Saturday, December 29, 2007
Friday, December 28, 2007
And then it got real interesting... not! Jadon then turned his attention to me, and started the count down, or up in this case... From 6 and 7 all the way to 30. LITERALLY: "...and when I am seven, Nolan will be eight! And when I am eight, Nolan will be nine!"
I have never been so happy that he is only counting to "30" right now. He actually can count to "100", but as he tells me all the time, "mom, I am only in preschool, I don't have to count to 100 until I am in Kindergarten, and that isn't until September".
The kid's right... OY!
I have noticed that he has gotten really detailed and really technical about everything. There isn't anything really that we can get by him anymore including spelling. We are trying to spell backwards, but if I lose my husband while spelling forward, imagine the confusion when I spell backward.
Oh the things they come up with.
Note to self... Don't assume anything. Puppy won't let his true personality show for a FEW days. We are on day 3, and the real "Dash" is emerging! I think the name was perfect. The first two days, he stayed right with us when we were outside, but tonite, that little turkey took off across the front yard - dashing through the snow - 8" of it - and there was no stopping him. He heard birds and wanted to see where they were. Yes Shan, "short legs" can actually run!!!
Toby stayed in the basement. So they didnt have each other to commiserate with. Last night as I carried Ruvy to the basement, (along with their food and water to be sure they were eating properly), she promptly with her hind claws tore 4 rather large holes in the shirt I was wearing. Suffice it to say I do not think she is happy with me! This morning I carried Toby up to bed with me while Jim had Dash outside. Now I think he will be under the bed the rest of the day!
It will get better. They will come around. They have to. The rafters can only be solice for so long! :)
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Saturday, December 22, 2007
His hemoglobin is 11.1 which is still low, but no one seems to know why. We have all lost our perspective of time this past month. His doctor here said it made sense since he had such a hard week last week, only she forgot that we have been home over 2 weeks now, and the difficult week was 3 weeks ago.
We still have to have his platelets checked every week until January 16th when we see the Hematologist. He will then determine if we can go every two weeks, or if we have to stick with the weekly regimin. Our goal is to have his numbers stay the same for 3 months. If they start to drop then the concern is that the steroids made them come up, but that they are done doing their job, or wearing off, and a new plan needs to come into play.
We didnt do blood work last week because my son's magic blue eyes did their job on Dr. A, and she let him off the hook! Fingers crossed Santa is giving us the best Christmas present by keeping our little boy healthy!
Thank you Santa! Merry Christmas to all!
Sunday, December 16, 2007
We dont have a name for him yet. We spent all weekend trying to come up with something, but we can't all four agree on one name. Jadon agree's with everything (even McDonalds, and M&M which were our test names). His color is called "Blaze", so we are considering "Blazer" if nothing else comes up!
He is a Pembroke Welsh Corgi. He was born on October 5th.
He is the Breeder's favorite. We had talked about another one (a female), but when I saw this little guy I knew he was the one! She said he is very mild mannered and "the nicest one of the litter".
We could have picked him up this week, but I didn't think introducing him to a new house with 3 cats (Buddy moves to Brenda's on Sunday) and two kids on the busiest week of the year would be fair, so we are picking him up on Wednesday of next week!
Check out my new website: www.itsmystore.com/pomad Friends and family get great discounts!!!
Have a Happy Holiday!!!
... and wait til you see what I got for Christmas!!!
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
You should have seen the smile on his face, and heard the under his breath "woohoo" as we walked out the door in the opposite direction of the lab!
Thank you Dr. Amechi!!!
S!F!D! How do you tell him you lied? How do you explain to a 5 year old that he needs to have this done, and that it isnt just today, but every week for the next year?????? Because I fear he will pack his Thomas suitcase and split town at any moment now!
I have tried the following:
- Me: "If we don't do this, they will make us go back to the hospital" - J: "I dont care!"
- Me: "We have to make sure you are getting better" - J: "I am better"
- Me: "I will take you to McDonalds" - J: "I dont want McDonalds"
- Me: "You can pick out a new Thomas Train" -J: "Ok" ... and then with a little more thought "I dont want another Thomas Train"
- Me: "What do you want to pick out?" -J: "I don't want anything, I just don't want to go to the Doctor"
NOW WHAT??? I have used the two good old stand by's/never fails...
