Speaking with Peter on the phone, you can hear the love he has for his wife, Margaret “Kay” Allen, and their three children; Cory, Angelique, and Brittany. Kay has devoted her life to being a wife and mother has made a name for herself, “The Lollipop Queen”, in their community. Unable to resist putting a smile on another’s face, Kay would make lollipops to hand out for the simple joy of making someone else happy!
The Allen family came to Nebraska from Arizona. The move was not without financial sacrifice for the family but Peter and Kay’s desire for their children live in a smaller community with good schools was worth it and so they decided to settle in to North Bend, Nebraska.
It wasn’t long after the move that they discovered Kay had small cell cancer. The cancer started in her breast and resulted in a double mastectomy. The reconstruction did not go well and the news after several treatments was that the cancer had been exposed to her lymph nodes and is now in her brain. Over the past 8 years, Kay has endured numerous operations for her cancer. Her youngest daughter, Brittany, recalls starting to attend chemotherapy and radiation treatments with her mom since she was 9 years old. Several other health conditions over the years have required, and often tested, the true grit and strength that Kay is known for.
When asked about Kay’s dream, she mentioned that a favorite television show is Duck Dynasty and that it would be so neat to meet the cast. Kay just loves watching the show because of the Robertson’s family values. She looks forward to watching it with Peter because it allows them laugh together. Thinking that her dream might be a stretch to accomplish, Kay thought of something else that would bring her family peace after she is gone. Her idea was to plant a cherry tree with a bench underneath at the family home so that it would provide a place to go when they needed her comfort. Days later, the Allen family was on the road to Omaha, Nebraska to find the perfect cherry tree!
Our tree expert, Tom, at Mulhall’s Landscaping, Nursery, and Garden Center, was able to cruise Kay around on his golf cart to see all that the nursery had to offer. With so many tempting choices and some deliberation, the perfect combination of a Stella Cherry Tree and a Black Tartarian Cherry Tree made the final cut! Wrapping up the tagging of the trees, the Allen Family was surprised by a stretch limousine waiting to whisk them away to a delicious meal at P.F. Chang’s Restaurant. After their meal, we said our goodbyes for the evening and sent the Allen’s off to get some rest before all of the planting to begin the next day.
The caravan of Dreamweaver Board Members, along with Dale & Stacey Petersen of PDQ Landscaping, set off for North Bend to help find the perfect location for the Allen’s cherry trees. The afternoon couldn’t have been more wonderful! Through the heat, digging, and planting came so many stories, laughter, and memories. Cory reminisced about how strong and fit his mom has always been recalling how she used to bench over 120 pounds even though she only weighed 100 pounds herself! Peter talked about Kay’s love for life and adventure. They used to hunt for deer and go fishing together and Kay would always catch the bigger fish or get the bigger deer! The family’s love for each other was evident as Kay pointed out family photos and various gifts from Peter and the kids around their home. An additional special treat for the Dreamweavers was getting to see the owls that live in the trees across the street from their home and all of Kay’s bird, squirrel, and bunny feeders!
As we parted the Allen home and passed through the stoplight on Main Street, we could only hope that we will still have the opportunity to complete Miss Kay’s dream, to meet the cast of Duck Dynasty! We hope to have more good news to report soon…
This beautiful dream was truly the work of our community partners. We would like to thank Tom at Mulhall’s Nursery for his expertise and caring heart. Thank you to Ashley and P.F. Chang’s for a wonderful lunch that the family will always remember. To our friends at Royal Limousine, Krista and Kenny, thank you for a fun surprise and letting the family ride together in style! To our heavy lifters, Dale and Stacey Petersen, of PDQ Landscaping, we appreciate the delivery and labor behind making this memory last. The cherry trees will be cherished by the Allen Family for many years to come!
The Dreamweaver Foundation would also like to thank Lauren Hathaway, Carly McCulloch, and Ron and Jeanie Carson for behind-the-scenes work in making this dream come true!