I sat and read your stories about Rita and they made me cry and laugh (really hard)!! I cannot believe it has almost been a year since I visited with Rita last, and yet the pain of loosing her is still so fresh. I was glad to read that so many people had the opportunity to know her and be blessed by her life. I feel that I was blessed twice because Rita was not only my cousin, she was also my best friend growing up. I always looked up to her (although she was only months older). I always wanted to be like her because she was so pretty and smart (and she had great teeth!) Her sister Mary would also say that she could color much better than I could too (this was proven by many, many coloring contests) // Was it fair to have your sister be the judge? Anyway. . . We spent many carefree days of our childhood playing "run-away orphans" on the old farm. Our lives were very simple then and she was just as loving as a child as she was as an adult. Then we grew up and it was almost as if our childhood was a fairytale. I joined the military and we didn't keep in touch very often. We would talk on the phone about what was going on in our lives. I wasn't surprised that she was happily married ! with beautiful children. I had always imagined it would work out for her just like that. I had been through a divorce and had some troubles. Rita was always supportive, but it was at the end of her life that Rita gave me a special gift that made it all OK. Almost 20 years after our carefree childhood I realized that Rita had also admired me and told me how proud she was of who I had become too.
She never judged, only loved, and I love her and miss her very, very much.
thank you for the opportunity to be a part of something that undoubtedly has Rita smiling. She is an angel now, just as she was here on Earth. Never will I forget that smile that she shared so bravely, nor will I ever meet a more admirable mother,wife,daughter or sister. She has taught me that no-one loses their battle against cancer, but they have truly defeated the monster that it is, she is free, she has won.
God Bless her, and family.
What a beautiful and touching website to honor Rita and ensure that her memory lives on!! I took care of Rita when I worked on the Transplant and Oncology unit at Avera McKennan hospital. She always had a vibrant personality and was so sweet and kind - one of those patients that you cannot help but fall in love with and want the best for. I miss her smile and her determination. She will always be an angel to me.
Hello Spyksma family,
I am a nurse at McKennan that took care of Rita during her sickness. We all fell in love with Rita and the family immediately. We all miss her and hope the family is all doing well. It's people like Rita that make our job worth doing and that make it so hard to do. We all still talk about her and Jeff and the girls. We miss her very much. See you at the race.
We have the Halloween picture of Rita & the girls on our fridge. Can't believe it's almost a year. We miss her so much & look forward to seeing everyone & sharing all the great memories.
It was your years at Apple Tree that brought you and your whole family close to my heart. Your mom became more than a parent, she was a friend. It always amazed me that no matter how she was feeling, or what she was going through, she always asked about MY life. To me, my problems were nothing compared to hers, but she always made me feel that my worries were real too. She continues to be my life inspiration and help in the hard times. I miss you too Autumn. You were always a shining student and a joy to have around. May you and Brooklyn fly as high as your mom and live your life as beautiful as she did.
The Butterfly will always be Rita!
My thoughts and prayers go out to Rita's family. My sister is a cancer survivor as well as an oncology nurse. My hope is that one day soon there will be a cure for all cancers.
I'm so excited to run this race for Rita- I've been asking when it was going to be and it ended up on my birthday- so that's awesome!! Now I just have to get to work running! I think it's great that you're doing this for her.
This is a great website dedicated to Rita. This will help the girls learn more about their mother and what a great person she was.
This website is wonderful and so nice. We are neighbors of Jeff and Rita. I look forward to the run/walk in October.
Thanks for putting this beautiful website together
What a great idea for someone in need and also to honor Rita's memory.
Thanks for sharing. This is a great website. Rita is quite an inspiration and reminder of how fortunate I am to have my health.
I miss you Rita. You are Gods best Angel
What a wonderful website. Jeff, Autumn and Brooklyn are in my thoughts and prayers almost daily!
Looking forward to the Run.
The website is a nice tribute and a nice remembrance.
To Autumn & Brooklyn:
I've tried many times to think of a story that would help show you how great your mom was, but I've finally came to the conclusion that is impossible because there are no words that can express just how wonderful she was. Your mom truly was the kindest, most genuine person I have ever met. Truly and angel. Spending each day with you girls and your family was one of the best times in my life. In those 7 months, your mom touched my life in so many ways. She became one of my best friends, almost like a big sister to me. She loved you girls more than anything else in this world and continues to watch over you each and every day. Your mom is and will always be my life inspiration. I was blessed to have known such a wonderful person.