CURRENT JOURNAL (March 6, 2005)

later (4/2) - I went to Kevin's house but he was working so I left the paperwork with Dave and Terri.  Yesterday was Cindy's birthday.  Hi Cindy, say hi to the boys!  I've already changed my mind on what kind of table we should get.  The square one is more appropriate for a chess board to be put into it.  So, I'm going to talk the young cronies into choosing that one.  Then, I stopped at the cemetery to clean up the flowers and "stuff" that was left there on the second anniversary.  Now, my trunk is full of stuff.  I hope I don't forget to get it all out of there.  I found a note from Shannon out there.  She is such a doll and so cute, too.  Here it is:

Two lives so golden now match the

articles which state the tragic dates that

linger in countless thoughts.

Such brilliant memories shall light the

way through my days, bringing me the

fondest recollections of our shared past.


~Shannon Unick


Since I put in two pictures of Andrew this morning, I have to put in one of Jarrett to balance it.  I don't have to put in two because he's underwater and that counts for two!  bye, djb



Jarrett underwater

Saturday - April 2, 2005 - It's a gorgeous morning - sunny and 41 degrees.  Bob's feeling better.  We actually went out to Blackberry last night for dinner.  He knows I don't mind cooking, but I can't stand doing the dishes any more - too boring.  The weirdest thing happened this morning.  I was thinking about Grace Peavey yesterday, and wondering how she's doing.  This morning, I opened a book and her phone number fell out.  WOW.  That's cosmic.  She's one of the nicest people in the world.  You can ask anyone and they'll say the same thing.  She's just very special.  Maybe that's why her parents named her Grace.  I'll have to call her a little later.  I re-linked the picture pages of Andrew and Jarrett back on the Casa Page.  I did those early on last year when I didn't know what I was doing.  I'll have to go back and totally re-vamp them.  Is that a word?  revamp?  Okay, fix them.  It's kind of fun to see those pictures again.  It makes me realize how much I miss seeing them in person.  I think it's almost time to walk around the block.  Plus, I know there's one more cup of coffee calling my name.  Byeeeeeeeee, djb


Andrew in kindergarten          Andrew in first grade

later (4/1) - Apparently my Christmas cactus doesn't know when Christmas is.  Last year, it bloomed on November 11th.  It's blooming right now.  One flower so far.  It's very exciting for me whenever one of my plants gets a flower.  The purple oxalis is also blooming.  It's so gorgeous.  I have a Hindu rope plant in it and one of those ubiquitous vines.  See ya later, djb

My red Christmas cactus

Friday - APRIL 1, 2005 - It's already April.  Yikes!  I have to call Kevin about the memorial table we're planning to get for the high school.  After the boys died, the kids sold shirts and "stuff" to raise money for a statue of Jarrett standing on his head.  They talked to a sculptor and he quote a price of $20,000.  Well, they didn't have that kind of money but they did raise a fair amount.  Enough to buy a concrete table with four seats.  We want to get it out there sooner rather than later.  Jarrett's class will be SENIORS next year.  That's hard to believe.  Time goes by so fast.  It'll go by even faster tomorrow night when we LOSE an hour.  I always find that amusing.  Let's pretend that it's 2 o'clock instead of 1 o'clock.  Okay.  I'm still moving my pictures around.  All of my Kodak pictures are gone.......  I'm not sure if I'll ever get them back.  There has to be at least 2,000.  So, you can see why I'd like to find them again.  bye for now, djb

My saintly boys and me

later (3/31) - I found this drawing and the Mom (heart) Love Jarrett insert in an envelope while I was cleaning out some things this afternoon.  Jarrett was probably 3 or 4 when he did this.  He may have given it to me for Mother's Day or he may just have given it to me because he was Jarrett and I was his mom.  Isn't it sweet?  Yes.  see ya, djb

