Memorial Tribute for Greg Lansen

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JHyre
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Re: Memorial Tribute for Greg Lansen

Post by JHyre » Mon Mar 21, 2016 8:22 pm

Vicki,

We are most sorry for your loss, you have our deepest condolences.

John & Carolina Hyre

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Re: Memorial Tribute for Greg Lansen

Post by Vicki and Greg Lansen » Wed Apr 13, 2016 11:49 pm

I so appreciate everyone's wonderful comments about Greg's passing. I am, and always have been grateful that a high-falutin' country-club Chicago dude chose me to be his partner, not to mention that even though he didn't know how to start a fire or ever touch a chain saw, he leapt into adventure without reservation. He passed away at 63, a few years before he would have had a pension or full social security. Somehow, he just had a passion to go now, leap and let a net appear.

I have often thought these past few weeks about what our lives would have been like had we stayed in Florida, I had worked towards a retirement and we had done all the safe, reasonable things. Well, we would not have had our fabulous, crazy adventures, and that would have just been fucking sad. The last 15 years, reckless and irresponsible as they were, were just priceless. Here is a picture of him down by the river in front of our cabin. I love it because you can see the joy in his face.
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hlf2888
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Re: Memorial Tribute for Greg Lansen

Post by hlf2888 » Thu Apr 14, 2016 8:47 pm

Sometimes on another level, a person senses they will not live to grow old and a need to live life to its fullest becomes their passion. Glad he followed his passion.

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Re: Memorial Tribute for Greg Lansen

Post by chuck jeronimo » Sun Apr 24, 2016 4:36 am

I'm sorry to hear of Greg's passing. Forumite and local nieghbor JVG, here in Portland just told me. You two were an inspiration for many I believe. Again my condolences and best wishes.
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Re: Memorial Tribute for Greg Lansen

Post by admin » Mon Apr 25, 2016 10:30 am

Vicki and Greg Lansen wrote:I so appreciate everyone's wonderful comments about Greg's passing. I am, and always have been grateful that a high-falutin' country-club Chicago dude chose me to be his partner, not to mention that even though he didn't know how to start a fire or ever touch a chain saw, he leapt into adventure without reservation. He passed away at 63, a few years before he would have had a pension or full social security. Somehow, he just had a passion to go now, leap and let a net appear.

I have often thought these past few weeks about what our lives would have been like had we stayed in Florida, I had worked towards a retirement and we had done all the safe, reasonable things. Well, we would not have had our fabulous, crazy adventures, and that would have just been fucking sad. The last 15 years, reckless and irresponsible as they were, were just priceless. Here is a picture of him down by the river in front of our cabin. I love it because you can see the joy in his face.

Greg was the poster child for 'don't take no for an answer'. Over the years we have seen the Patagonia chew up and spit out the hardest core outdoors people. The sorts of guys that were half Greg's age that could scale a mountain before breakfast, ride their mountain bike back down, while stopping to catch fish with their teeth in a class 5 whitewater; and, somehow, the Patagonia seems to turn them in to a bunch of whiny little schoolgirls. Greg was the most totally unqualified, both in terms of experience and physical condition for that sort of backwoods Patagonia living; yet, he pulled it off long after many of the experienced outdoors / mountain men had run away. You guys made it through not just the winter, but the erupting volcano. That is simply incredible. So, yea, it would have been totally "fucking sad" had you guys stayed in Florida and never tried it.
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Re: Memorial Tribute for Greg Lansen

Post by jamie_m » Mon Apr 25, 2016 3:21 pm

My deepest Condolences go out to Vicki and family. At such a young age, is it inappropriate to ask the cause of his passing? My apologies if it is deemed to be so.

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Re: Memorial Tribute for Greg Lansen

Post by Vicki and Greg Lansen » Thu May 05, 2016 11:36 pm

I don't feel like it is inappropriate at all. First of all, Greg had gran mal epilepsy since he was 18-years old. This figures into the end stuff. It did not stop him from graduating Suma cum lauds (sorry' not sure if that is spelled correctly) as an undergraduate from University of Tampa, and law school at Florida State University. He was a fierce and successful trial attorney, practicing criminal law and working pro bono on many, many civil rights cases. He had contracted Hepatitis C back in the late 70's, early 80's, but because of the epilepsy, he could never take interferon, the only known possible cure at the time. His viral load remain fairly low for two decades. Eighteen years ago he suffered a seizure which lasted for 45 minutes, and while he was intubated immediately, he suffered permanent short-term memory loss. His career as an attorney was over.

Our children were grown and out of the house so we sold it, and gave away everything. We took off and traveled. He never was able to learn Spanish but never let that stop him from adventure, and of course, I was happy to tag along. We lived in Costa Rica, then Panama. Then the got the itch to go to Patagonia to learn to fly fish (he never once did fly fish).

In Patagonia, we fell in love with it all. It was tough though, especially for a Chicago city boy. We did live through the adventure of the exploding Volcan Chaiten, and a mad medical emergency where he had a femoral bypass in Temuco (aided by the Spencer Clan. Somewhere in the photo gallery are some fun pics of many of our escapades.

