CURRENT JOURNAL (February 1, 2006)
2/17 - LATER TODAY (after the disaster!) THANKS NICK!!!
I'm back up and running. Hurray! Everything came back except
the banner and links on the Home Page. Oh well, at least with
your help and amazing expertise, I am once again back on line.
It was a nightmare because everything on my website
disappeared. It reminded me of the time the Guestbook went
away. That was my fault (operator error). This time, I didn't do
anything to cause it. yikes! See ya, djb
Jarrett and Nick in the family room a
few years ago
Friday, February 17, 2006 - I just can't believe that it's already the
17th of Feb. When I got the post on the guestbook from Carolyn, it
reminded me that I have to put the Pinnacle back on here so I can burn
that Loch Ness DVD for anyone who wants to see it because it's so
hilarious. I'm serious when I say, every time I watch it, it cracks me
up!!! So, I know I'm assured of a good laugh every time I see it. I have
to get the newspapers and eat my Special K so I'll be back later. I
found all the pictures of the 50th wedding anniversary that I was looking
for! Either the boys or St. Anthony helped me. I love looking at the
pictures of Andrew and Jarrett. They never stayed still and Andrew
never stopped talking!!!!!!!! bye, djb
later (2/16) - Thanks to everyone who came on here yesterday and visited the website. It was Andrew's birthday. If you've
never lost a child, you'll never know how I feel. But then, I lost two children, so that's even more unbelievable. When Bob and I
went to the Compassionate Friends meeting last Monday, someone said to me, "I can't imagine losing two children." What do
you say to that? I think I said, "You're right. It's unimaginable." Everyone who is there has lost a child. The price of joining that
club is not worth the price of admission. But you go there to be with other people who understand how you feel. We hadn't
been there in a long time. It was more my decision than Bob's. When I went there last Monday, I saw people who were raw
with their grief. It was heart wrenching. It made me realize how far I have come. But then, a day like yesterday comes.
Andrew's birthday. One of those days I always celebrated - for 17 years. That's a long time. Now, he's dead. I don't get to
celebrate his LIFE any more. It's kind of weird and sad. It kind of makes me become introspective. More removed from the
People don't really want to hear about sadness. They want to hear about happy. I don't have that feeling right now. In a couple
of weeks, I get to remember that three years ago my children died. How freaking happy do you think I feel? Not so much.
There's a book out now about someone who is reliving her time since her husband died. Well, darn, she wasn't even related to
him! Then, after the book was published, her daughter died! So, I can relate to that. Isn't that just something beyond bizarre?
If you are reading these words, you know that Andrew and Jarrett are dead. My kids don't live here any more. I'm beyond
being consoled. I'm resigned to the simple stark fact that they are dead. That's heavy duty shit. (excuse my French). I don't
know what I'm supposed to do. I'm trying to do everything within my power to ameliorate the grief that I feel. But I can't. I just
miss them too much. All I want is for them to be back here with me. I don't understand any of it. I try. Every day, I try to
understand it, but I can't. Every single day I pray to God to give me strength and hope. I honestly feel like Job. Hello God, it's
me Donna, can you hear me? It's just beyond my comprehension. Sometimes, I just wonder what is the point of all of this?
Then, I'm reading in today's Elburn Herald about Caleb Yinger who
died. It just breaks my heart. It's completely putting me over the
edge. It's very hard to understand. Seriously, I don't get any of it.
The school brought in their counselors, etc. However, they can put
on their dog and pony show on Friday, but on Monday, you better
be over that grief crap. Because we're back to being "NORMAL."
Jarrett's classmates are NOT over his death. He died three years
ago and they are not over it. They have NOT forgotten him. The
powers that be at the school are telling them to not dwell in the
past. However, everything that happened with Caleb brought it all
back for them. All of the suppressed grief. Jarrett was not a
normal person - he was a genius and then some. He was
someone you remembered. That's why I'm so sad tonight because
they're going to pull the same crap when Caleb's classmates want
to remember him in a couple of years. GET OVER IT. Trust me,
they'll do it. Dead kids - too sad. Can't handle it. We'll never
forget them, though. Neither will their good friends and
classmates! Good night my sweethearts. I'll love you forever and
a day, Mom
Jarrett, me, Andrew - our last picture together -
February 15th - 2003
Thursday - February 16, 2006 - It's an absolutely horrible looking day outside - sleet, rain, hail, very dark and later on snow. I
even heard that we're supposed to get thunder. Yikes! That's a lot of weather! I'm waiting (patiently?) for the FedEx guy to
bring Bob's new cellphone (because I have to sign for it). Yes, it's true. He's finally decided to enter the high-speed, instant
access 21st century - not quite kicking and screaming but sometimes you do have to be like everyone else! Just in case....