Did I tell you what he has been telling people? Apparently his "magic naps" were not so magic. He remembers getting poked in the butt (really his hip, but this is how he tells it). He has told several people that when he took his first "magic nap" he felt them poke him in the butt twice (which they did!). Then he told my aunt and a few others that when he took his second "magic nap" he watched them take the string out of his mouth. BOTH times, he was completely asleep - I know this because I was there before and after! They did not tube him because of the risk of bleeding, but he was as under as one can be without being tubed. I have heard of the phenomenon of people not "completely under", but my 5 YEAR OLD??? Holy crap! I know we talked a little about the procedures in front of him, but he was usually distracted, and never once did we talk about the Bone Marrow Biopsy process in front of him, including when, where and how often. So he has to be remembering it.
So now I am back to... what do I do now? I have to make him go. But I know I am going to be hauling a kicking and screaming child into the place that is no longer safe to him. And it is the same place where he had his sore removed, so I am sure that will factor into it.
UGH!!! I will take any advice!
Thursday, December 6, 2007
This is the "view" in the Childrens Hospital. Even the hallways are meant to be comforting!
This is the room that we won in the "lottery"! There are only two of these rooms, and let me tell you, for as much as I am sure there were others that deserved it more then us, I am so happy we were able to stay here!
Thank you to all the donors that make these rooms possible! The really cool thing about Childrens at the U of M is that they are building a brand new hospital separate from the main hospital to make it more convenient for families and children to stay. All of the rooms at the new hospital will be similar to this. They wont be as high tech, but they will have similar qualities to this room with conveniences such as in room fridges, microwaves, computers, and family bathrooms.
Childrens at the U of M is truly a special place to be when you need to be there!
And today, as we came home, we were so grateful to have had all of your prayers, and kind thoughts and well wishes for Jadon!
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Jadons count is get this... 184,000!!! We all had our jaws drop to the floor - HE IS BACK TO NORMAL!!! At this rate we sort of expect him to be near 300,000 by tomorrow since he has doubled and tripled the last two days - it may be wishful thinking, but at this point, any number higher then today is perfect because, well, his counts are back in normal range!
Whether or not they ever see this, we have to thank all of our wonderful Doctors and Nurses, Aides and Child Family Life Specialists for making Jadon's healing as comfortable as possible!
Hemonc Doctors (Hematology/Oncology)
Dr Michael Burke
Dr Susan Kearny
Dr Marcie Elwein
Dr Charlie DeRubeis
Dr Tate Gisslen
Dr Rhys Strasia
Dr Blaine Milne
All of our Nurses
Sara "our little brown haired Sara"
Sari and Shannon from 5A
All of our Aides
Child Family Life Specialists
Emily - you made our procedures so easy
Sarah from 5A
And our Emergency Staff
Thank you all so much for helping us heal as fast and as painless as possible! You are all amazing, and although we really enjoyed meeting you all, we hope to never see you again! :) (Except Dr Burke who will follow us for the next 6-12 months in Mankato that is!)
And once again, thank you for all the wonderful donors that made the Adopt-A-Room possible for us!!! http://www.adoptaroom.org/seeourwork2.html (Dayna found this for me yesterday, but since she is now sick, I will post it!) If you look at photo #1, our room is the one on the left. We did not have the nice pull out sofa, but we had a roll-a-way that worked just as nicely!!!
And most of all, thank all of you for supporting, praying and thinking healing thoughts for Jadon! Dayna was right, you all prayed hard - and it worked!!!
Thank you thank you thank you!!!
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
So... back to the basics... Life is not ours yet... we are still here, and Mantha is still with friends, and our life is not ours to live. We are on someone elses schedule all the time, our meals for the most part are dictated by the "chefs that be" (which I will say, they are quite talented - food is good here!), and our sleep is never uninterrupted. To sum it up, we are getting sick of this place! It has been a long haul, and we are not by any means ready to be released. We are at least 3 (counting today of course) days out, more if we cant get a good suture removal tomorrow.
