July 21, 2015
Matthew W. Ostergrant
November 27, 1961
as you knew me,
warts and all.
While any disease is certainly no gift, many gifts were made possible as a result of being the reluctant host of pancreatic cancer. First, the gift of humility, as I was quickly reminded of my mortality and that we really are just vapors that appear for a little while, then vanish away. More humility as my independence began to erode. Then the many gifts of gratitude that arrived with cards, prayers, phone calls, gifts of food, transportation to appointments, help with chores--all the positive energy that family and the friends in this incredible community of Mineral Point sent out to us. To be the instrument of enabling such outpourings of support, concern and love was a humbling experience, again filled with gratitude.
No, I've fought neither a brave nor a valiant battle with my cancer; rather, I've tried to coexist with it, encouraging it to give up the fight and retreat. Reminding it that I'm the "alpha dog" and that while wanting to conquer me physically, it has never had a chance to conquer my spirit and will. The worst part of all this will be to leave the fragrance of my life--my wife, Denise. No one could have asked for a
better soulmate and companion to go through the journey of this present life. My belief is that we have journeyed together many times before. My hope is that we journey together many times to come. I wish with all my heart that her comfort and success in carrying on without me is buoyed by the continued outpourings of love and support that we've so far been richly blessed with by our family and friends. The best decision we ever made was to "take the leap" and move to Mineral Point. Living here has brought us the rewards of volunteering and serving others while reacquainting us with "community"--something we had not experienced since growing up in our hometown. My deepest thanks for welcoming us and for all the support during my illness. My thanks to our families, the great team at Dean Hematology and Oncology in Madison, Agrace Hospice Care, and to Claudia Gehlhaart who kept my energy strong and moving in the right
Keep your eyes and ears open--you'll probably see me around.