February 15, 2006 - Today is Andrew's birth day. I brought him some fake flowers because when we
get the Arctic cold front later this week, the real ones would get frozen. I still remember when I took the
picture of him swinging the golf club in the driveway. It's sad that he's not here to celebrate with us.
Love you guys, Mom
Andrew - born on February 15, 1986
- 20 years ago - notice the smiley
face on the snowman in the bottom
of the picture.
Andrew and Jarrett's stone on February 15, 2006
Friday * January 6, 2006 - It's the twelfth day of Christmas today. I went into the post office and
then stopped by and took these pictures. I put the flowers there the other day in honor of
Brandon Ackerman. I couldn't find his grave at the cemetery, so I figured I'd put them by the
boys' grave. On the right side of the nativity scene is a terra cotta kitty that I've had for years.
In the place where the plant would go, I put a couple of Hobbes' toys and also the white birdie
had fallen off the decoration. God bless my saintly boys and their cat. Love you guys, Mom
The snow has melted
In memory of Hobbes...
Thursday - December 8, 2005 - I had to go into Elburn late this morning and mail some
letters and buy some STUFF at the store, so I stopped by the grave and took a picture of
the Christmas picks that I put behind the nativity scene. Yesterday, I cleared the snow off
baby Jesus and Mary. It looks very festive. God bless the saintly boys. Love, Mom
The nativity scene with the Christmas picks on either side - notice the white
doves on top - and don't you love the palm tree in the snow!
Sunday - December 4, 2005 - After lighting the unity candle, Krissy gave a rose to Bob in
Andrew's memory, one to her mom in her dad's memory, one to me in Jarrett's memory, one
to Aunt Vada in her sister, Jewell's memory and one to Uncle Ted in Glen's (his
brother-in-law) memory. It was a very sweet and deeply touching gesture. God bless
Krissy and Brian. God bless the saintly boys. Love you guys, Mom
Boys' stone with the nativity scene and wreath
Here's Andrew's rose - Forever
Here's the rose for Jarrett - In our hearts....
It was getting dark so it looks kind of weird, but you can see the roses
in the middle
Tuesday - October 4, 2005 - I just got back from the cemetery and decided to take a picture
of the stone. Since the sun is in the west, I can't get a good wide shot, so I'm putting this in.
You can see the pumpkin from Sammy and Lindsay. Isn't that sweet! Thanks Girls! God
bless the saintly boys. bye Love, Mom
FRIDAY- August 5, 2005 - I try to water the flowers every other day. We've had this
unbelievable drought this summer. You can tell the flowers are looking quite pitiful. The
saddest thing is the corn fields and the beans fields. It hurts me to see them so dry this
early in the season. My dad was farmer as well as my grandpa and my great grandpa,
etc. No one has seen conditions like this in their lifetime. We had a drought the year
Jarrett was born (1988) but apparently we had some rain in the spring so it wasn't as
severe as this one. It evokes memories of the dust bowl days. Grapes of Wrath. Yikes!
Love you & miss you guys, Mom
July 18, 2005 - Since we haven't had any rain in a very long time, I have to go in and water
the boys' flowers every other day. It's not just the lack of rain but it's been extremely hot that
causes a situation to occur. You can see the brown grass - it crunches under your feet.
Jarrett's tree is finally growing and looks better every time I see it. Andrew's blue spruce is
quite full and healthy. Miss you guys. Love, Mom
June 6, 2005 - I just got back from Elburn. Had to bring in water for the plants. Last
week, I got two matching baskets for the boys shepherd's hook. They look really nice.
It's supposed to be 90 today and 92 tomorrow. Yikes! Summer is here. bye sweet boys.
Andrew and Jarrett's stone on June 6, 2005 - someone had been in there and left a very
sweet note. Also left a Reese's peanut butter cup wrapper. Okie dokie. Jarrett's tree is
finally coming around!!! (tons of clover - looks like snow!)
June 1, 2005 - It's finally getting to feel like summer!! I put mulch around the plants this
morning. The colors in this aren't quite right. It could be that it was too sunny! That's pretty
funny. God bless my sweet boys. Now, they're almost surrounded by flowers. I just have to
get two hanging plants. I'll be back. Love you now and forever, Mom
May 4, 2005 - This morning I went into the cemetery and watered the plants since we
haven't had any rain since I don't know when. I also cleaned the stone so it looks nice
and shiny. It's much more pleasant out there now that it's spring. God bless my sweet
saintly boys, Andrew and Jarrett. Love you both always and forever, Mom
May 4, 2005 - I need some mulch around the plants but at least they survived the
MARCH 5, 2005 - Bob and I were at the cemetery from noon until 1 pm. It was very, very cold
today. Colder than Thursday. The sun wasn't out and the wind was raw, the air was damp. It
was quite unpleasant. We had said that we'd be there at noon, and we were. Here's a picture I
took of all the stars and the flowers and the angels. God bless Andrew. God bless Jarrett.
