a little bit later - (7/31) - Okay, so I had to go out immediately and take a picture of the pumpkin!  Here it is growing big and healthy.  It's a hoot, that's for sure!  bye, djb

Pumpkin plant growing from the seed of one of the pumpkins in the picture below!

SATURDAY - July 31, 2004 - One year ago tomorrow, Andrew and Jarrett's stone was put in Blackberry Cemetery.  The reason I'm mentioning it today is that the picture I'm going to put in here isn't the picture I took that day but the picture I took around Halloween last year.  Notice the little pumpkins that are in front of the flowers.  After they turned all mushy, I scooped them up and put them in a garbage bag and brought them home.  Imagine my complete and total surprise when one day a few weeks ago, I saw a huge pumpkin plant growing in the burn pile (which is where I dumped the pumpkins)!!  It was awesome to see it.  Yes, I'll take a picture of it sooner rather than later.  It's cosmic when you consider that the dead pumpkins were reborn into a new life.  You really don't have to look far to see a miracle.  Just look in your own backyard.  See ya later.  Gotta run.  bye, djb

The Great Pumpkins live again in my burn pile!

FRIDAY - July 30, 2004 - It might be time to start a new page.  hmmm  This morning, I was quite pleasantly surprised to hear from Alyssa.  She has Cookie, the dog, who always barks hello to Bob and me when we walk around the block at 6:30 a.m.  Of course, today it's raining so there's NO walking or RUNNING in the rain.  When I checked Weather Bug, I saw that the bulk of the rain is located south of us.  It's been pretty dry, so whatever we get will be good.  Supposed to have a REAL summery weekend.  No rain, sun, 90's.  oh boy!  Let me see what picture I can put in here today.  This reminds me of summer.  They were always running up to the house (when they got older), "Mom, come down to the lake and bring your camera!"  When they were younger, I was always there with them when they fished and they'd let me hold a pole now and again.  BUT, I refused to ever touch a fish.  Thanks anyway.  See ya later, djb

Bob, Andrew's GIGANTIC fish and Andrew at the lake at Donnyhill

JARRETT & ANDREW holding their fishing poles - probably 1992 or 1993

THURSDAY - July 29, 2004 - Krissy went down to St. Louis to get her new puppy early this morning.  She had already named him Milo last December....he's a cocker spaniel and about 8 weeks old.  She and Karen should be on their way back as I write this.  Wait a minute.  Yes, I DO have a picture of Milo the pup.  Let me go find it.  He's from bloodlines that originated in Germany.  The man who breeds these cute little puppies is working with the University of Missouri on some kind of project.  Very interesting....especially since the Burkholders are 100% German!  I do find that kind of amusing.  We will probably get to see him on Saturday when we go to Rochelle - Hub City.  Say no more. bye, djb

Krissy's new pup, Milo (approx. 8 weeks old).

WEDNESDAY - July 28, 2004 - It's a perfect, perfect, absolutely perfect summer day!  FINALLY!!!  This morning, I had an appointment with Dr. Cohen.  Platelets are 385,000.  I almost have TOO many!  That's funny.  ME, with too many that a joke? hahaha  Bob decided to take a vacation day today....good idea.  When I got back, he was gone.  I imagine he's out playing golf.  I'm going to go out and swim, get some sun and clean up some dirt and grass.  good idea.  Let me see what I can put in here today....oh yes, Gary Augustine's baseball team.  Can't remember the year, but it was in the late 90's.  We had SO much fun watching them and cheering for them all.  What a hoot!  seeyalater, djb

Notice #7 (that's Andrew).  He always had to act like a wise guy!!!  Plus, he's the one in middle leaning on Chris Fitzpatrick. 