We didn't get an answering machine until some time after the mid 90's because I kept missing calls from the doctor's office
and the labs calling to give me my platelet count which was always crucial info since I had to know how many platelets I had
before I could drive. If they were really, really low, I drove with extreme caution. FYI: if you have less than 20,000 platelets,
you're considered to be in critical condition because your brain can hemorrhage at any time without even knowing it. Plus, all
of your blood can come out of a cut because it won't clot. This is what I dealt with for years and years and years. One time, I
scratched a mosquito bite and I had tons of blood dripping down my arm. It was gross. That's when I knew I had to get a CBC
and find out how many platelets I actually had. Very annoying.
That's one reason I didn't become a nurse because of the blood thing and the fact that I'm extremely afraid of needles. So,
what happens? I get a rare blood disorder and I have to get stuck with needles every other day for years. I guess that proves
that God has a sense of humor. Either that, or my real name is Donna Job. Although, it's interesting that I'm in remission now
with my ITP and I have to thank the saintly boys for that. After they died, I only had one minor relapse....so that's been almost
36 months. I used to go in for IV gamma globulin infusions every three weeks for a while. Those were the only times I wasn't
here when the boys came home from school. They'd go to a friend or neighbor's house. I was never very late but it always
bothered me that I couldn't be here. But it took 6-7 hours to get that stuff pumped into my veins. Oh, the vein thing. They'd put
the IV into the vein right on top of my right hand. You want to talk about PAIN. The most painful pain. You know it's coming and
you know it's going to hurt so much (the word excruciating comes to mind) and there's nothing you can do because if you don't
get the IVGG, you'll die.
This all started in 1995. After a while, I was able to search the internet - which was a total hoot in the old early days - not quite
as well organized as it is now. Plus, add to the fact that with a rare disorder, there isn't as much research or literature out there
anywhere in the world. Now, they have a wonderful support system online. The one thing that I do remember feeling was that if
you went into remission, you were good. As long as you were sick, you were doing something wrong and you were bad.
Believe me when I say, I did EVERYTHING I could, I tried everything that was out there except for chemo. Then, one day, I
discovered dexamethasone - a very, very strong steroid - which worked to bring my platelet count up but it made me psycho.
When I say psycho, I mean it!! Every time I'd have to take the dexamethasone, the boys would stop Bob at the door and warn
him that Mom's on the wacky medicine, would you please take us somewhere to get away from her! I'm laughing as I type this,
but it wasn't really funny. It was a long, strange, scary road that we all traveled for more than half of their lives.
later this same day - I wrote those paragraphs above before the THUNDERSTORM arrived. We had thunder, lighting (lots of
that), heavy rain, hail, sleet and very dark, ominous-looking skies. It was about two hours of serious weather. I had to unplug
the computer "just in case" because Bergy's computer got hit by lightning a while back, and it burned out his hard drive. I had
just turned this baby back on and sat down to finish this so I can put it up on the www, and the FedEx guy came with Bob's
package. Now everything is right with the world once again. later, djb
Me with Aunt Vada and my gigantic balloon head - later
that year, I lost 60 pounds on the diet that only two
people have lost weight on. Maybe three people. It's
one of those once in a lifetime deals - kind of like
getting hit by an asteroid or winning the lottery.
This picture is on the Boys' Stone link -
but you can see what I mean about the
later (2/15) - I went into Elburn and put some
flowers by Andrew's side of the gravestone.
After I took the picture, I noticed that Jarrett's
side looks a little bare, so I'm going to have to
put something on his side to make it balanced.
Then, when I got back, Irene had sent me a card
with a picture entitled "Unequal balance." How
interesting and cosmic. ~djb
this picture is called: Unequal Balance
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ANDREW,
Searched and searched for a perfect card and then saw this one and just loved the colors.
Thinking of and missing Andrew. Love, Howard, Irene, Chris and Patrick
Brandon's mom, Kathy, sent
me this card. It had some very
soothing music with it, too.