Forever in my heart, Love you, Mom
Andrew and Jarrett's grave stone on March 5, 2005
February 3, 2005 - Just got back from the cemetery. Yesterday, I took a picture of the stone,
but it was late and the light wasn't good. I knew I had to go in this morning to get my perfect
shot. Here it is:
Andrew and Jarrett's stone surrounded by snow and angels
on February 3, 2005
My new camera is awesome. I haven't been really happy with the resolution on the other camera -
not to say it isn't a GREAT camera, but this is exactly what I wanted. To be able to see the etchings
of the saintly boys doing their things. God bless Andrew. God bless Jarrett. Still posing for your
mom after all these years! Love ya
January 3, 2005 - Today, I stopped by the boys' gravestone to take a picture on Jarrett's 17th
birthday. I put one of Jarrett's yellow shirts on top of the gravestone. When I was at the Grocery
Store, I bought him some bubble gum, and then I went over to the flower shop and bought him a
peachy rose. Oh yeah, I also lit the large white candle, but the rain put it out. Yes, Jesus was
crying today. God bless you, Jarrett, on your 17th birthday. Love, Mom
The 17th year since Jarrett's birth on the planet earth. God bless Jarrett.
Forever in our hearts.
December 28, 2004 - After I talked to Krissy, I had to go in and take a picture of the two snowmen
that she put in there for Andrew and Jarrett for Christmas. Here's what the stone looked like with
the sun shining in my eyes. The Nelson family brought in the Christmas tree with the twirly guy on
top that's next to Andrew's evergreen tree. Isn't that cute. Below the boy's stone picture is the
picture of the snowmen. God bless Andrew. God bless Jarrett. Love, Mom
Andrew and Jarrett's stone - after the snow melted.
October 15, 2004 - I went over to Rochelle today. On my way back home, I stopped to take a picture
of Andrew and Jarrett's stone because the sun had come out and the trees are still pretty. They're
fading fast though. God bless Andrew and Jarrett and God bless you, djb
Andrew & Jarrett's stone in the foreground with fall trees in the background - the leaves
are falling - so that's why they call it fall.
October 11, 2004 - Krissy and I went into the cemetery today with Milo. She brought a BOO flag for
Andrew & Jarrett and it lights UP! She also brought a cute little angel wind chime. It was fun to watch
Milo run around and chase the leaves. What a gorgeous day it was. God bless my little boys, djb
Andrew and Jarrett - decorated for Halloween - notice the BOO ghost.
September 18, 2004 - This morning when I woke up, I decided to bring the pumpkins into the
cemetery. Plus, the other day I got two more yellow mums because the originals were looking quite
shabby. Oh and of course, I had bring in water for the flowers. Jarrett's tree is looking much better
than it did previously. Hopefully, it will make it through the winter. These are the pumpkins that
grew in my burn/compost pile. The originals were put on the grave last year. I brought the mushy
mesh home and lo and behold, I now have three beautiful pumpkins. Happy pumpkins. God bless
my children. djb
Andrew and Jarrett's grave - with the three little pumpkins all in a row.
September 8, 2004 - After all the warm, dry weather we've been having, I knew that the flowers
would need some water yesterday. So, I filled up my containers and went in to check on the
flowers. Yes, they were DRY! It still makes me sad to have to go to the cemetery to visit the final
resting place of Andrew and Jarrett. I don't think I can say it enough. If you have children and you
love them, TELL THEM NOW while they're alive. You just never know what might happen. Words
of wisdom from one who has been there. God bless Jarrett. God bless Andrew. Love you little
weasels always and forever, Mom
Andrew and Jarrett's grave - you can see Jarrett's tree is doing well
- so far, so good.