TUESDAY - July 27, 2004 - Yesterday afternoon, Diane sent me an article about gardening as grief therapy!  (And we all know that I LOVE to get mail.)  What a great article!!  Thanks, my SEESTER!!  It seems as though I've been doing everything I can to help myself get through the horrible feelings of losing Andrew and Jarrett.  "Remember, Mom, no WHY questions!"  Right!  Why did I ever agree to that????  I have a great picture of Diane and me one summer after we had come back from a day at Daytona Beach.  Let me go look for that.  It's a hoot.  We looked like Lucy Lobsters.  Okay, must be going now.  I started this a long time ago and I have miles to walk before I sleep (reference to a Robert Frost poem, thank you).  See ya later, djb

Donna (with nothing in her hand) and Diane (with red lobster skin) sometime around 1978 or 1979

MONDay - July 26, 2004 - It's another ugly day here today!  Summer has passed us by this year.  It's more like fall!  bummer.  Lindsay and I went out and about this morning and I just got back.  We had a GREAT time, as always!  She's the best.  What a wonderful young lady she is.  I really enjoy spending time with her.  She's like one of my nieces!!!  God bless Aunt Donna.  haha  When we were younger, in the summertime, my aunt would always come to visit us in August.  She was a sister of the Holy Cross order.  We adored her.  She always treated us like we were not bratty little kids, but perfect angels.  Of course, we were always on our best behavior when she came to visit - she'd stay with Grandma and Grandpa O'Malley, and they would come to visit, too.  After they died, she would come to Harvard and stay with my Uncle Jerry and Aunt Opal.  Here's a picture I took when the boys were very young.  It was the summer of 1988:

Andrew, Sister, Jarrett being held by my cousin, Mary Powers in Harvard in August 1988. 

We got a picture of her gravestone from one of her friends from Saint Mary's at South Bend....the sister college of Notre Dame.  I'll never forget her funeral.  It was the most awesome display of love I saw until Andrew and Jarrett's funeral.  Plus, it also rained on the procession to the graveyard.  That means something good to the Irish but I can't remember what it is.  I can't imagine that it means good lucK?  Okay.  I'll put in a picture of her stone as long as I'm talking about it.  Okay, gotta go. bye, djb

Andrew and Jarrett's great aunt, Sister Mary Herman Joseph, buried at the convent cemetery in South Bend, Indiana

SUNDAY - July 25, 2004 - Last night, Bob and I went to the 50th birthday party for Dick & Karen.  When we arrived, we found out that Bill Wake had passed away yesterday morning (his obit is in the Aurora Beacon-News).  It seemed only fitting to continue with the party so that they could be surrounded and supported by their friends and family.  Plus, no one could call all the people that Leah and Jay invited!  Of course, this morning, I had to go to the album and find pictures I had taken when Bob and I went with Bill & Bobbie on the cruise of a lifetime on the Sea Goddess I.  Jarrett was 2 years old and Andrew was almost 4.  We had NEVER left our children overnight, much less for 10 days.  When I got in the limo, I was crying and the limo driver said, "This is your first time away from the kids, right?"  But, I managed to pull myself together and we had an awesome time.  Here's a picture of Bill with Les Shankman.  He owned Leaf - they made Milk Duds!  Yes. 

Les Shankman and Bill Wake in January 1990 on the Sea Goddess I

One of the reasons Bobbie wanted Bob to go along on the cruise was to play bridge.  They were all excellent bridge players.  Every year, they'd have a pre-Christmas bridge party which everyone looked forward to and enjoyed tremendously.  Bob worked with Bobbie in data processing for many years, many Saturdays, necessitating late night dinners at the Lincoln Inn.  Here's Bob and Bobbie at the same table as above.  Of course, Les has to be in the picture, too!!  He was a hoot.

Bob, Bobbie, Les in January 1990 on the Sea Goddess I - on the cruise of a lifetime

There's not much more I can say, except God bless Bill.  God bless Bobbie.  God bless Les.  Hey, Bill!  Say hi to Andrew and Jarrett from us.  Thanks.  See ya later, djb

SATURDAY - July 24, 2004 - People are already out in their yards mowing the grass and it's only 9:25.  For some reason, I felt like mowing the lawn yesterday.  Glad that's done.  It takes me forever to mow because I have to go over it more than once since we got the mulching blade.  There's still a lot of work to be done out in the yard...  All of the weather reports said that we'd have SUN today, so I checked Weather Bug - NOT!!  A few years ago (I think it was 1998), we had a family picnic in Creston.  Very hot to start with, then a storm came thundering in from the west.  Here's a picture of Jarrett and Andrew that day:

