Colden Chapman Naslund
Gold rolled early into Colden?s room through his east windows on Wednesday morning, February 16th. God already filled the room. This was Colden?s last of many rooms in the Intensive Care Unit at Meritcare Hospital. God had been with Colden?s nurses and his family and had been holding Colden in His hands for months, already; Tuesday evening, He was with them still, as always, all through the night. Just minutes before noon, Jesus took Colden?s hand and they were off. Colden died gracefully and peacefully, among friends and family who loved him and whose hearts are filled with sorrow and with gladness. We will miss Colden dearly, but his mission here was finished, and he deserved a better place to be: now he is in that one best place.
Colden Chapman Naslund was born in Fargo, August 11, 1978, to Ruby (Johnson) and Randy Naslund, both of Minot. Except for his ?on-the-road days,? traveling the West and Southwest of America, and two summers chef-ing at the lodge in Crater Lake National Park in Oregon, Colden chose to live in Fargo.
Colden attended YMCA kinder camp; Horace Mann elementary; Ben Franklin Jr. High; Oak Grove and Fargo North high schools. He was graduated in 1996.
Besides his Mother, Colden?s first lasting love in life was music. He was a proud young singer in the Red River Boy Choir for four and one half years. During this time he toured with the choir three times. They were all great trips, but the high point was singing in Carnegie Hall. He attended music camps at the International Peace Gardens, studied piano for several years, sang in various choirs, played the organ a little and his guitar lots. Colden wrote some music and was an acoustic kind of guy; he liked blue grass way before it was cool (again!); but he enjoyed nearly all kinds of music. He made all our ears better and helped many of us enjoy music more.
Colden was also a voracious and eclectic reader. He read mostly literature and quite a bit of poetry. He also wrote some great lyrics.
Colden?s work choices were exclusively in food service, specifically in fine dining. He loved cooking and food preparation. Sunday afternoons in his Mom and Dad?s kitchen will be forever missed. And our home menus will forever suffer. Colden loved serving food even more than cooking. He was old-man fussy about the one right way and the many wrong ways to do nearly everything in a kitchen or a dining room. His exacting standards were exhausting treats. Sometimes. Other times, he could wear you out with his particular ways about matters many of us didn?t realize were so important. (Some of us loved to tease him, a little.) Those of us who got to work with him either learned to love his eccentricities or went a little nuts.
He loved serving more than cooking. Colden always took making others comfortable and happy seriously?on and off work. He thought special service required anticipating peoples? desires before they occurred to the person. He was very fond of many of his regular patrons; we hope many of them were fond of Colden.
Colden worked at Mexican Village; the Radisson for years; and was part of the team that created, launched and still maintains Monte?s bistro in downtown Fargo. He was so pleased to be a part of that enterprise and was working there until illness moved him to Meritcare. He was proud of the achievement and the people there were like a second family to him. They all loved him back and we?his first family?are so appreciative of their many kindnesses, remembrances and genuine regard for our Colden.
All of us who long knew our son could have learned a lot about grace and gentleness and charity and sweetness, just by paying close attention as we walked along with him, even in his old Colden days. Now, if only more of you could have known the new Colden, what a powerful message you could be enjoying. Either with him or because of him; either way he would be so pleased.
So many have followed Colden?s journey. Many may think everything was fine for Colden until Labor Day last year, when he first took ill. That, then Colden collapsed and entered the hospital and was cut open and poked and prodded and shot through and through with medicine after medicine, hooked to and propped up by machines and somehow kept alive-like by a host of medicine men and women for five plus months and then he died.
All of you should know the truth. There is so much more to the whole true story. We will tell it to you. Colden was not okay early last September or even August. Colden was wrestling with demons and he was losing; and we were losing Colden, although we did not know it then.
Colden did not go to Meritcare fine and leave there ravaged and full of holes and drains; cut up; wounded; and dead. Physically he was heartbreakingly beat-up and more than half broken. That much is so. But in a much, much more important sense, Colden left Meritcare a fully ready and healed man. Completely healed. Completely perfect.
We believe Colden would want you all to know that he is not, simply speaking, finally ?out of his misery?; much, so much more important than not living with infirmity and suffering, which is true, of course, is this?Colden is now living in God?s glory. He has been living out a great blessing?surrounded and well tended by God?s angels, especially his ?blue angels,? here on earth?for over five months.
We believe, we know, Colden prays that all of us who love him will come to join him when our own missions here on earth are done.
Colden is preceded in death by three grandparents. Those whom Colden is leaving and loved and who will love him back forever include his parents, his elder brother Brent Chase Naslund ( 36, proudly serving our country in the North Dakota National Guard, living in Minot) and Chase?s wife, Jessica Ann, and their two children, Zachary Gage and Abigail Rhodes; Colden?s sister, Kelly Blue (28, living in Salt Lake City); his younger brother, Morgan Cade (21, proudly serving in the US Army, living in Friedburg, Germany. He is also survived by his Grandmother Gertrude Naslund (90, living at Rosewood on Broadway, Fargo).
Visitation: Sunday 3 to 6, with a prayer service at 4:00, in Boulger Funeral Home, Fargo; and Monday 9 to 10 in First Lutheran Church, Fargo. Funeral: Monday at 10, in the Church. Internment will be after lunch at Holy Cross Cemetery, North Fargo.
Online guestbook at www.boulgerfuneralhome.com