CURRENT JOURNAL (12/13/2004)

later (12/31/2004) - It's the end of 2004.  Isn't that amazing?  It's so hard to believe that 366 days have gone by already since 2003.  I guess 2003 will always be the benchmark year for our lives.  The last time we saw our boys was in 2003.  They never lived in 2004 which I think is very weird for some reason.  I don't know why.  Every day that goes by is another day further from them being here on the earth as Andrew and Jarrett, my sons.  As I look back on all those days since they died, I realize I have come pretty far. The first year was complete and total SHOCK.  This year has been filled with crushing sadness, bottomless grief, horrendous loss.  Now, I'm wondering what little gift of joy next year has in store for me.  Yikes!  As long as I can write about them and look at their pictures every day, I feel closer to them than I would be if I didn't do this website.  It has indeed been therapeutic for me.  It doesn't mitigate the loss but it makes me feel like I'm doing SOMETHING for them.....keeping their memories alive.  I suppose I could go on and on forever about Andrew and Jarrett.  I don't think I've really scratched the surface yet.  As long as the photographs don't have to be "perfect" I'll be okay because I took a lot of pictures during their young lives.  Okay.  I have to get ready to go out and celebrate New Year's Eve.  Isn't that a hoot - me celebrating.  We always had Jarrett's birthday party on New Year's Eve.  This was one of his favorite parties because he always liked that little kid that had his hand on Jarrett's head (can't remember his name).  Plus, Ben, Jacob, Jon and Andrew.  Have fun tonight everyone.  And Happy New Year.  Especially the saintly boys.  God bless you.  Love, Mom 

Jarrett's 5th birthday party on December 31, 1992   

Friday - December 31, 2004 - IT'S THE LAST DAY OF 2004.  Hey, it's New Year's Eve.  Happy New Year.  No wait a minute, I'm a bit early!!  Yesterday, Karen and Bryar got here a little after 11.  Krissy, Karen and Bryar were the last relatives besides Bob and me to see Andrew and Jarrett before they died.  They came over in February 2003 to visit with baby Bryar, who was about 3 and a half months old.  When they were little, the boys always called them KrissyKaren (both were called that) because they couldn't remember who was who.  That was always funny to us.  Anyway, we went to the Charlestown Mall.  First, we ate some lunch....then we went on the merry-go-round/carousel.  Oh boy.  Bryar got to ride on "my horsie."  It was hilarious.  I got a little woozie from the motion.  We probably should have taken our ride first and then eaten lunch.  After we wandered around for a while, we came back and Bryar rode "my horsie" again.  This time, Aunt Donna sat on one of the old people seats.  After we got back home and Bryar chased Hobbes non-stop for an hour, Lindsay and Sammie came by to visit the girls.  Young moms and their daughters.  It was so cute that I had to take pictures.  Of course, I did.  Here they all are.  I'll be back later with more news from the country.  bye, djb

Bryar with her flaxen hair and angelic smile with Karen when they were a little bit younger.

Lindsay holding Sammie with her thumb in her mouth - but NO pacifier!!

Bryar and Sammie looking at the Elmo toy.

Bryar playing with Sammie's Elmo toy - Sammie looking at her mom.

Close-up of Sammie in her cute little pink sweater and beautiful big brown eyes.

Thursday - December 30, 2004 - It's getting close to the end of the year.  Yikes!  I'll have to make some New Year's resolutions.  That sounds like fun.  Let's see I know No. 1 - Lose 10 pounds.  HAHAHA!!  Isn't that at the top of everyone's list?!  While we were in Florida, I was able to use my new video camera that records on DVDs.  It was so hard to figure out how to use it at first.  VERY confusing.  I just kept using it and doodling around with it and finally was able to record some quality Christmas video.  When my cousin, Don and his wife Pat and Aunt Gladys (Grandpa's twin) came to visit us on Sunday before Christmas, I shot some video of them.  At that point, I was still having technical difficulties, but it turned out quite well.  Don and Pat live in Cardiff, Wales.  Of course, we totally enjoy hearing their "accents."  I think I have a Chicago accent, but Irene told me that I don't have an accent.  Then, I told her that her New York accent was quite charming.  She said that no one had ever told her that before.  But it's true.  Charming.  Speaking of cute little kids.  Karen and Bryar are on their way over to visit Aunt Donna, the Great.  It's supposed to be a warm day today (relatively speaking).  At least, when we go to the mall, we won't be freezing our tootsies off.  This morning, I found some more Christmas Eve pictures from 1988, so I'll put those in here.  I have to vacuum the carpet so I'll be signing off for a while.  See youse guys later, djb

Jarrett with his mama on Christmas Eve in 1988 - a few days before his first birthday.

Bob holding Jarrett as he touches the barber pole that belonged to Pappy - Andrew & Jarrett's great grandfather.

Andrew with someone's present and Bob maneuvering another present, with Karen's head in the foreground.

Grandpa Burkholder and Uncle Bob on Christmas Eve 1988

later - (12/29) - I just got back from lunch with Kathy and Brenda.  We had such a GREAT time!  They're both teachers (so I am - RETIRED).  It's fun to be with them because they're both so nice and fun to be with.  We never run out of anything to say.  Isn't that funny?  I can't imagine running out of something to say unless I was sick.  Kathy brought me two reindeer that one of Bill's cousins made.  She got a number of them and gave me the two that I named Andrew and Jarrett.  haha  I'll take a picture and put it in here because they are SO DARN CUTE!  You will not believe it.  Wait a minute.  I just took a picture.  Here it is.  Aren't they adorable!!??  Plus, the noses light up.  I'll take another picture when it gets dark.  See ya later.  bye, djb