Jarrett (with a Coke) and Andrew sitting in Uncle Bergy's chair

Now that I look at it, I think I put this picture in a few weeks ago.  Oh well, I don't mind.  We have a group picture with all of us together that day where I look like someone blew me up with an air compressor.  That's when I was very, very sick and taking extremely high doses of prednisone.  Maybe I should put it in here so you can how bizarro I looked.  Some people (whose names I won't mention) accuse me of only putting in doctored pictures of myself!  Yeah, so what?  In the bad old days, when someone asked me how I was doing, I would actually TELL THEM!  My diatribe could go on for hours.  Okay, enough chit chat.  Must be going now. bye, djb

FRIDAY - July 23, 2004 - It feels like fall outside today.  For the past two mornings, Bob and I have walked around the block at 6:30.  Yesterday was quite warm, today felt refreshing.  The only good reason to have hot weather is for the pool.  Well, that and the petunias.  Earlier this week, I came across pictures of Andrew and Jarrett with underwear on their heads.  That made me laugh

Andrew with underwear on his head, socks on his hands and shoes around his neck!

Jarrett at a school picnic with boxers on his head and a tie around his neck at Lion's Park.

Today, I have to find some place to donate our books.  We have hundreds and hundreds - maybe thousands - of books.  Since Bob and I are both Libras, we buy books like some people buy shoes or clothes.  We're confessed bibliophiles.  My favorite store is Border's in Geneva where they have SO MANY books.  A few weeks back, I found a book that I was looking for that was out of print.  But there it was on the shelf.....just waiting for me to buy it!  So I did.  It wasn't serendipitous, it was cosmic.  Time to make my list of Things To Do Today.  July is almost over....isn't that weird?  yes.  bye.  see ya, djb

THURSDAY - July 22, 2004 - For some reason, we can't have a normal summer this year!  hot, storms, cold. bye, djb



Such a big baby boy - two weeks late -

Cried so loud in the nursery for his mama that he

Was wheeled to me in his bassinet.  Annoyed, they said,

"Here, take him.  He woke up all the other babies."


Causing a commotion wherever he went -

Even as a newborn - all 10 pounds 7 ounces.


It's painful, yet interesting to recall

that he was always "full of life."

Kind of ironic to say those words now.


Although I suppose in a way

He does live on as an organ donor.

Signed his driver's license.

"Why not?" he stated, more than asked.


Never, in a million years, could I have imagined

he would indeed donate his precious organs

at the age of 17.  The final selfless act.

His life was gone, maybe someone else would live.


So smart, engaging personality, a quick study

and such a bored student.

No teacher could harness his boundless energy or

reach the amazing intellect that he hid from others.


Missed opportunities for a perfectly intelligent kid,

Though he always had fun at school.

Demerits, detentions, suspensions...

"I go to see my friends," he'd say.


While in the hospital, and after he died,

his friends were there - many, many friends.

Then I understood that he knew what was important -

A friend loves at all times...



ANDREW - I'm glad you chose me to be your mother.  God bless you, sweetie.


WEDNESDAY - July 21, 2004 - We've been officially having summer for one month now and it's finally getting into the 90's.  That's good except for the fact that SEVERE thunderstorms are headed our way so I'm on the weather watch.  Right now, I heard that they're in Ogle County (9:30 am).  Yikes!  I hope Krissy's already at work and Bergy's not out on the golf course!  My flowers are so gorgeous today.  The stargazers are out in full force so I scurried around taking their pictures like a mad woman. Yesterday, the white balloon flowers came out and they looked like stars, so I created the picture below using the phrase that the kids put on a big poster for Andrew and Jarrett's visitation.  Enough for now.  Must be going.  byebye, djb

JARRETT & ANDREW - I love their smiles in these pictures.  We miss them and their smiles every day.

later in the day... (7/20) - It REALLY is HOT.  Right now, it's 88 degrees.  I've been in the pool and it feels wonderful.  This morning, I came across this picture of the Jarrett, Andrew and me at Brookfield Zoo.  It must've been in May of 1988.  It did warm up later in the afternoon.  Notice that both boys have their "blankies" with them!  Andrew was always a blankie boy.  He'd get up from his nap and come into the living room carrying ALL of his blankies.  It was a hoot!  I always loved going to the zoo with the kids.  Better go to the pool now.  I'm getting a little warm....must cool offffff.  bye, djb

Jarrett in the buggy, Donna (with dark hair) holding a Coke and Andrew with his blankie and Bob is taking our picture. 

