same.
Jenette, when I read you poems, I can actually feel your pain. You have
such a gift when it comes to expressing your feelings. My heart aches every
time I read when you have written.
Our memories of the Nelsons span over 40 years now. I think 1965 was the
first year we spent Thanksgiving Day together and that was the beginning of at
least 25-30 years of sharing that feast. Sometimes, when all our kids were
little, it was quite an accomplishment just to get the food on the table and
eat while the babies were sleeping. Our Thanksgivings always included the
traditional meal, lots of lively conversation, games, football on television,
lots of dirty dishes and a terribly over-stuffed feeling when the pies were
all eaten. We celebrated this day in a variety of venues: Minneapolis, Wis-
consin, Stanley, at our farm near Landa, at Nelson's cabin on Lake Metigoshe,
and one time we even ate at a very posh Men's Club in downtown Minnepolis. I
think that was the only time we didn't have to prepare the meal and do the
dishes ourselves.
Gary, Jenette, Gary and I all lived in Minneapolis following our gradua-
tions from college; they moved to Wisconsin, but we managed to get away many
times to visit them while they were there. In the 70's, both of our families
moved back to North Dakota; in the 80's, we both bought cabins at Lake Metigoshe.
The similarites didn't end with our physical locations; Nelsons named their son
Scott; we named our daughter Anne; Nelsons had Ann, and soon after our Scott
arrived. I think about the time I was ready to send the birth announcements,
it hit me that our families had almost all the same names: the dads were Gary,
the moms were Jenette and Jan, and the kids were Scott and Ann(e). Brett was
our tag-along and Nelson's first grandchild was named Brittany. I know we have
all told this little tidbit many times!
I have so many memories of Ann; like so many others have said, her laughter
will always echo in our hearts and minds. She was such a delightful person...
even as a little child.
My favorite memory happened on an Easter Sunday when Nelsons came to stay
and have Easter dinner with us. We all got up early and went to our (Catholic)
church in Westhope. Ann wasn't quite a teenager at the time. The church was
packed and she ended up sitting quite close to the front with her dad. The
rest of us were spread out in various spots behimd them. When it came time for
communion, I saw Ann and Gary looking around and probably wondering what they
should do. Unbeknown to them, communion in the Catholic church is only offered
to Catholics. However, when everyone else in their row got up and went forward,
they did likewise. I never said anything to them, but when we got home, Ann
said, "Oh, that was so neat! It was the first time I've ever been to
communion!" Many times I have chuckled to myself about "Ann's first communion!"
It was so innocent!
Another memory-maker was when our daughter, Anne, turned 16. She was only
a year older than Ann. Ann and Jenette came for cake and ice cream and Ann
brought a beautiful cross-stitched picture for our Anne as a gift. She had
made the picture herself (for those of you who never thought she had domestic
skills, you're wrong!). Anyway, the cross-stitch was of a little angel with a
halo and the caption uner the picture was "Ann is for angel." Our Anne pointed
out to her that her name was spelled with an "e." Ann took the picture home
and squeezed in the "e" and also cross-stitched "oops" above the mistake! She
had the greatest sense of humor and could always laugh at herself! When we
lost Ann on 9-11, it gave a new special meaning to the picture she had
stitched some 15 years ago. We know now that ANN IS FOR ANGEL.

Ann, we miss you.
The Wysockis
Gary, Jan, Anne, Scott and Brett