Jarrett drew this when he was 3 or 4


Thursday - March 31, 2005 - Can you believe it?  25% of this year is almost over.  Then, we lose an hour on Saturday night.  Plus, yesterday, we had our FIRST tornado watch and HAIL.  Whenever you see (hear) hail around here, it means the air is very unstable.  I remember the huge super cell that came through in 1990 (right after we had moved here), the tornado system went right OVER our house and hit Plainfield.  That was very, very scary.  The boys weren't in school yet and thankfully Bob was home from work because he was sick.  It's funny because he's rarely ill but he's had the flu for the past few days, so he's been home.  I guess that's not bad (twice in 24 years!! haha).  But it is THAT time of year - volatile weather at every turn.  Of course, June 1st is the beginning of Hurricane Season.  Yikes and double yikes.  Grandma Burkholder still isn't back in her house yet!!  They did put the carpeting in the back family room.  She still has to get carpeting (maybe a Berber) in the front room.  I've been cleaning up my Christmas photos and newsletters this morning.  For some wacky reason in December, I made the background DARK RED with white type.  How annoying is that!  I'll be back later....maybe.  I have to get some coffee.  see ya later, djb  P.S.  I just made an AMAZING discovery.  It's techno-babble, website talk but suffice to say that I am thrilled because I made a Eureka type of discovery.  Hey Nick, you'd be very proud of me!!   

Dr. Jarrett being examined by Dr. Andrew - 1989

later this am - 3/30 - Earlier this month, I started waking up at 5 am every day.  Apparently, my circadian cycle is getting ready for the Spring Ahead, Fall Behind - Spring Forward, Fall Back - situation that will occur on Saturday night at 2 a.m.  I went back up to check on Bob, and he's still sleeping so I don't want to wake him up and ask him how he's feeling.  duh!  That's what they always do in the hospital.  C'mon, wake up and take your sleeping pill.  That's very funny.  Here's a picture of Bob and Jarrett, Christmas 2002.  That's when we gave Jarrett his regulation chess board and clock (that's what they're trying to figure out in this picture).  Since I'm talking about TIME, it only seems appropriate to put this picture in here.  It's TIME to go outside and do some more weeding.  Hasta la vista chicos y chicas.  djb

Bob and Jarrett checking out the clock on Christmas Eve 2002.  This is not a posed picture.  Jarrett is drinking sparkling red grape juice (it's NOT wine).

Wednesday - MARCH 30, 2005 - It's already 51 degrees this morning.  I'm not sure if Bob is up yet or not.  Yesterday, he woke up with the flu - the one that I had in December - respiratory type - not the barfy type.  Hopefully, he'll be better by Saturday so we can watch the University of Illinois play Louisville on TV.  For some reason, I forgot to mention that Bob and I went to the GAME OF THE CENTURY at the Allstate Arena last Saturday where the Illini beat Arizona.  It was just unbelievable.  When you hear them play back scenes from the game, you can hear me yelling.  ILL - INI   And I didn't even go to the U of I.  I'm caught up in the excitement.  We went to a game at the United Center in December.  THAT was exciting, too, for a different reason.  We were able to sit in a skybox - thanks to Tom.  And the amazing thing is that you can't buy those seats, someone has to give them to you.  The first thing all the ladies say is, "Yes, you have your own bathroom."  That's funny.  Plus, free food, beer, TVs, etc.  Oh yes, we also were able to choose desserts from the dessert wagon.  Oh my gosh.  How totally decadent was that!?  I was going to scan my ticket from Saturday, but I'm sure you can believe me.  I'll take a picture of my orange shirt to prove it!! Now, I have to check on Bob.  I'll chat later.  bye, djb

ANDREW shooting the basketball - JARRETT leaning on the basketball - two pictures put together to make one.

later today - (3/29) - I spent all afternoon in the yard.  It does NOT look like this yet.  One of these days, it will.  I have SO MUCH grass that I have to remove from this place.  But I can do it!  see ya later, djb

My flowers don't look like this yet.

Tuesday - March 29, 2005 - That reminds me.  Tomorrow is my half birthday!  I don't know anyone else who celebrates that day in their life!  I think I started it in grade school because a lot of my friends' birthdays were in March, so I had to do something!!  That's funny.  I'm totally excited about this weather.  That's one reason I'm glad that the Bergs moved to Florida.  In the midst of the coldest weather, I could always count on a few days/weeks of warm weather every winter.  Last week, it felt fantastic to be warm again.  sigh.....  It seems as though I'm going to have to fertilize Andrew and Jarrett's white pine trees.  They look a little weak.  Plus, I'm going to have to saw off another limb that's growing in the way of Andrew's tree.  Speaking of trees, I have to go into the cemetery and pick up all the "stuff" that's around the gravestone.  If my memory serves me correctly, I have until April 1st to get that done.  Andrew's little blue spruce is looking good.  Jarrett's tree (don't know what it is) looks anemic.  I'm not sure what I'm going to do about it but I do have a replacement blue spruce.  Not to change the subject, but I found this picture of the boys this morning - it was a Polaroid taken at Christmas.  They LOVED to play Mario.  I still remember when we got the "cheat codes" to beat the game.  WOW.  Was that ever exciting!!  I have miles to walk before I sleep, so I'll talk to you later, djb