TUESDAY - July 20, 2004 - Okay, so it wasn't hot yesterday.  TODAY is supposed to be hot.  Right.  The summer that Jarrett was born was so hot, it was a record-breaker as I recall.  The year that I was diagnosed with ITP, we broke a record high record.  Actually, the year Andrew was born, it was hot early on.  I had all these cold-weather baby clothes that I couldn't put on him because it was too hot.  Plus, I had all that excess weight from being pregnant that I hadn't lost yet, so I didn't want to wear shorts....or maybe I didn't have any that fit.  We always spent every day walking around the block.  There were a lot of senior citizens in our neighborhood so we were given heartfelt and sound advice from those who had been there and done that.  The one thing I distinctly remember one of our neighbor ladies telling me is to "enjoy your children while they're young because they grow up so fast."  And, in fact, I did take her advice.

ANDREW (with green paint on his face) and JARRETT (with cereal on his face) in July 1988 - it was so hot they were only wearing diapers

Have to go into town (I sound like a pioneer wife, don't I?) and get some supplies.  lol   I love seeing pictures of my baby boys.  It still amazes me that they posed for me on command!  haha  WOW!  What if we had the super digital cameras then that we have now?  I would've taken 100,000 pictures!!  Okay, I must go.  bye see ya, djb

MONDAY - July 19, 2004 - It's going to be HOT today, so I figured I'd better walk around the block  at 6:30 while it was still cool.  That seems kind of early but the sun is already's hazy, but definitely not a typical summer day.  In the old days, it would be steamy and humid by now.  This was the time of year that we'd de-tassel corn for DeKalb Ag.  I don't think they exist any more.  That's pretty sad if it's true.  What are we going to do with all those flying ears of corn signs??!!  (rhetorical question)  Not to change the subject but since I don't have a picture of corn, I think I'll continue the theme of pictures from Karen & Derek's wedding with the photo I took of Krissy and Bob with the disposable camera.  Time to hit the road.  See ya later, djb

Krissy with a RED DRESS on and Bob - smiling for the disposable camera! 

SUNDAY - July 18, 2004 - It's a beautiful morning.  The sun is shining and the birdies are chirping.  We managed to attend both picnics yesterday, plus we stopped at Liz and Ron's house on the way home.  The Japanese maple tree that I had given them a few years ago is unbelievably huge.  Oh, I should put a picture in here of it.  Absolutely gorgeous!

Ron & Liz's Japanese maple with Sophie checking it out.  When I gave it to them it was only a foot tall.

Right now, I'm going to issue a WEIRD WARNING!  Something happened to Bob and me on the way home from Ron and Liz's house that can only be described as weird, bizarre and completely unbelievable.  At approximately 8:40 p.m. last night, Bob was driving south on Hwy. 47 past the intersection of Plank Road and 47, when we came over a small rise in the road and saw numerous red lights ahead.  They looked like emergency vehicles with their red lights flashing, blocking the entire highway.  I asked the unanswerable question, "WHAT is THAT?"  And he responded, "I guess we'll find out when we get there."  We were both concentrating on the road, anticipating a possible detour or accident scene....whatever.  As he drove over the next rise in the road, we saw NOTHING.  He drove over the next rise in the road and we still saw NOTHING.  I looked down a side road to see if the emergency vehicles had gone to the right.  NOTHING!  As we continued down the road, we looked at each other incredulously and I said, "We saw those RED LIGHTS didn't we?"  And he simply said, "Yes."  Then, I stated the obvious, "They're not here!  Where'd they go?"  He responded, "I don't know."  The road was empty of cars, red lights, or anything else moving.  It was inexplicable.  One minute they were there, and then they disappeared into thin air.  We still don't know WHAT it was.  Anyone who knows Bob is aware that he is not prone to flights of fancy or whimsy as I am.  If we BOTH hadn't seen it, I know he wouldn't believe me because, quite frankly, I wouldn't believe him.  Whether it was a dual hallucination or swamp gas, we may never know but it was freaky, bizarre, and I just totally LOVED it!!!!  That's the end of the WEIRD WARNING, you may resume your normal everyday lives now.  Bye from Bizarro World, djb