We have played the playrooms to death. We know all the docs and nurses by first name, and serial number. We have their schedules memorized, and their habits etched in our brains. And they ours. And we are so tired. Jadon has been really good at "passing out" and staying there unless we have an accident at night (which who can blame the poor kid - he is getting two bags of fluids a day plus juice and milk by mouth). Even our fun room is getting boring. Although we have 5 tv's total (a HUGE plasma, and two small ones, as well as two others that control the room and are tv's), there is only so much you can watch is one week and not get tired of all of it!!!
But, there has been some good stuff too! Did I ever mention that he is eating finally? We got the ok after the BMB yesterday! He woke up from anestesia with McDonalds in his bed - barely awake he started horking fries like he hadnt eaten in months!
Here is our "plan" for the week:
Today, round two of steroids, labs
Wednesday, round 3 of steroids, labs, and hopefully remove sutures
Thursday, if we get sutures out on Wed, we can go home
Friday, if we didnt get sutures out on Wed, Fri is our next suture option
Saturday, worse case scenario "go home day"
So that is that! Dayna found our room online, so I think she is going to post that in a little while. Again, thanks for all the thoughts and prayers!!!
Oh, and Mantha, although sad that we are all apart, is having A B.L.A.S.T. with Melissa, Josh, Bailey (her bff) and Shelby! We miss her to death, but know that she is with a great family while we are gone!
Monday, December 3, 2007
Jadon's platelet count has jumped from 5,000 to 12,000 at 1:30 when he was in getting the bone marrow biopsy done, and jumped again an hour later to 17,000 when his labs were checked following the biopsy. This is AMAZING news. This means, it is likely not a production issue. Not only that - but it means it appears that this is ITP - and NOT something else way scarier.
For right now - the docs want his platelets at 50,000 before they are willing to take his stiches in his mouth out - and he is scheduled to have them out Wednesday afternoon - he must stay for 24 hours following removal which puts them home Thursday. If his platelets are not at 50,000 the next available time to remove the stiches will be Friday, so they would need to be watched until Saturday and then they can head home.
The doctors told Lori that ITP usually resolves within 6 - 8 months, and usually is not worse after the initial problem.
Let's keep praying that this is a one time issue and for Jim & Lori who have been very worried about their little boy (something I SO get).
As of right now, there has been no change, no labs have been done, but will be done while he is under - speaking of which -
Jadon's BMB has been pushed back 1pm - and results are expected within 3 - 4 hours.
I will be updating as soon as I know anything.
If you come here - please leave Lori, Jim or Jadon a message, or comment below. They are, understandably, very worried.
Sunday, December 2, 2007
His numbers are not changing, IVIG appears not to have worked, nor has the Platelet transfusion, so the next option is steriods (and possibly another round of IVIG or Platelets or both - it is too soon to tell). Pending any new diagnosis, there will be 3 days of IV Steroids, followed by suture removal and hopefully discharge.
Right now we are looking at Thursday to be the earliest we will leave, but they are not promising us anything right now. They need to focus on the biopsy, the results and the next plan of attack.
It has been a long haul, and we are only half way through it. We need EXTRA prayers for tomorrow. We need to hear that this is for sure ITP - and not something more complex (ITP is complex enough for me!). Please say a few extra's if you have time!!!
As always, I have my cell, but I may not answer depending on where Jadon is, or if we are busy with him. This will always be the best place to check. I am trying to get online or on my email once a day, but if I dont call right back, or respond right away, know that I have received your messages and appreciate your thoughts and prayers!
Thank you for all the love and support you have given us!!!
There are two "Adopt-a-Room" suites in on the 5th Floor. The rooms are assigned "lottery" style which means that as the current resident is discharged, the names of the other kids in the unit are put in a pot and a name is drawn.
Jim, Jadon and I were here in the resource center last night after dinner. Jim went to "check the weather", as he walked into our room to drop his jacket off there was a note on our white board to ask the night nurse about our big surprise! She happened to see him walk in on her way out of the unit at the end of her shift, so she told him. They came in here and he said, "You have got to see this". I am thinking, they got new labs back and we are in the clear (only I forgot there had been no more labs drawn...). So Sarah took me to the surprise, and I BAWLED!