We returned to Panama and in 2012 he became very ill and tests showed at his viral load had sky rocketed. We returned to the US in 2013 when a new medication became available to cure Hep C. It appeared to work and we returned home to Panama in June that year. It was not to be. The virus was simply dormant and returned wi a vengeance in September of 2014. His liver had been damaged so much that our options were to get him a liver transplant and try an emerging new treatment. He went back to the US in October and I stayed one month to close up the coffee farm and make arrangements.

I know this is long, but it is also helpful for me to tell it all. I arrived back in FL November 20th, 2014 and Greg and my daughter-in-law met me at the airport. Greg was gaunt and not feeling well. When we got outside he told me that our youngest son (33) was horrifically injured in an accident and not expected to live. His three roommates in the car were all killed. They were hit head-on by a drunk driver. I spent the next five months at the trauma center with my son. In between my time at the hospital, Greg and I traveled to Tampa to the transplant center. Nick came home from the hospital May 2015, parapalegic. October we were told that Greg would not be a candidate for a liver transplant, nor was he a candidate for the new treatment. We started receiving in-home hospice care inDecember and he passed away February 25, just three days shy of his 64th birthday.

Our son is doing well now. And I am grappling with things but looking forward to going home to our coffee farm to live. I hope to lease out the farm part, or sell it, and keep our little house. I fully intend to go back to Rio Azul. Probably not to live all the time, but to fee alive again. Never felt more alive anywhere than Patagonia. I hope to find his spirit there. Or mine.

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Re: Memorial Tribute for Greg Lansen

Post by JHyre » Fri May 06, 2016 7:36 am

You are one tough cookie Vickie. I admire how you have made the best of circumstances that would frighten most others into despondency or paralysis. Thank you for sharing.

John Hyre

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Re: Memorial Tribute for Greg Lansen

Post by admin » Fri May 06, 2016 10:12 am

we use to refer to him as the bionic man (think that was acutely his joke). He likely had more work done than the bionic man.

soo sorry to hear about your son Vicky.
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Re: Memorial Tribute for Greg Lansen

Post by john » Fri May 06, 2016 1:44 pm

JHyre wrote:You are one tough cookie Vickie. I admire how you have made the best of circumstances that would frighten most others into despondency or paralysis. Thank you for sharing.

John Hyre
Hi Vicki! John succinctly captures the essence of your being. You are the perfect role model for an expat. Very sorry to hear about Nick's situation...your strength of character is really amazing. The very best wishes for the future.

John
One must care about a world one will not see.
--- Bertrand Russell

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Re: Memorial Tribute for Greg Lansen

Post by jamie_m » Fri May 06, 2016 2:46 pm

Thank you for sharing your story Vicki. I certainly don't feel that I am entitled to that much of your private life. However, for having read your story, we should all be a little more thankful for what and who we have in our lives. I know I will. For you to even be able to put your last few years into words is truly inspirational and admirable. God Bless you Vicki.

One night I dreamed a dream.
As I was walking along the beach with my Lord.
Across the dark sky flashed scenes from my life.
For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand,
One belonging to me and one to my Lord.

After the last scene of my life flashed before me,
I looked back at the footprints in the sand.
I noticed that at many times along the path of my life,
especially at the very lowest and saddest times,
there was only one set of footprints.

This really troubled me, so I asked the Lord about it.
"Lord, you said once I decided to follow you,
You'd walk with me all the way.
But I noticed that during the saddest and most troublesome times of my life,
there was only one set of footprints.
I don't understand why, when I needed You the most, You would leave me."

He whispered, "My precious child, I love you and will never leave you
Never, ever, during your trials and testings.
When you saw only one set of footprints,
It was then that I carried you."

- by Mary Stevenson

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Re: Memorial Tribute for Greg Lansen

Post by Vicki and Greg Lansen » Tue May 24, 2016 12:28 am

Thank you everyone for all of the kind words. I am not really that strong, but simply ornery. The kid is doing well and he will have a good life. Just different. He will be fine. I am leaving FloriDUH late June and going back to the high-mountain farm in Panama. I have sifted through my mind for what I want to be I the event I grow up, and while ultimately I would like to live in Patagonia, Panama will work for now. It really is lovely. And much kinder than the Patagonia! And that is the pickle. Panama is easy. I want/need the challenge of Patagonia.

I have always missed the challenge; I felt more alive than ever before in Chile. Plus, the multiple layered clothing required was much more attractive on me than the usual Florida attire:). I am giving myself a year in Panama, hoping to figure out the farm again and if one of the current interested parties are serious, I may sell and set off for the Azul area. I also am realistic in that that may not happen and I will return to work for a few years in the US before returning to Chile.

I still have a jar of ash from the Chaiten Volcano episode. I still miss Nono from Sector Azul. I also miss El Puelche...anyone heard a peep from him? His missives and pontifications about Patagonia were wonderful. Ah...back in the day!

Who knows when, but some day I may trek hours to a little Internet cafe and post from there again. I may be getting a bit older in human years, but in spirit, I am young and reckless.

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