That brings back a memory. We were living here, so it was sometime between 1990 and 2000. All of us had the flu at the
same time! It was just unbelievable. I can't even describe it. There were bodies lying all over the place in various stages of
nightwear, plus some people were hot, some people were cold so there blankets and empty Gatorade bottles everywhere. It
was such a disaster. Of course, I had to drag my sick self downstairs and get medications for everyone. It was horrible. It
was a nightmare. It was awful. I'm so glad I can still recall fond memories from days gone by. I crack myself up all the time.
see ya later, djb
Mary went back in the hospital last night. They let her out the night before at around 5 pm. She went home Monday night with
CHEST PAINS. Hello? Are there any doctors in that city who know what the hell they're doing? Then, yesterday morning, she
took Alyssa to the doctor because she had the flu (fever, aches, cough, etc.). I'm not sure of the chronology but at some point
she went to her doctor and he CALLED AN AMBULANCE and had her taken back to the hospital. I don't know WHAT is
going on there but it reminds me of Diane and her hospital odyssey in the same hospital system. It boggles my mind. How
could you send someone home with chest pains and you know she has blockage in one of her arteries. Article in yesterday's
Wall Street Journal: Women's Hearts are Different than Men's. Gee! ya think? Plus, their arteries are smaller. Imagine
that? I can tell you this, if someone sent me home with chest pains, I'd go sit in the lobby of the hospital and wait for the
eventual heart attack and save myself another ambulance ride. She's already had two heart attacks plus a stent. Pardon me,
if I'm just slightly incredulous. PLUS, today is her 20th wedding anniversary. She and Steve haven't even been able to go out
to dinner or anything. Plus, he has to stay home with Alyssa because she has the flu and you can't bring to someone else's
house because then their kids will get the flu.
Wednesday - February 15, 2006 - If Andrew were still on the earth,
we'd be celebrating his 20th year as Andrew Robert Burkholder,
instead we remember this day by looking at pictures and trying to
recall all the excellent and hilarious anecdotes we can before we get
too senile to know our own names and even more forgetful than we
I know for sure that IF I could actually speak with the boys, they would
both tell me to "don't worry, be happy, we're fine." That would be so
easy for them to say - well, apparently not, because they haven't
done it YET!
20 years ago (two decades!) at this
moment, you were born - imagine that!
An e-mail card from Grandpa
and Granny - Just sending a
smile your way.
A card from Aunt Diane -
Thinking of Andrew - his
friends called him "Dolphin" -
among other names!
A card from our compassionate friend,
Front of the valentine from Andrew to me
Inside the valentine from Andrew
Front of valentine from Jarrett to me
Inside the valentine from Jarrett
Donna, Dennis, Steven in February 14, 1957 - 49 years ago!! I'm holding my decorated shoe box
for my valentines that I will get at school. In those days, we had to give a valentine to everyone
in the class. Now, that I think about, Andrew and Jarrett did, too. I remember the lists of
names....probably still have them!
Tuesday, February 14, 2006 - VALENTINE'S DAY!! I have a bunch of old Valentine cards from the turn of the century I'm
going to put in down below. Most of them are from 1909 from Bob's grandmother. They're a hoot. I totally love them.
We heard some interesting news from a student at Kaneland High School that the kids shouldn't talk about Jarrett
because, '' it will just bring back bad memories." This comes from a person in authority at the present
time who wasn't even at the school in 2003. Bad memories?? The outpouring of love and support for the entire student
population AND for us was beyond awesome - way above and beyond - people stepping out of their restrictive boxes and
supporting us, being kind and wonderful. Apparently, he got his information from a "tainted" source or maybe he's just ignorant.
This once again reminds me of that excellent article, THE MYTH OF GETTING OVER IT. Someone make a copy of that from
my website and give to him. You know who he is. In fact, I just realized something. This really irritates me and I think I know
why. For one thing, it's about education. Isn't that what our schools are supposed to do - educate children? It isn't about
building brick and mortar sterile boxes to corral the teeming masses. It's about teaching something solid and useful.
I must confess the other thing that bugs me is that I used to be like him (saying stupid things). That is, until my children died.
They were always my greatest and best teachers, and they're still teaching me from the grave. I've got bad news for everyone:
you're all gonna die! Can't get out of here alive. At some point, you may not have to deal with the deaths of your children but
you are going to have to deal with it some day, some way. My question would be, when you die, do you want everyone to
forget about you and just "get over it?" I think not...
After Jarrett died and then when Andrew died in the hospital, our first and foremost concern was for the students at Kaneland -
their classmates and their friends! What could WE do to ease their pain? What could we do to help them through their grief?