The room is A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.!!! I took a ton of pictures, and as soon as one of us figures out how to get Day the ability to post them for me they will be here!
Some of the features:
- State of the art equipment (even better then the regular rooms!) - including an awesome bed that has lots of buttons to keep Jadon busy!
- A dining area complete with fridge and freezer
- Computers (of course they arent working, but that has been my luck this week!)
- A computer for Jadon too!
- A HUGE bathroom with a shower that "rains" from the ceiling
- Villeroy and Boch sinks (designers/decorators you will understand this is cool!)
- A 60" plasma tv
- Two 30" plasmas
- AND two 20" plasma control panel/tv's (one is also a computer) for me to control the following: lights (and I am talking LCD color changing, mood altering, cool effects and color lights!), all the tv's, playstation 2 and Xbox, the blinds on the windows, the sound in the room, the heat in the room, the movies, music, etc... the list goes on and on
- A roll out for me (thank God no more stiff blue thing that isnt a chair or a bed - YOUCH!)
- Lounge chairs (not folding or hospital chairs)
- A "privacy screen" so even if the door is open, no one can see the beds!
I know there is more - oh, a TON of storage!!! - but even the pictures cant do it justice!
If you must be stuck in a place like this, it is great to be lucky at the lottery!!!
Saturday, December 1, 2007
This is a copy of an email I sent out that best chronicals this weeks events. My friend Dayna is going to keep this blog up to date for me, but I thought I would get this part on - she will post pictures and updates! :) - thank you Day!
- Tuesday morning Jadon woke up with a large sore in his mouth that looked to be a blood blister I took him in to STJMC to have it looked at.
- The doctor was not sure what it was, so he decided to err on the safe side and remove it and send it to pathology. He was having trouble with the bleeding, so he added a few extra stitches.
- He sent us home with no after care (other then to return on Monday to have stitches removed), but said the swelling would be down in a few hours
- We left for the cities for the funeral (understanding that he would be ok)
- My aunt rode in the back seat with him, and was wiping saliva filled blood the whole trip
- The swelling got worse, but we atoned it to the novicane wearing off
- By the end of the visitation he was border line lethargic but also very sleepy, his lip was 100 times its normal size (imagine a golf ball in his lip), and he was still bleeding
- We took him to the hotel and cleaned it up thinking it looked better we sent him to bed with Motrin
- At midnight he was covered in blood
- We took him to the ER at Fairview Ridges
- His platelets were "under 10,000" (normal is 150,000 - 400,000)
- Jadon and I were sent via Ambulance to Childrens Hospital
- His platelets when we got here were 2,000
- Since then he has had a platelet transfusion, IVIG, and a TON of morphine, Amicar (a platelet glue - basically makes the few he has more sticky), and antibiotics
- His platelets after the transfusion were up to 6,000 where they still are now.
- Grandpa has been great (as has Grandma Char) - he has taken good care of all of us!
- His platelets have stayed at 6,000 which is not good, but also not bad, because his body is not rejecting the new, and not eating up what was given him. He "should have" gained at least 10 times what he did with the transfusion.
- They believe that he has ITP (Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia). But they are not certain.
- The Amicar is helping the wound in his mouth clot, but he has developed a hematoma in his cheek, so he has a lot of swelling, and alot of blood built up inside the mouth.
- They cant do surgery on the hematoma until his platelets go up
- They arent sure they should do it even if they do go up
- We started Mouth Cares today. They are not easy, and Jadon is not very cooperative, but we will keep working on them
- We will be here at least through the weekend, but we are not sure what steps are still to come.
- They are not committing to anything - they are taking everything moment to moment.
- The good thing is, he finally let us get him out of bed this afternoon and have played in some of the play areas.
- He even played Thomas on line!
- UPDATE ON MOUTH CARES: Our awesome nurse Erica got a HUGE clot off the side of Jadon's mouth - he looks so much better now!