August 27, 2004 - I just went into the cemetery and took this picture. Even though we had rain, I still
put some water on Jarrett's tree. It looks very nice this time of year. The mums are wonderful. You
can see the blue fish on either side of the cross in the middle (from Lizz and Elliot). The flowers right
behind the mums are from Trina, Jessie, Andrea and Smurf. They put a dogtag from Augustana on
each flower. That was real sweet. The pink rose on Andrew's side is from Jessica Angell. I don't know
who left the I Love You balloon with the flowers, but that's very touching and nice to see. You can see
the glass vase on Jarrett's side from DJ and Lizz - that's been there for a while. It's so helpful to Bob
and me to know that people haven't forgotten our sweet saintly boys. God bless Andrew and God bless
Jarrett. Love you guys, Mom
Sunday - August 1, 2004 - It's been one year today since Andrew and Jarrett's stone was put in place.
Bob and I just got back from the cemetery. The flowers needed watering and I wanted to clean the
stone. The hosta look pretty bad, so I'm going to have to do something with them. Pretty soon, I'll be
able to puts some mums in. God bless Andrew and God bless Jarrett. We miss you both so much.
See ya later, sweet boys, bye for now. Love, Mom
FRIDAY - July 23, 2004 - Yesterday, I
stopped at Andrew and Jarrett's grave to put
some roses behind the hosta. I got a little red
rosebush for Andrew and a yellow one for
Jarrett. When I stopped by this morning, I
took this picture:
Andrew and Jarrett's stone on July 23, 2004 -
with hosta, roses, begonias and an African violet.
SUNDAY - July 4, 2004 - After I
finished most of my chores
yesterday, I went into Elburn and
decided to put flags in Andrew and
Jarrett's flower pots. It made me
sad. I miss them so much. But I
know they are where they're
supposed to be. Here's a glimpse
of their stone on the 4th of July:
God bless America and God bless
Andrew and Jarrett
SATURDAY - July 3, 2004 - I just got back from the Flea Market in St. Charles. What a place!
Joan, Judy and I went together. It was a hoot and half! On my way to meet Joan and Judy at
McDonald's, I stopped to clean the stone and check on things. Jessica Angell is the one who left
the African violet for Andrew. What a sweetheart. I put it under Andrew's tree so it wouldn't get
sunburned. The hosta isn't too happy either but I'm watching them closely. This picture has the
shepherd's hook behind the stone. It looks perfect. God bless Andrew. God bless Jarrett. Love
you Andrew and Love you Jarrett, Mom
SUNDAY - June 27, 2004 - We stopped at the cemetery on the way home from DeKalb. The
grass is out of control. It keeps raining and then it grows like a weed. I'm going to have to go in
there with my weed wizard. haha It's getting close to the day when I'll be able to bring Jarrett's
tree in to plant. That will be VERY exciting. I put the pinwheels back in last week. Finally, I'm
able to push them into the ground. Earlier in the spring, it was as hard as concrete, and they kept
falling over. So, here's how it looks today. We definitely need more flowers. Someone brought
Andrew an African violet. That was very nice. God bless my sweet, precious boys, Andrew and
Jarrett. love ya dudes, Mom
Andrew and Jarrett's stone on July 3, 2004
WEDNESDAY - June 16, 2004 - I didn't bring my weed whacker in when I stopped to see the
boys. But, I did take a picture, then when I got home I took a picture of Jarrett's tree and
inserted it into the earlier shot. Okay, so I'm a little weird. Whatever. They seem to mow the
older side of the cemetery first....then the newer side....because they haven't mowed yet. The
grass is growing like crazy in there, too. Here's my latest picture:
Monday - May 31, 2004 - Memorial Day. It used to be called Decoration Day. I'm not
sure when they changed that. I suppose I could do a Google and find out. I just went
into the cemetery and planted the "Mammy hosta." It looks really good in there. Hey!
Why take my word for it, when a picture is worth a thousand! Here it is:
Andrew and Jarrett's stone with "Mammy hosta" planted in front of it on Memorial Day.
Once I got home and started typing this, it started raining like crazy once again. The clouds
were really, really dark, foreboding and SCARY. But I knew the boys wouldn't let me get
rained on. Andrew's tree is doing great as you can see in the picture below. I'm still nursing
Jarrett's tree back to good health. It's doing quite well and is getting a lot of new growth.
One of these days, I'll put it back in its rightful spot. Okay, here's where I was just a few
minutes ago (before the rain!):
Andrew's blue spruce, with Mammy
hosta and very dark clouds in the
background. God bless my boys!
Friday - April 23, 2004 - I went to the cemetery today on my way into town. The grass has
come up and looks great! Well, except for that big dirt hole in front. But I'll get some seed
and pretty soon we'll have grass everywhere! I also want to plant some flowers when I'm sure
it isn't going to freeze any more.