Everything we did was always in consideration of the students' feelings. So many people helped these kids - teachers and
parents and Conleys and counselors from near and far and they helped each other. There were counselors at the school the
rest of the week and also at the visitation. It was a horrendous, horrible week - and then the next Monday, they were supposed
to magically GET OVER IT and move on. Anyone who says this or thinks this way apparently has never lost their child or their
CHILDREN or their classmate!!!
My message has been and always will be: YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN so be nice to your kids and
your loved ones. Treat the ones you care about with kindness, love and respect. When you say good-bye or see ya later, it
could be the last time. You don't want your last memory (which will stay with you forever) to be something you wish you hadn't
said. I really should've stuck with teaching, I might have made a difference. hmmm But I could never take the bureaucratic
bullshit! Money was first on the list and the kids were last and everything else was in between. Doesn't seem like anything has
changed. good (heart) day to you all, djb
They did use a lot of purple flowers in their cards
Cupid is sitting on some flowers...
To My Valentine
Another one from 1909
This is the front of the valentine (it's quite large) and inside
is the page that's below...
I made this page larger than the others, so you can read it - what a hoot!
On the bottom it says, Auto Know Better (so clever!)
Said Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater, "Most charming Valentine, My love
for you grows deep and deeper Since first I made you mine."
Monday, February 13, 2006 - I put a link to Caleb Yinger's obituary on my home (casa) page just in case you can't find it in
the paper (a wonderful angel sent it to me). I've looked online and I can't find it in any of the area newspapers. I thought it
would be in the Aurora Beacon-News or in the Kane County Chronicle but I can't find it. Since I don't have any children at
Kaneland High School any more, I don't know what goes on there except what I hear through a very tenuous grapevine. That's
the last place my children were alive so it will always have a special place in my heart. They drove out of that old, crappy
parking lot and never made it home.
There's one thing I remember that the kids told me about the situation at school after Andrew and Jarrett's funeral - the people
in charge told the kids to "get over it." They didn't want the kids to talk about DEATH. Remember the last two years when the
students at Kaneland High School wanted to remember their classmate, Jarrett Burkholder (and Andrew) with a moment of
silence on March 3rd? The administration fought it tooth and nail. You HAVE to grieve when someone dies. If you don't do it
for that person, then you'll just have to do it later. We never asked for the moment of silence - it was the students who wanted it.
You absolutely have to honor a classmate when they die in whatever way you possibly can. No one lives in a vacuum - no man
is an island...
The best thing you can do, if you're a student at Kaneland and you can't
go to the visitation for Caleb because it's just too sad, is to write a
remembrance note or a note of sympathy to his mother. As the years
go by, she'll have something tangible. She'll be able to read the
Memory Catchers in her own good time. Those are the things a parent
has left because once someone dies, there are no more new
memories. As these past three years have gone by, all I have left of
Andrew and Jarrett are memories, a lot of pictures, and yes, those
videos, too. God bless Caleb and God bless his family. ~djb
Sunday, February 12, 2006 - It's Abraham Lincoln's
birthday today. In three years, it'll be the 200th year since
he was born. hmmm I'll have to read the Gettysburg
Address today. Mary (Steve's wife) is in the hospital with
what? - they're not sure. That's always nice. Over the
years, she's had two heart attacks and a stent put in so at
least that gets the medical people's attention.
She and Steve (my brother) got married the day that
Andrew was born 20 years ago this coming Wednesday.
Andrew was born the day AFTER Valentine's Day. I've
always associated that with his birthday. Bob usually
gets me exotic flowers for Valentine's Day, so we'd still
have those around on Andrew's birthday, and it always
Plus, I'd put up that goofy Happy Birthday crepe paper
thing. The boys just always accepted whatever I did. It
was okay with them. It's very sad. I'm not sure how long I
can do this. Sometimes, it just makes me feel worse. djb
Me holding that BIG baby Andrew - less than a
* * *
Granny when she was about 5 or 6 - her feet don't touch the floor - pretty cute.
later today (2/11) - Yesterday, while I was looking for something else, I found this speech that Jarrett presented in 1997. The
only reason I know when he gave it was by the fact that he mentioned it was 150 years since Thomas Edison was born - so I
just added it up and voila! I wish I could put the Loch Ness Monster video on here. It is so hilarious that every single time I
watch, I totally crack up. Plus, all four of us are in it which makes it even more special. All righty, I have to be going now. see
ya later, djb
* * *
Here's a pencil from Thomas Edison's Gift Shop!
|Thomas Alva Edison
by Jarrett Burkholder (written in 1997)
[If I can, I'll have someone turn off the lights just before I begin my
speech. Then, when I raise my right hand, they can turn on the lights.]