- Jadon's labs are back from this morning, and his platelets are down a little from yesterday - they are now at 5,000
- The doctors are not too concerned because anything between where he has been and 10,000 is all considered emergent, and would be treated as he is now.
- The only "new information" is that if his platelets dont come up by Saturday, he will be scheduled for a Bone Marrow Biopsy.
- This is done to rule out a few major illnesses, and confirm that it truly is ITP we are dealing with.
- The only thing that will change this would be if his counts went way up tomorrow and stayed up on Sunday and Monday.
- Jadon has been more active today. He played quite a bit, even made sand art with the Child Life Specialist
- He rode a tricycle around the unit a few times and has been running daddy ragged chasing after him with his IV Pole.
- We have finally started liking eating a little more - of course all food is through a syringe - but since our favorite yogurt is TRIX, and they have it here, we are good to go!
- Great Aunt Chris came to visit tonite. She stayed and watched Polar Express with me so Jim and I could go to dinner.
- Aunt Denise and Uncle Steve came too, so they went and ate with us.
- It was nice to leave for a while, but even better to get back!
Saturday: "let it snow, let it snow, let it snow"... we are getting upwards of 10" today... OY!
- Nothing has changed.
- Platelets are still at 5,000
- Hemaglobin is the same
- So at this point we are scheduled for the Bone Marrow Biopsy at noon on Monday.
- We got to go downstairs and watch some performing dogs this morning - Jadon didnt like it much, but it was an awesome distraction for us!
- Jim took the semi home yesterday and brought my jeep back, so unfortunately we are committed to him working Monday.
- My Dad is taking Jim and Mantha home tomorrow so my Jeep can be at his work ready for him when he gets off work.
- Mantha will stay with our dear friends Josh and Melissa - and of course, Mantha's best friend Bailey and her sister Shelby!
- Dad will come back up as soon as Mantha is off to school on Monday so he can be here with me while Jadon is in surgery.
- Jadons cousin Lainey came to visit this afternoon! They played "Trouble", and he pulled her around the unit on a cart attached to his tricycle. Try hauling a pole around following a trike!
- Uncle Teddy and Auntie Theresa were here too (with Lainey)
I do have my cell with me here at the hospital - if I dont answer, or call right back it is because he is awake and we are trying really hard not to talk to much about it in front of him. This will be the best place to get the latest updates - thank you Day!
We appreciate any and all prayers!!! We want to get this little boy home healthy and ready to celebrate a childs favorite time of year!
Thank you for your support!!!
As most of you know by now, Lori & family were to head up to the Cities on Wednesday morning for her Step-father, Bruce's funeral. Tuesday morning, J woke up with some blood in his mouth - I am going to paste an email from Lori about the sequence of events:
"Tuesday morning Jadon woke up with a large sore in his mouth that looked to be a blood blister I took him in to STJMC to have it looked at. The doctor was not sure what it was, so he decided to err on the safe side and remove it and send it to pathology."
"He was having trouble with the bleeding, so he added a few extra stitches. Sent J. home with no after care, but said the swelling would be down in a few hours. We left for the cities (understanding that he would be ok) My aunt rode in the back seat with him, and was wiping saliva filled blood the whole trip.
The swelling got worse, but we thought it to the novicane wearing off .
By the end of the visitation (for Bruce) he was border line lethargic but also very sleepy, his lip was 100 times its normal size (imagine a golf ball in his lip), and he was still bleeding. We took him to the hotel and cleaned it up thinking it looked better we sent him to bed with Motrin
At midnight he was covered in blood. We took him to the ER at Fairview Ridges
His platelets were "under 10,000" (normal is 150,000 - 400,000). (Side note from Dayna: platelets are a component of your blood - their job is to help blood clot, anything 10,000 or under is considered emergent)
Jadon and I were sent via Ambulance to U of M Childrens Unit on the East Bank of the Campus His platelets when we got here were 2,000
Since then he has had a platelet transfusion, IVIG, and a TON of morphine, Amicar (a platelet glue - basically makes the few he has more sticky), and antibiotics
His platelets after the transfusion were up to 6,000.