SATURDAY - July 17, 2004 - You know how I'm "obsessed" about the weather!?!?  It's so overcast outside that I figured we had another storm coming our way.  NOT!  The forecast is for sunny, no clouds and 78 degrees.  That's the bottom range of my perfect weather.  Good news because today is Eby's picnic and also the Berg picnic up in Harvard (the city of my birth).  This morning, I read that Frank Thomas (White Sox) has a broken bone in his left foot.  Many years ago, Andrew was one of the Celebrity Bat Boys for the White Sox.  Although I looked for the book of pictures that I took, I can't find them - it's around here somewhere.  There's a picture of Frank Thomas in the book.  Of course, he was too "BUSY" to sign an autograph for the youngsters.  hmmm  Anyway, I came up with a picture of Andrew when he played on Gary Augustine's team.  Can't remember the year.  But we sure had fun.

Andrew sitting on the bench with his teammates a few years ago.

Jarrett (with his mohawk grown out) and Chad (with his tousled head of hair) watching the team.  It kind of looks like Andrew is pitching.  Maybe I took that picture on purpose, so I'd get BOTH boys in the shot. 

It's time to get my skeedaddling shoes on.  My foot feels perfectly wonderful.  Of course, I'm still not running anywhere.  I'll take lots of pictures today.  Oh boy.  Maybe I really should get that free website and put BERG pictures on it?  good idea. bye, djb     

FRIDAY - July 16, 2004 -  It's 70 degrees already here in Elburn.  Yikes!  That's a record, I think.  Although I feel physically normal, I feel a weird vibe today....I can't exactly pinpoint it, but maybe it's the tides.  Good news for Nick:  the first DVD that you  burned actually WORKS!  After I realized that, I had to sit down and watch it this morning.  Andrew had one of those laser pointers and I was yelling at him to take it to his room and not burn someone's retina.  Can you believe that?  Jarrett was videotaping most of it, and he was using the laser pointer to make Hobbes run around in circles.  What a revelation!  Please be kind to your children so that when you see the videotape of your life, you don't sound like a bitch.  If I could rewind mine, I would never, ever say a harsh word to my children.  When they were younger, I sounded so calm and peaceful and as they got older, I got crabbier.  I blame my medication, but it still makes me cringe when I hear myself.  Kindness.  Politeness.  Common courtesy.  What can I say?  Is it too late to learn the lesson?  I think not.  Here's a picture on my 40th birthday with Jarrett on my lap and Andrew in front.  We went to see Chief Blackhawk in Oregon for some unknown reason.  We left Jarrett with Grandma Burkholder and took Andrew to the Beacon (he called it "the Beacons") for dinner with Denny & Avis and Ron & Liz.  I think I had lobster.  Must be going now.  later, djb

Andrew, Jarrett, Donna (40th birthday) paying homage to Chief Blackhawk in Oregon.  Only on my birthday would I ever let someone else touch my camera!   

THURSDAY - July 15, 2004 - (Beware!  The Ides of July) - We've decided that it's NEVER going to be hot this summer, so we might as well enjoy the 80's, and besides, that is my favorite temperature.  Last night, Bob and I were finally able to watch the Jackass video.  There's some more clean-up work to do on it because I don't know what I'm doing yet, but the fact that I have it on a DVD is truly remarkable.  Now, I have to get started on transferring some of the other videos.  Well, maybe not today.  I'm still feeling unwell from my bout with the virus.  My stomach is just not happy.  As I wrote that sentence, my stomach started gurgling.  I guess that was an affirmative!!  Last night, I chatted with Uncle Bergy, so here's a picture of Bergy with Andrew and Jarrett at Rosita's quite a few years ago.  I think Bergy is having a Number 6.  See ya later, djb.  Remember:  Bloom where you're planted. 

Uncle Bergy eating a No. 6 at Rosita's with Andrew and Jarrett saying, "Queso."