Jarrett's stone on
April 23, 2004 -
we need to plant
some grass seed.
Easter Sunday - (4/11/04) - We went to the Easter service at the High School and saw
Shawn, Lindsay and Stephanie. It was SO GOOD to see them. It was a wonderful service.
Gary and all of his congregation did a wonderful job. We really enjoyed it. After it was
almost over, Gary told us that we could buy an Easter lily for $5. Since I didn't have any
money with me and Bob just had his BIG BUCKS, I borrowed money from Shawn and
Lindsay. So, we got a nice Easter lily and they went with Bob and me to the cemetery. I
also had gotten two little balloons to bring to Andrew and Jarrett. I didn't have my camera
then, so after we went to Uncle Ron and Aunt Liz's house, we stopped by the cemetery and
I took this picture:
Andrew & Jarrett's stone
on Easter. Notice the
pinwheels are moving - I'm
glad I caught that action.
You can see the Easter lily in
front of the purple irises
and the balloons are stuck
inside the flower pot.
It's the Wednesday before Easter, so I got some decorations to put out around Andrew and
Jarrett's stone. I put back some of the things that we had removed when they were cleaning
up the cemetery. I can see that I have some re-seeding of the grass to do right in front. Either
that or I'll plant some flowers! Good idea. Here's what I did:
Andrew and Jarrett's
stone decorated for
Easter on April 7, 2004.
Hobbes and I went into the crawl space and got out the boys' Easter baskets. I
hung them up on either side and put their beanie babies in them. Every year of
their lives, I always gave them Easter baskets....even when they were older. They
always looked forward to them. And I looked forward to doing it for them. Miss you
guys always! Love you forever, Mom
Today is St. Patrick's Day, so I had to go put a balloon and some stuff out on the stone
for the boys. After all, they are 25% Irish (that's a 1/4 doncha know). In the morning,
Bergy and I went to visit Aunt Anna (100% Irish) and Mary Margaret (50% Irish), so by
the time I got home and got my act together, it was later than I thought, so the light
wasn't perfect for taking pictures. In fact, the sun was shining in my eyes. But I think I
got a good shot. I put a green mug on Andrew's side that says, "Happy St. Patrick's
Day." On Jarrett's side, I put a green frog that has a pin on it that says, "Kiss me, I'm
Irish." Then I draped some green garland along the top and anchored the balloon and
here it is:
decorated for St.
Patrick's day -
March 17, 2004
While Bob and I were in Kauai, everyone gravitated toward the cemetery on March 3, 2004. It had
been 366 days since our boys' accident. We didn't particularly want to celebrate that day, but we
wanted to honor Andrew and Jarrett which was why we had our own remembrance on the beach of the
Pacific Ocean far, far away. But here in Elburn, so many wonderful people came to pay respects to our
dear sweet boys at their stone. And I've been wanting to put the pictures in here of how beautiful
everything looked but I couldn't get the pictures out of the e-mail. Krissy and Karen came over and took
pictures on the 3rd. Well, actually Krissy took the pictures and Karen came with her! FINALLY, this
morning, I figured it out. And here are some of them:
Big pot of blue irises has 25
bulbs to plant in my garden!! :)
The kids paying their respects to
Andrew & Jarrett on 3/3
Krissy took this picture with all the
GREAT balloons! Here's some beautiful
yellow roses & forsythia.
Another beautiful arrangement of
flowers. This picture captures
everything. It takes my breath away!!!
I have some other pictures to put on here but I wanted to get these up because they're just so sweet and
wonderful. It makes me feel like I was here. Maybe in a way, I'll always be here no matter where I am.
Thank you to everyone for remembering Andrew & Jarrett. Love ya all, djb, aka mother of the saintly
Many of the people who knew Andrew and Jarrett have been by to see their stone in Blackberry
Cemetery. They've left flowers, treasures, angels, notes and wonderful things that always warm our
hearts. Maybe you know the story of how it all evolved. While I was in Florida over Mother's Day last
year, Bob went into St. Charles Memorial Works to find out about stones. At first, I said that I wanted a
pink stone (duh!). Then, when I thought about it, I realized that the boys would want something BLACK
and SHINY. When we finally went in together to talk about what we wanted on the stone, we had
decided on a generic golfer for Andrew. I said that I remembered a picture I had taken of Jarrett gliding
down a rail at the middle school in Florida. So, to make a long story short (leaving out the part where I
searched for the picture of Jarrett for THREE HOURS), we decided to use pictures of the boys that I
had taken but instead of putting the pictures on the stone, we just wanted to have a line drawing of
them. When we saw the final drawings, we were absolutely astonished because they were so cool! I
know that the boys would love them. Of course, we wish we never had to do these things, and that our
kids were still here driving us crazy, but they're not. So, we have to carry on as best we can! That's
why I decorate.