Thanks to Thomas Edison, we have lights in our classroom and in our homes. Many other inventors were also working on
making an electric light, but Thomas Edison was first. Thomas Alva Edison was born February 11, 1847 in Milan, Ohio. He
died in West Orange, New Jersey on October 18, 1931. He was 84 years old. This year was the 150th anniversary of his birth.
Thomas Edison was a clever person. His mom's name was Nancy Elliot Edison and his dad's name was Samuel Odgen
Edison. The house that Thomas Edison was born in was built by his father in 1841. Young Thomas was always asking
questions, and he would try experiments when possible. When he was told that geese hatched out of eggs by sitting on them,
he made a nest in the barn, put some eggs in it and sat on them for many hours.
One day while he was experimenting with fire, he burned down the barn. His father called out all the neighbors and their
children and whipped him in the village square. Sam Edison did not like his son. He thought Thomas was stupid. Actually,
Thomas did not start school until he was eight years old because he was sick with scarlet fever and other childhood illnesses.
After three months of school, he walked out when his teacher told him that his brain was "addled" (which means stupid). After
that, his mother taught him at home.
He started working at the age of twelve selling newspapers. Then, when he was fourteen, he became a "candy butcher" on
the local railroad. When he was fifteen, something happened that changed his life. He saved the life of a toddler and was
rewarded by the father who taught Thomas how to send messages over the telegraph.
For many years, he went from job to job as a telegraph operator. He worked in almost 12 different offices. All the time this
was going on, he kept reading books and doing experiments. But he also looked like a bum. His hair was a mess and his
clothes were big and baggy. He never gave up and he kept on trying more and more experiments.
His first invention that he got a patent for was a vote recorder. He took it to Washington, D.C. but they didn't want it. After that,
he decided to never invent anything unless someone needed it first. Thomas Edison invented many, many things. He
received a couple thousand patents. One of his most important inventions was the electric light bulb. He experimented on
6,000 different types of vegetable fibers to be used for the filament. The filament is the little thing inside the light bulb that lights
up and gives off light.
Finally, he discovered that a strip of bamboo from a Japanese fan worked better than anything else he had tried. He got in
touch with an old Japanese man to supply him with the right kind of bamboo. Instead of staying lit for 10 seconds, this one
stayed lit for longer than 300 hours.
In conclusion, I think Thomas Edison is one of the smartest inventors to live on the face of the earth. If you want to read about
an interesting man, pick up a book about Thomas Edison or when you go to Florida, you can visit his winter home in Ft. Myers.
His house was next door to Henry Ford's house, and they even have a laboratory that he used when he was there. I saw it
myself, and it was very interesting.
Saturday - February 11, 2006 - We heard some very sad news when we went out last night. A sophomore at Kaneland High
School died. His name was Caleb Yinger. I put his obituary on my links because sometimes it's hard to find them and I know
where all the obituaries are since I read them every day. I really can't comment on this situation because I don't know him or
his mom but I do know people who DO know him. They all say he was a really nice kid. I don't know what happened. It's just
I put a link to Brandon Ackerman's website on my Home Page. His mom has done an OUTSTANDING job of putting it
together. It took me months to even figure out what I was doing and she's got it up there in a flash!! Kudos to Kathy! It's really
comforting to be able to see the pictures of our children who no longer live on the earth. I'd much rather have them here in
person but that's not gonna happen...so we gotta do whatever we can to get by. God bless all of us. Some days are a lot
harder than others. later, djb
Uncle Al (the kiddy's pal) with
Andrew (big mouth) and Jarrett
Friday - February 10, 2006 - Tomorrow is
Thomas Edison's birthday. I would suggest
that if you have any burned out light bulbs,
you might want to replace them today so that
they will all shine brightly on his birthday!
I don't know why I'm fascinated by Thomas Edison's life but I am. Plus, I love his estate in Ft. Myers
Uncle Everett and Uncle Russell - I'm
not sure of the year but I'll bet my dad
Thursday - February 9, 2006 - My uncle
Everett is in the hospital. He is one of the most
favorite people in our family. He's a total
sweetheart. I found this picture of him with his
children and I'm going to put it in here. Say a
prayer for him. God bless Uncle
Everett!!!!!!!!!!!! bye, djb
Marilyn (with eyes closed), Larry, Cindy (my birthday twin)
and Uncle Everett at Trevor and Missy's wedding.
a little bit later (2/8) - This is what I've got - kindergarten, second, third and fourth grade class pictures. What a treasure. It's
fun to see all the young faces again. talk to you later, djb P.S. I'll bet I have the first grade picture somewhere!