Jarrett and Andrew playing Mario - I think it was before he became SUPER

later - (3/28) - I've been outside working in the big flower bed this afternoon.  It's 62 degrees here today and it feels like spring - finally!  The crocuses are fantastic and everything else is trying to break through.  I'm beside myself with joy because this is my favorite time of year - the time when my flowers come up.  In fact, while I was in Florida last week, I took some pictures of Grandpa's flowers.  Pretty soon, I'll have something besides crocuses!!  I have to get back outside - see you later.  bye, djb

SKY BLUE - it's an awesome vine that I've never seen before. 

BLUE SHRUB - looks like a phlox but it's not.

Monday - March 28, 2005 - We might see 70 degrees tomorrow.  That's just fanstatic.  Yesterday, we went to Krissy and Brian's house for Easter.  Karen, Derek, Bryar and Derek's brother, Andrew, were also there.  It was so nice, that we sat outside for most of the afternoon.  Bryar never stops moving - she's a perpetual motion girl.  Here are some pictures from yesterday.  See ya later, djb

Bryar, Milo, Derek playing with bubbles

Bryar on her little talking bike

Bryar with her basket - she was hunting for eggs in the yard.

MILO - "Say ah."


later (3/26) - When I went out into the garage this morning, I was completely surprised by the red hibiscus that stays out there all winter.  Lo and behold, there were TWO RED FLOWERS on it.  Of course, it reminded me of Andrew and Jarrett.  Last night, I was reading a book that said when someone dies, we don't have to look for huge signs from our dearly departed loved ones.  It's usually more subtle than that.  Don't miss the little signs.  I thanked the boys for their thoughtfulness.  Amazing to me.  bybybye, djb

ANDREW & JARRETT sent me some flowers to brighten my day.  God bless the saintly boys.

Saturday - March 26, 2005 - I've been working on installing anti-virus programs since yesterday.  It's driving me CRAZY.  Apparently, I wasn't protected from the evil doers previously - that's why my hard drive was whacked TWICE.  This is so annoying.  I have to go to the grocery store so I won't chat for long.  Here's a funny picture of Hobbes.  When I look at it, I think, "Yeah, the boys were still alive when I took this picture."  See ya later, djb

You've got your pink Easter bunny and your ORANGE Easter cat

Good Friday - March 25, 2005 - It's already Good Friday and Easter is Sunday.  Wow!  Time flies.  It seems like it was just Christmas.  Mercy.  We're having our usual yukky weather.  I'm not sure what the temperature is but it's NOT warm.  We didn't have snow last night like they said we would.  Maybe somebody did, but not us.  The University of Illinois won their basketball game last night.  woo hoo.  It's so exciting that they're still winning and they'll be playing on Saturday at the Allstate Arena.  Bob and I are going to the game because he HAS to go and he has tickets.  You can't just buy one ticket, you have to buy TWO.  It's going to be unbelievable.  All these old Illinois guys are going nuts (more so than the ladies).  It's pretty exciting.  It is time for coffee - YES!!  I can smell it.  ha.  Here's a picture of all of us guys in Florida.  It's nice because Andrew and Jarrett are older in this picture.  All righty.  See ya later, djb

Bob, Donna, Andrew, Jarrett in Port Charlotte, Florida

later (3/24) - Here's an interesting piece that was in the Compassionate Friends newsletter.

The Parable of Immortality

I am standing upon a seashore.  A ship at my side spread her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean.  She is an object of beauty and strength, and I stand and watch until at last she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and sky come down to mingle with each other.  Then someone at my side says, "There she goes."


Gone where?  Gone from my sight - that is all.  She is just as large in mast and hull and spar as she was when she left my side, and just as able to bear her load of living freight to the place of destination.  Her diminished size is in me, not in her.  And just at the moment when someone at my side says, "There she goes," there are other eyes watching her coming and other voices ready to take up the glad shout, "Here she comes!"