His platelets have stayed at 6,000 which is not good, but also not bad, because his body is not rejecting the new, and not eating up what was given him. He "should have" gained at least 10 times what he did with the transfusion. They believe that he has ITP (Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia). But they are not certain. They cant do surgery on the hematoma until his platelets go up, they arent sure they should do it even if they do go up They are not committing to anything - they are taking everything moment to moment.
The Amicar is helping the wound in his mouth clot, but he has developed a hematoma in his cheek, so he has a lot of swelling, and alot of blood built up inside the mouth.
We will be here at least through the weekend, but we are not sure what steps are still to come.
The good thing is, he finally let us get him out of bed this afternoon and have played in some of the play areas. He even played Thomas on line!
(this is Dayna again)
Friday: J's platelet count is down to 5000 - which in the medical world is considered no change. However, they were hoping it would go up. At this point they are trying to figure out a next step, this appears to be a Bone Marrow Biopsy to check to see the J is Producing platelets. Both Lori and Jim say J looks better then he has.
Saturday, November 24, 2007
In all reality, I still dont want him to be gone, but I am so happy to know where he is. He is back in the arms of the one he lived the end of his life for. My mom.
I have been thinking so much of all of them lately... mom, dad, Bruce...
Mom was so beautiful, and so loving, and so wonderful... and I wasted so much of my young life hating her for just that.
I dont know why as a child she and I never bonded. I will never know that answer. But I do know I am so grateful that the last 10 years were the best I could have asked for with her. I would never trade one moment of them. Daily phone calls... "surprise" pop ins... Sunday groceries and family dinners... Maybe she was too focused on what was not perfect in her life. I dont begrudge her that... not now.
Married to my father maybe before she was ready, I know they loved each other. But I also know that at times they hated each other... and they disliked each other... and they loved each other again. It all came back to the place they knew best. Each other. But it never lasted. They finally accepted that 17 years ago and separated for the last time.
But it never really ended that love. It was different. It was almost as though once all the bad went away, and they moved on, Dad with Char (still together after almost 17 years!), and mom with Bruce, they found a place that allowed them to remember the friendship that was there before the love.
Dad was by moms side, right next to Bruce, as she lay dying. How honorable is that? The two men she loved most in her life helping her cross over. It bonded dad and Bruce in a way that you normally wouldn't see in a typical "ex" factor.
Seven months after mom passed, both of my dad's walked me down the aisle. And as we turned that corner together to face my soon to be betrothed, the three of us held back sobs of rememberance. Remembering that just a few months before we were walking down that same aisle to see another... my moms funeral.
So now on Tuesday, my dad will be there again. This time to say good bye to Bruce. And I commend that. I know he would say he was doing it for my brother and I, but I know in his heart, he is doing it for himself too.
My dad said something to me one day last week... (not an exact quote) "Bruce knew how to live life to its fullest, and for that you cannot be sad that he is gone - he is exactly where he wants to be".
So once again, that is that... that is what I was pondering today as I was thinking about it being "almost time..."
Before I go... I just saw a commercial for the new Crayola Cutter, and the last child placing a "bridge" over a waterfall created on said cutter reminded me so much of Doodle, Days eldest son!
Friday, November 23, 2007
1. For my children who drive me crazy, and drive me to live all at the same time!
2. For my husband who loves me for who I am even tho that person is not easy to live with!
... now that I got them out of the way!... hehehehe
3. For the forgiveness of my mother long before her passing
4. And for the wonderful years of friendship that followed
5. For my step father Bruce who loved her more than his own life, and made the end of her life precious
6. For my belief in the afterlife so that I was able to receive Bruces death with the hope that they were together again.
7. For the love of my father, the one person whose every opinion means more to me than most even when the truth hurts
8. For the family I am lucky to have - we may not all agree all the time, but in good times or bad, I would never trade them for anything.