The boys' stone was put in on August 1, 2003. Two weeks later, Bob had
quadruple bypass surgery!
Picture of the boys' stone taken in October
2003. I decorated for Halloween!
This is the turkey balloon I put out
for Thanksgiving! I'm surprised
the wind didn't blow it away!
Here's the Christmas decorations. We went a little nutty putting out
everything we could find! The tree was lit by batteries.
I know a lot of people think it's a bit much to go out to the cemetery all the time. But, it's really not a mournful
thing. It's more of a celebration - a meeting place. You can see the spirit orbs in the picture above. The
boys are there when we are there because they are always with us and always around us. Love never dies.
God bless my sweet boys.
Saturday (2/7/04) - Bob and I just got back from our travels. Here's how the stone looks today. Brrr I had
to scrape the snow off the front of the stone. It's very deep and very cold out there, but Jarrett's
evergreen seems to be doing well - the little tree on the right side. I planted a blue spruce for Andrew at
the same time but it was too little to be transplanted, and it didn't make it through the fall. This spring, I'll
be looking for a new tree for Andrew's side. Driving in the cemetery was quite treacherous. Bob kept
asking me if I had my cell phone with me in case we got stuck! But we didn't. At least, I was able to get
in there and get a picture. It always makes me feel better to go by and see their stone. God bless my
sweet, precious boys.
We put these balloons on the boys' grave this morning (2/14/04)
2/14/04 - This morning, Bob and I went out to the cemetery to put some balloons on the boys grave. I
think the picture came out fabulous if I do say so myself! Once again, the driving was QUITE
treacherous since it hasn't been plowed lately. It's a good thing Bob learned to drive in Minnesota (the
land of 10,000 ice fishing houses) because it was deep and not easily maneuverable (is that a word?).
Anyway, I'm pleased with the results. Happy Valentine's day, my sweet boys. Love, Mom
Sunday - February 15, 2004 - Andrew's 18th birthday. This morning I went out to the cemetery. This
time, I parked my car up on the hill and walked down to their grave. Someone else had put a balloon with
the other ones. How very sweet. I saw a red carnation on Andrew's side. I wanted to put a Beanie baby
out there for Andrew since I had put one out for Jarrett's birthday. When I went to look for one, the most
wonderful thing happened. I pulled out the gigantic basket of stuffed animals and I found the flamingo. It
had a silver angel on a thin thread around its neck. When Andrew was born, his Aunt Opal and Uncle
Jerry sent him a huge pink flamingo. Coincidentally, today is also Uncle Jerry's birthday (in Heaven). It
gave me some comfort, although I feel sadder today than I have in a long time. I guess the approaching
anniversary of their deaths is starting to hit me very hard. I miss them so much. I can't even express it.
They were my life. Now, what am I supposed to do, I keep wondering. Well, I hope you have a happy
birthday in Heaven, Andrew. You and Jarrett and all your buddies up there can party hearty. God bless
you, sweetie. Miss you and Jarrett always. Love, Mom and Dad, too.
The boys' stone on January 15, 2004 - Andrew's 18th birthday.
The boys' stone on March 8, 2004.
Earlier this afternoon, I went to town to get our mail and stopped on my way back to take some
pictures of all the flowers and to put the dolphin and the kitty on the boys' stone. I didn't mean to
be there at the time we buried them a year ago, but it seems that's when I was there. They know
I miss them constantly and love them dearly and I always will. I'm comforted to know that so many
of their friends went out to leave remembrances for them. The most amazing thing to me was that
the fresh cut flowers are not wilted and frozen but look perfect. Isn't that wonderful? I also
enjoyed reading Joe's tribute to the boys. That was very sweet. I'll be getting pictures from the
memorial service at the high school on Friday night (3/5) so I'll put them in my journal. Thanks to
all who said a prayer, went to the cemetery or just smiled as they recalled the saintly boys. We
appreciate it and are very thankful for everything. Kauai may be warm but in spite of the cold, I'd
rather be here surrounded by such caring and wonderful people. God bless you all. Luv ya, djb
Two little snowmen - ain't they cute?