~Henry Van Dyke

Thursday - March 24, 2005 - I'm back from a week in Florida at the Bergs.  It was so restful and peaceful at their house.  It was just what I needed - some r and r.  Now I have to get back in the swing of things in Zone 5.  Grandpa and Granny had planted a bunch of gorgeous flowers in their yard.  It's a lot brighter now after they've had three huge trees removed.  When you walk in the yard, there are lizards everywhere.  I didn't see any of the green ones until yesterday.  One time many years ago when I drove down with Andrew and Jarrett, Bob flew down to drive back with us and somehow we brought a little lizard back in our trunk.  The boys thought it was extremely cool because they wanted to bring some of the critters back and I said no, I didn't think so.  Then, while we were unpacking the trunk, out jumps a little lizard.  How fun was that!  Here's a picture of Larry Lizard.  I'm going to continue with my update and import of the pictures that I lost when my hard drive was whacked.  So, I'll be back later.  See ya around, djb


Tuesday - March 15, 2005 - It's the Ides of March.  I should have been warned:  BEWARE the 13th of March!  Nick helped me get everything back in order.  Of course, I'm hitting the road for a week so you won't hear anything from me for 7 days.  St. Patrick's Day is coming up soon and I have to get my green skeedaddling shoes on.  Faith and begorrah, doncha know.  I found a picture of Bob and the boys from 1989.  Somewhere I have one of Hobbes sitting with the leprechaun.  I'll have to try and find that.  Everything is out of order.  My computer world is in chaos.  But thanks to Nick, I'm back.  hurray.  Have fun.  See ya later, djb (50% Irish)

Jarrett, Bob, Andrew on St. Patrick's Day in 1989

Monday, March 14, 2005 - Hard drive replaced yesterday, but no internet yet.  Mercy!

Sunday, March 13, 2005 - Hard drive was attacked!  Yikes.

Saturday - March 12, 2005 - Andrew's fish tank has left the building!  haha  It's in the garage.  Hobbes was quite fascinated by my cleaning project.  He supervised every aspect of the venture.  I spent a lot of time in Andrew's room yesterday cleaning up and cleaning out STUFF.  The amazing thing was that I didn't cry and I wasn't sad.  Once the 5th of March was over, it was as though they were telling me, "Okay, Mom, you had a year in shock and a year in grief.  Why you don't you try a different emotion for this coming year.....maybe happiness?"  We can choose to be happy or sad, I guess.  I'm sick and tired of being sad and mopey.  I'm sort of back to where I was a long time ago.  They're not coming back.  It was my privilege and honor to have been their mother.  I'll always be their mother.  But I have to DO something besides engage in what if's and why's and all the other unanswerable questions.  Futile, I say.  I'm thinking of cleaning the carpet upstairs.  Thinking....that's all so far.  It desperately needs to be cleaned.  Not sure if I'm up for that.  Probably not.  I do have to go into Elburn and mail some letters and buy some ketchup and cat food.  So, I'll either be back with more pictures or I won't.  HAHAHA   Remember, you're supposed to laugh EVERY DAY for 15 minutes at least.  Plus, exercise your brain to keep away the Alzheimer's.  eh?  Maybe I should put in a joke of the day.  yeah.  That's a good idea.  All righty....bye for now, djb

Jarrett, Me, Andrew  

Friday - March 11, 2005 - I can tell when it's time for Spring Cleaning since that's when I open the windows because it's warmer outside and the birdies are singing and the grass is starting to get greener.  Today is Spring Tossing Out Day.  Finally, I'm going to clean out Andrew's ciclid tank.  I kept those fish alive for a year after Andrew died but they just didn't make it through our trip to Hawaii or maybe it was later than that.  At some point in time, I'm going to get some more fish for the 75 gallon tank in the family room.  It's almost completely devoid of fish, except for a GIGANTIC algae eater (plecostomous) and some other smaller algae eaters, and I think there is one zebra daddio left.  hahaha!!!!  Andrew and Jarrett would get so mad at me for calling zebra danios - zebra DADDIOS.  I couldn't help it.  I thought it was funny then and I still think it's funny!  Seriously, I DO have to get started on my huge project so I'll check out for now.  Maybe I'll be back, who knows?  See youse guys later.  bye, djb

Jarrett playing chess with the BIG boys - except for that little kid sitting next to him.  