9. For the family I married into - they bring a new life and character to my life.
10. For my community - never before have I felt so much love and friendship in one great place.
11. For my "11 friends" who brighten my days - everyday and can make me laugh even on my bad ones!
12. For my friend Brenda who has been through alot this year, but is still there for me when I need her most.
13. For my friend Stacy who finds the most appropriate things to say when I need to hear them
14. For the fireplace that warms my heart and allows me to feel cozy when it is cold outside
15. For awesome writers who entertain me in the masses - either in books, or on screen
16. For the Club - and the founders who invited me to be a part of something so wonderful
17. For the people who came when we built it!
18. For my freedom
19. For my life
20. For great food - and for my culinary taste in all kinds of it (just dont tell my hips)
21. For my creative spirit that allows me to make beautiful things
22. For the lessons I have learned that have made me a better person
23. For my "little sister" Chrissy who has made me feel worthy to so much - including my mothers memory
24. For my aunt Mary who has held so much of my mother dear to her still
25. For a job I love - a job that gives me freedom to do what I love.
26. For my Doctor who takes great care of me
27. For my Urologist who took great care of me!
28. For Hils who I can tell anything to, and can guarantee she will laugh AT me when I need it!
29. For honesty
30. For love
31. For honor
32. For chocolate
33. For you!
34. For the past
35. For the present
36. For the future!
... and thats that ...
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
There are so many steps to creating a small business - especially when it is located in your family room! So making the pieces is the easy part. Photographing them took me a long time - only for lack of taking the time. Now I have the pictures, but I am locked out of my webpage... ok, locked out isnt quite the right term for it... I sort of forgot the address to it, as well as what provider I used, so guess what? Until my brain comes back for a brief visit, I now have all these pieces made, and finally photographed, with no where to post them.
So just for fun, I will share them with you. Some day I will get my website up and running!
Friday, November 16, 2007
Thursday, November 15, 2007
I have so many thoughts flooding my head...
Why do I have to bury another parent... I lost my mother at the young age of 54. It was not her time in our minds, but we don’t get to make those decisions. Now I bury parent #2 - and he was only 59. As my father drove me to the doctor this week; as we talked about Bruce's life, I begged, pleaded and threatened him if he were to even consider making me do this again...
Shari... I haven't had the will or the strength to call you. I know you need to hear and feel the support, but I think I am afraid it will make it real. You know it is here, waiting until I see you again. You sat by your brothers side so strong and valliant listening to words spewed from mouths of countless doctors that you would rather never had the opportunity to meet.
Shari, Bruces only sibling, is now burying the last of where she came from. She lost her mother years ago, many more then I have known her and Bruce. And Leonard, their adorable, quirky, grumpy and loveable father, passed almost 5 months to the day before mom. And now Bruce. The brother who would never tell her what we all knew. I hope she knew it, and I hope she still does. Shari, you were the earth, and the moon, and the stars in the skies to your brother. He did not express it well, but it was in his heart, and it was in his soul. He loved you beyond the horizon
Jim, Eric and Ellie... I know that your love will keep each other strong. I love you all with all my heart, and have felt you all as part of MY family since the day mom and Bruce met. It will never change. When we meet again, that bond will become stronger as we all together send Bruce home to mom.
The funeral… will I be able to see him one last time? Do I want to? Will I remember some of the people that will remember me? All of the military friends that cared so much for our family in good times and bad. Will I be able to remember them all?
The cemetery... Bruce will be buried with Military Honor at Fort Snelling in the same spot that mom was buried 6 years ago. You see, to bury Bruce with mom, they need to open her grave. And that scares me so. So much that as I write it, once again I am in tears. I know that it won’t unearth her. I know that it will place their bodies together for eternity. And in my Catholic belief, I know it is just a formality anyway, because I know they have been together since his last breath. But will one sadness overwhelm the other?
Owed to the joy...
The “cool dad”…
Bruce was not my father by birth, he is not even a father figure I grew up with. Bruce came into my mother’s life late in my life. I already had a father who I adored and thought was the moon and much more. I didn't need another father. But I got one, and I am honored to be able to call him "dad" (especially when it embarrassed the crap out of him – at the Legion when were around his friends – or around his colleagues). Bruce was the kind of "dad" that had he come into my life at a young age would have been the envy of all my friends (and the rue of their parents!). I guess its best said that he was a "cool dad" – no matter what age I was – (maybe because he didn’t have to deal with the teenage years) because he was more of a friend then a dad.