Jarrett's fourth grade classs
Jarrett's third grade class
Jarrett's second grade class - 1995-1996
later (2/8) - After reading Hannah's post in the guestbook, I had a sudden flash of remembrance - I had pictures in Jarrett's
folder in my desk of certain classes taken over the years - I don't have every year but I do have a few of them. So, for Hannah
and Jeannette, here is the picture of Miss Pierson's kindergarten class (1993-94).
Plus, I guess I must've been the picture lady because the kids drew me pictures and Miss Pierson had it made into a book so
I'm also going to put in the picture that Hannah drew. It's too, too cute!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love it. After I put those pictures in, I
wondered if Jarrett had drawn a picture and sure enough, he did. It's down below called, "Cats Incorporated." It's too funny.
Jarrett's kindergarten class - once again, Hannah's got a bow on her head! Isn't she
cute...well, they're all just adorable. Jarrett has a mark under his eye. I can't remember exactly
how that happened. There are so many possibilities...
"The Happy Sun" drawn by Hannah. You can see the stairs inside
the house. It's a truly precious treasure!!
Jarrett's drawing - "Cats Incorporated" with the little stick person saying,
"Come down (daun)." I have NO idea what this is all about. Maybe he had
just learned how to draw a cat. I don't know!!! It's a hoot.
Wednesday - February 8, 2006 - It's cold here today. The sun is shining and the snow has all melted. A week from today is
Andrew's birth day. The day he was born. How amazing that if he were still alive, he'd be turning 20 this year. I wonder what
he'd be doing now if he hadn't died. Would he be going to school? Would he have a job? Lots of questions come to mind.
Well, I know for sure what Hobbes would be doing if he hadn't died, he'd be taking a nap! And Jarrett, well he'd be at school
right now. Unless, of course, he had one of the FUOs that he always got....what's that you're wondering --- fever of
undetermined origin. I was the worst mom in the world because if they were truly sick or if they just felt sickly, I let them stay
home from school. One year, I got a letter from the Regional Superintendent about Andrew being a TRUANT. What a riot.
As soon as I got the letter, I called the office and was told that the Superintendent was out of the office at a school. I knew it
was a lie because it was 3 p.m. on a Friday. He was out playing golf or on his way to his vacation house in Galena. Yeah,
duh. What do I think I am - stupid? Not. I think I wrote them a letter and explained that I didn't send my kids to school when
they were sick so they could spread the germs around to everyone else. Plus, I always called in every time they were sick, so
I didn't really appreciate the harassment. That is one thing I don't miss - having to deal with the "system." Isn't it interesting to
read the quote on the Casa Page from James Madison....two hundred years ago, he wrote that and here we are today with
the new Medicare prescription disaster program for the senior citizens. Who are these people making the laws and when will
they go away? I think that grade school kids could probably run things better. Better go. bye, djb
Andrew holding little Hobbes -
he was about 4 months old in
this picture - no, not Andrew, he
was about 10 years old.
Jarrett holding baby Hobbes - I
sent these pictures to Grandma
and Grandpa and now I have them
Tuesday - February 7, 2006 - Last night, Bob and I went to the monthly Compassionate Friends meeting. We haven't been
to one in a long time. For some reason, while we were in Florida, I felt that we should go this month. I forgot that they always
light a candle for anyone having a birth or a death anniversary in the month, so I lit a candle for Andrew's 20th birthday next
week. Next month, we'll light two candles for their death dates. Sounds creepy, yeah I know, but it's my reality. I did have
some unexpected excitement yesterday while I was in and out and going here and there and yonder.
Krissy came by and left some unbelievable treasures in the milk box. It's a post card album that belonged to Eva Gulso - she
got it for Christmas in 1907. So, next year, it'll be 100 years old. Yikes, that's old. Here's a copy of the front and the back of
one of the postcards that was in the book. Apparently, in those days, you sent post cards (aka postals) to tell someone to write
you a letter or scold them for not writing. They're absolutely hilarious!!! I have to get them in order and put them with the old
Minnesota pictures. I'm trying to remember what year Mammy was born. I recall that it was 1896 but I'm not sure. We went to
her 100th birthday party right after Kylie was born and Kylie is 11 so that's about right. That would make her 12 years old when
she received this postal from her friend, Grace. It's an absolute hoot! bye for now, djb
Sent from Carwin, Iowa on July 14, (P.M.) 1908 - postage cost 1 cent
To: Miss Eva Gulso; Watkins, Minn.