Thursday - March 10, 2005 - It's snowing as I write this.  We're supposed to get about an inch of snow.  Last week when it got in the 60's, most of the snow melted, so we were left with ugly looking grass.  Now, it looks pretty out there.  Pretty cold, too.  I found pictures of the boys wearing their new winter coats when they went back to school right before I had my splenectomy.  For Christmas (1995), Jarrett wanted a Notre Dame jacket and Andrew wanted a Cowboys jacket.  Bob was searching all over the place (mall to mall - store to store) looking for the jackets but he came up empty every time.  Then, on Christmas Eve, with time running out, he went into Tri-City Sports in Batavia and found both jackets in their sizes!!  As I recall, they were the only jackets left.  We called it a Christmas miracle.  They were both thrilled.  I think I took this picture on their first day back to school after the holidays.  It was the last day I had a spleen.  The next day, I went into the hospital for the surgery that was supposed to CURE me.  Of course, it didn't - but who knew?  See ya later, djb

Andrew wearing his Cowboys jacket (nice star)!


Jarrett wearing his Notre Dame jacket - Go Illini!

later - (3/9) - I just re-read what my horoscope said.  Yikes!  I'd better get busy and do something creative right now!  That's involves quite a wide rang of options, but I'll let you know what I decided to do.  hmmm  Previously, I had put our wedding photo on the Casa Page and then when I'd update, it would be gone.  So, I'm putting it on here for all time and for everyone to see how young-looking we were 20 years ago.  The little plaque on the upper right limb says, "Warning, Do not climb tree."  Of course, when I read that, I immediately wanted to CLIMB THE TREE.  haha  see ya, djb

Bob and Donna - March 1, 1985

Wednesday - March 9, 2005 - Okay, so I'm back a lot later.  Both of my horoscopes said to do something creative today.  I have no idea what that might be, but I always think that maybe the stars are aligned in a certain way and I should take advantage of that.  Or maybe I'm just a little nutty.  Yesterday, I found these pictures of the boys in the back yard the day that we saw the hot balloon go over our heads.  They're fun to see again because we were all having FUN.  It's still cold - see you later.  bye, djb

Andrew is swinging at the ball - you can see that it's still in the air because it has a shadow.  pretty cool.

Jarrett was doing different tumbling tricks while Andrew was batting - nice action shot.

This is what was going on overhead.

Tuesday - March 8, 2005 - It's very cold here today.  Right now, that's all I have to say for a while.  I'll be back a little later.  See ya, djb

Monday - March 7, 2005 - Dr. Willey was Andrew and Jarrett's dentist for years.  The first time a little kid went to his office for a checkup, his assistant would take a picture like these with their mouth open and then they'd get a red Crocodile Club tee shirt (plus, a sugar-free gum ball).  Last Thursday, Nick had gone in to see Dr. Willey for some dental work before he came to the cemetery.  While he was in there, Dr. Willey gave these pictures to Nick to give to us.  Aren't they hilarious?  And so cute, too.  When they were very young, they were often thought to be twins - they look so much alike.  We had such a surprisingly warm day yesterday.  It's going back to the deep freeze later today, but we had a fantastic taste of spring yesterday (in the 60's).  It's time to make the coffee!!  See ya later, djb


Andrew opening his mouth wide because that's what he liked to do!

Jarrett opening his mouth wide so he can be a member of the Crocodile Club



Sunday - March 6, 2005 - The sun rose earlier than yesterday on this warmer than normal Sunday.  It will continue to do that until June 21st when the daylight ever so slowly diminishes.  Hopefully, we'll be in a favorable weather pattern this summer which will bring us suitable temperatures for swimming every day!   We had a very uneven yet wonderful day yesterday.  The extremely cold and damp conditions that met us when we visited the cemetery at noon were unsettling.  We could only last an hour.  The sun came out later in the afternoon so I drove back in to Elburn with the intention of buying gas for my car.  Instead, I went to the cemetery.  There were more and more flowers there.  More and more people, friends, parents, former classmates, had visited the boys and paid their respects.  When I got home, the CREW was at our house.  It was awesome to see everyone again.  It alternately makes me happy to see them but it also makes me sad because Andrew isn't with them.  Stephen and Matt came by after the Crew left.  It was wonderful, comforting and so sweet and touching that all of these young people came by to visit us.  They were awesome two years ago and they still are awesome!  It was after 7:15 by the time we arrived at Blackberry and once again, we met and talked to and were comforted by more wonderful people whose children knew our children and just "happened" to be there.  My impression after this weekend is that contrary to what some people have said, the kids aren't OVER it yet.  It still affects them and still touches their hearts.  As I said before, God bless the children.  I have been working on moving all these pages around for over an hour and a half, it is truly time to get some coffee.  I'll see you later, djb

Andrew, Me, Jarrett - the green-shirt boys