Most of my fondest/funniest memories of Bruce included “road tripping”, alcohol of some sort, and mom and I riding in the back of one of Bruce’s prized possessions with the top down. Bruce was a car enthusiast. His cars were his babies...his cars were well cared for.
When he first met mom, he had a ginormis 1950 something Cadillac that had a convertible hard top. That was the year that mom drug me along on most of their dates because it was still new, and I guess mom and I had finally reached that “friendship” stage so it was natural for me to be there. The Caddy was never “cool” to me because well, I was 21, and it felt more like driving miss Daisy with Mom and Pop then “hey look at me in this cool car”!
Bruce quickly replaced the “Big Boat” for a sportier – maybe younger, sexier version of hot rod – a car that actually became famous after his possession of it. The 1970’s Black Lincoln “low rider”, “ghetto cruiser” whatever his pet name was for it – was a summers worth of showmanship and fun for Bruce and mom, but it wasn’t quite the “it” car for them. It was like a mid life crisis that was made in haste, but was fun none the less. It was even more fun once it was sold! An enthusiast from CA or NY, I can’t remember the coast, purchased said cruiser after seeing it at the Fathers Day Car Show at the Stone Arch Bridge. What no one knew at the time was that this enthusiast was also a Rock and Roll Producer – for the RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS! That car was in at least one video that we know of (at one time we had an uncut full production copy of the video). When mom and I found out about the video, I found the name of the company, and for his 50th Surprise Party, I made sure we had that video in hand. Bruce, with cigar in his mouth and scotch in his hand and pride gleaming from ear to ear watched the video with his friends – in his GARAGE of course!
The “volks-vagen” as mom called it, was close to tops on her list and his. A 1960’ish candy apple red Volkswagen convertible, the “Bug” quickly became a family favorite – and I mean FAMILY. Remember those 7 siblings of mom’s and their children? I am not sure that there were many that hadn’t snuck behind the wheel at some point in its existence. If they were too young to ride up front, then they sat on (not in) the back – like it was a parade every day. Many an Okabena 4th of July Parade was graced by its and our presence!
Side note… I spoke to my aunt Mitz tonight, and something she said to me sums up Bruce to a tee. Bruce was very generous. Even with his prized possessions. These cars were babied more then most of us as small children. But when someone mentioned how “cool” that car is Bruce would slide the keys across the bar or table or toss them in the air with a “wanna take it for a ride”?
The true apple of mom’s eye was the dream that he made come true for her on their 5th wedding anniversary. See, mom had a dream for as long as I can remember… She always wanted a 1956 Thunderbird in its original namesake color. For most of my childhood my dad would take my brother and I to buy the perfect “model” of the car. She always loved them, and they always adorned book shelves and reminded her of her dream that she was sure would some day come true. Just before their 5th Anniversary mom was diagnosed for the first time with Breast Cancer, stage 4B. Even though we knew she would get better, I think Bruce saw that as his chance to make her dream come true. She had that car by late spring. On the day of their 5th Anniversary, July 15th 2000, my brother Ted drove his new bride Theresa from the church to their reception in that blue beauty. It was a day that Bruce could have shown off mom’s new prize, but in true generosity, he let her son do it in her honor (besides, it would have messed up her hair!).
The Thunderbird was not the last of Bruce’s “hot rides”, but it was the last of my memories of them, and probably the most vivid. Because one year after he bought that car for mom, he was taking his bride on her last rides in it. Mom’s cancer came back in 2001, and this time it was terminal. My most vivid memories of mom in her dream was with no hair and no care. She was happy. She had her dream man, and her dream car, and he made sure that she was able to go for a ride whenever she felt up to it. She had scarves and hats and clothes to match. He paraded his prized “women” not with attitude and ego, but with love and pure affection.
… that was Bruce…
Cars were not all that Bruce was about, and there are a ton of memories that don’t involve cars, but tonight my ramblings and my memories keep trailing back to them.
I also believe that when we go to Heaven, we leave all of our infirmities here. I hope there are backroads, rock & roll music, classic cars and good cigars in Heaven so Elaine and Bruce can motor down their own Route 66.”