Dear friend, We had a fire yesterday morn. It burnt all the office in side. It was
about half past 5 in the morn before any of us kids were up. Pa yelled Fire and
we all got up. Everybody thought sure the hotel was going to burn up. ~Grace
Front of the post card - I have no idea WHO these sailors are,
where they came from or where they're going?
Monday - February 6, 2006 - Bob got home last night after 8 o'clock after being gone since last Tuesday. It's the first time
I've been ALL alone without the boys and without a critter (unless you count the fish - which I don't) since I can't remember
when!!! After Snowball died, it wasn't too long after that we got Hobbes. A few months, I guess. I remember when Aunt
Anna's cat (that mean old cat that was 18 years old - the one that bit her and she got infected and had to go the hospital for a
week or so and was really, really sick for a long time) had to be put to sleep. That was on July 1st and by July 3rd she and my
cousin, Mary Margaret, had to go to the shelter and get another cat because Mary Margaret told me, "it was just too quiet
around the house without a cat." Isn't that a hoot!!? And I know exactly what she means! That's the funny part. I'm so warped
right now that on Saturday, I came across the kitty "Office Assistant" for FrontPage and he's sitting here on my screen while I
type this. Every once in a while, he meows and I like that. Okay, so I miss my cat and I miss my kids. What can I say.
Hobbes sleeping on the
comforter made from
Today, Judy is having her gall bladder taken
out. So, please send her some good vibes
or a prayer or some flowers....I don't think
candy is in order. haha. Thank you very
much! I'm going to put that cool picture of
Kathy in here...the one from Judy's wedding
where Kathy looks like an angel. She was a
sweetheart and we do all miss her.
Our sweet angel Kathy
Speaking of sweethearts, I found a great picture of Alyssa with Grandpa and Grandma that was taken a long time ago. Plus, I
had this bad lighting picture of Jarrett - as usual on my old camera, the flash didn't work, so when I scanned it in here today, it
looked pretty good, so I'm putting that in here. And since it's getting close to March madness, I decided to put in the picture of
Andrew with his trophy for making the most three pointers in the three point contest. Oh yes, we know, the ILL - INI lost by one
point on Saturday night. Oh mercy. That's a tough one, and they were at home - very sad for the youngsters and their
FANS!!!! :( It's time to go. I have to go to the store again.....is that ALL I ever do? No, not really. But once you go and then
get back home, you realize that you forgot something that you wanted to buy but you didn't. Oh great I just checked the
temperature, and it has warmed up - it's now 20 degrees. whew. A heat wave. Enjoy my variety of pictures. see ya later, djb
Grandpa, Alyssa and
Granny - she's so little
Jarrett around 2 years old - this came
out really good considering the
original photo looks dark and grainy
Andrew and his crooked smile (this was during
his Elvis phase) with his BIG basketball trophy
later today (2/5) - Still Patrick's Birthday!!!! Happy Birthday, Patrick!! I found Andrew's autograph book from 6th grade in a
box of the boys' artwork. I think it's absolutely precious!! Plus, I found a picture of Jarrett's baseball team. I'll put that here in,
too. Totally sweet. bye, djb
Andrew's Autograph book - 6th grade - Kaneland Elementary School
A page from Andrew's 6th grade autograph book - I had to do a little cleaning up because the
signatures on the back of the page showed through. Plus, I took the phone numbers off. Don't
need any anonymous hang-up calls or annoying solicitors.
I notice that Jarrett and Chad signed this page, plus Liz, aka Lizz. These must've been written
on the bus. The initials HAKAS stand for "Have A Kick Ass Summer. Of course, once the
teachers found out that the kids were writing that in each other's books AND what it meant,
they put the hammer down. Of course, if you wrote it on the bus away from school, you could
get away with it. You go, Lizz!! hahaa Of course, you're busted now! I love the memories of
it all and how cool they thought they were!!
Jarrett's baseball team when he was 8 - I take my hat off to the person
who had the foresight to put their names directly on the picture!!