Andrew and Jarrett, two cute little reindeer    

Wednesday - December 29, 2004 - This coming Monday is Jarrett's birthday (January 3).  If he were still on the planet, he'd be 17 years old.  Isn't that amazing?  Before Christmas 1989, he had been sick.  All through his entire life, he would get fevers that would spike up to 104.  That particular time, the doctor told me to give him a teaspoon of baby Tylenol every 4 hours.  Apparently, it wasn't enough because right after we opened our presents, he had a febrile convulsion.  It was the scariest thing I'd ever seen.  This poor little baby - well, I won't into the details, but suffice to say it was very, very scary.  These are the pictures we took right before it happened.  You can tell that he's not well.  After that, whenever he'd get a fever, I'd freak out and put towels on him and give him a double dose of Tylenol.  When he was about 3 and we were living here, he got a fever one night and I put towels all over him.  He kept saying, "Don't get my underwear wet!"  I'll never forget that.  I said, "If your underwear gets wet, we'll just change it."  But if you ever knew Jarrett when he was little, he had very definite ideas about what was what.  And getting the underwear wet just wasn't part of his scenario.  God bless him.  God bless Andrew.  Here's the pictures from Christmas Day 1989.  See ya later, djb

Andrew opening one of his presents on Christmas Day 1989

Andrew and Jarrett on the merry-go-round

Andrew waiting for another present.  Jarrett is looking at something out of sight.

Jarrett with his Donald Duck that Grandpa and Granny Berg sent him.

Later (12/28) - It's 70 degrees in Florida today!  Isn't that funny?  On Sunday, it was 49 degrees.  The transition back here has been fairly easy.  Although I got the mail, I haven't gone through everything yet.  There's quite a pile of Christmas cards.  I went to the grocery store, so we have food once agian.  Oh boy.  Now, I'm going to finish putting away some more stuff.  Here's a picture of the Bergs on Sunday.  I'll be back....djb

Grandpa and Granny on Sunday (12/26) - Uncle Ron's birthday! 

Tuesday - December 28, 2004 - Because of that gigantic earthquake below the Indian Ocean, the earth is now spinning 1/10,000 of a what? faster.  I don't know if it's a second or what.  Anyway, it's spinning faster, so hang on tight. It's going to be a bumpy ride!!  Bob and I went to Florida for Christmas to spend time with the BERGS in Casselberry.  We flew out of Rockford on TransMeridian Airlines.  If you ever want to fly in a manner that is long gone in the BIG airports, go there.  It's a complete and total HOOT.  We flew into Sanford - which they call Orlando Sanford just to confuse everyone.  That's another great little airport.  NO CROWDS at all.  Very nice, a throwback to the olden days.  We saw many, many relatives and had a very wonderful time.  I'll put pictures in here a little later.  No, really I promise.  I have to do a little cleaning up since Hobbes doesn't recognize his POOP box any more.  ha ha Very funny.  Many thanks to Nick for feeding Hobbes who was definitely happy to see us last night!!  Have to go get the mail and some food.  I'll be back a little later with some more photos.  See ya....djb

Me holding the Christmas Day turkey - I had just gotten up, hence no face shot.

Saturday - December 18, 2004 - I'm going to take a break writing in here until December 28th.  I might start on December 27th, but don't hold your breath.  Last night, I only coughed half of the night.  That's hilarious.  It gets better every day.  I think the flu is more like a VERY BAD cold than anything else.  Well, except for the fact that your whole entire body feels horrible.  I found one more picture of the boys from 1994.  This was a very cute year.  I'll enjoy having this in here while I'm on HIATUS.  Have a very nice Christmas.  God bless you all.  See ya later, djb

Jarrett and Andrew smiling at each other - I wonder what they're up to?

Friday - December 17, 2004 - I coughed all night long.  Have a nice day.  haha  That's funny.  I'll be back with some new pictures, just wanted to say hi.  I'm actually feeling better.  The flu seems to have morphed into a cold.  So, I've got that goin for me.  later, djb

Granny making lefse for Christmas festivities a few years ago - ya sure.

Thursday - December 16, 2004 - I didn't really sleep much last night.  In order to rest, I had to prop myself up on a bunch of pillows.  I hate being sick.  It gets in the way of my personal business!!  Here's some pictures from Christmas at Grandpa and Grandma Burkholder's house in Rochelle.  Probably 1989.  Gotta go drink something hot.  Talk to you later, djb

Andrew hugging Uncle Bob's little dog.

Krissy with Andrew, Karen next to him and Daniel behind them.

Aunt Bev holding baby Jarrett.

Jarrett doing something to his Christmas cup.

Jarrett blowing his nose on a Christmas napkin.  I think that's funny.

Wednesday - December 15, 2004 - I have the flu.  It sucks.  My fever was 103 in the night.  My ears hurt, my throat hurts, my chest hurts, my entire body aches, I'm coughing and sniffing and dizzy and generally feel very, very weak and sickly.  Flu shot?  What flu shot?  ha ha very funny.  This is all I can say here.  bye, djb

Tuesday - December 14, 2004 - I have to eat some lunch, but I thought I'd better get a picture in here, so I'm putting the aluminum foil tree we had for a few years back in the 60's.  We were so trendy.  I'll be back, djb

Ron and Diane in front of the aluminum Christmas tree - probably 1966

Monday - December 13, 2004 - VERY COLD!!  If you want to see the previous Christmas pictures, you can go to the Journal Archives.  It seemed as though the current journal was getting pretty FULL of photos. I found this cute picture of the boys when they were little.  Jarrett with his ever-present bottle and Andrew with his Barbie.  He can see ALF in the background.  I'll be back later.  I just want to get this up and running sooner rather than later.  See ya, djb

Jarrett with his bottle and Andrew with his Barbie.

Andrew and Jarrett in 1999 - I just found this.  Notice how far apart they are!