Sunday - February 5, 2006 - HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO PATRICK. I thought of his birthday too soon and then too late
to send a card but I'll do that later today. For now, this is what I've got. Happy birthday to you... lalalalalalaaaaaaaa What a
great day to have a birthday. People are having parties all over the place in your honor - sure, coincidentally, it happens to be
the Super Bowl but I'd imagine that they're celebrating my birthday. That's funny. Last week when I was going through my
pictures, I found one of my cousin, John Powers, and his family. This morning, all of sudden, I remembered that he played for
the Pittsburgh Steelers many years ago. Also, Notre Dame and the Minnesota Vikings. So, in John's honor and memory, I'm
going to put their family picture in here. He died of leukemia when he was 39 years old. When the astronauts landed on the
moon in 1969, I was at their house with Uncle Jerry and Aunt Opal. I'll never forget that. It's one of those events that happen
that you always remember where you were when it happened. I have to do some cleaning so I'll see you later, djb
John Paul, Phalynn, Bobbie, Richard
and John Powers (former Steeler
and Viking!) - Christmas 1971
a little later (2/4/) - It's snowing outside and it's getting
colder and colder as time goes on. I think winter has
Here's me in Florida around 1978 when I
got my short haircut. It didn't last long
because I didn't know how to style it!
That's pretty funny.
Andrew's picture from his junior year. I
said it looked like a mug shot - he said that
all his friends did the same thing. Who
came up with that great idea?
a bit later - I just re-did this entire page. Now, I'm going to re-do the Casa Page. Buena suerte to me. bye, djb
Saturday - February 4, 2006 - It's cold here again - brrrrrrrrr. But I'm really not complaining. When I went out to get the
newspapers this morning, I went over and looked at my big flower garden in the front - there are critter print indentations in the
dirt. It doesn't look like they were trying to dig up the bulbs, although it is possible. Now, I'm going to have to go out there with
my baby powder and spread that around a little bit. That keeps them from smelling the bulbs. Although they won't eat anything
related to the allium family - so I've got that goin' for me. I'm going to put in some pictures from Jarrett's fourth grade class
picnic at Lion's Park. It's probably easier to see who is there. I have a few other ones also to put in (after I scan them). My
problem right now is the incompatibility of my Casa Page and my server. duh. I have to completely redo my Casa Page so it'll
look a little different. Either I do that or some day, it won't work at all, and we don't want to have that situation!!! I'd better go,
as Robert Frost would say, "I have miles to walk before I sleep." see ya around, djb
The fourth graders standing around awaiting their instructions
The fourth grade class having fun - 8 years ago this coming May (1998)
Mrs. Romack's fourth grade class at Kaneland Elementary School posing for a picture
later today (2/3) - I had to go back to FrontPage 2002 because I just
found out that Yahoo doesn't support 2003. Yikes! Gee, too bad I didn't
know that before I bought it! A lesson has been learned, I guess. I'm so
happy - not! Let me see if this baby is going to go through. talk to you
Gale Berg on leave from the Air Force
Friday - February 3, 2006 - It is one month until the 3 year anniversary of Andrew and Jarrett's accident. On that day, it will
be 1,096 days since Jarrett died and 1,094 days since Andrew died. For some reason, I started watching Oprah last night at
11 pm after the show had already started (it's the rerun from the morning show). I don't know if you saw it or not, but it was
Susan St. James (who is from Illinois - solid midwestern girl) and her husband, Dick Ebersol and three of their sons. A year
ago at Thanksgiving, remember that accident out in Colorado where the plane crashed right after she had left the plane and
started driving to their home in the mountains. Her husband and two sons were going to fly out east somewhere.
After the crash, they couldn't find Teddy. He was 14 years old and was missing for 12 hours and they didn't find him until the
next day when a crane lifted the airplane up and his body was under the plane. Dick and his other son had very, very serious
injuries. It was heart wrenching but I couldn't stop watching it. Of course, it made me cry. If you didn't see it, then suffice to say
that it was very powerful. If you did happen to see it, then I don't have to tell you how vital it is to have the support of your family
after someone dies or more than one someone dies. Everything changes. That's one of the things that Susan St. James
said. How true. What seemed important before they died, just isn't that important any more. Amazing to me. bye, djb
Bob's cousin, Barbara is on the left and
he's on the right. She died in Africa while
her parents (his aunt and uncle) were
missionaries there when she was very,
very young. He's never seen this picture.
His mom gave me the original to enlarge
and here it is.
later today - I found the picture of Grandpa Burkholder in the sailor suit!! Hurray for me. Here they are - 66 years separate
these two photos. Amazing. see you later, djb
Glen Burkholder in 1922 in the sailor suit and Jarrett & Andrew in the sailor suit in 1988
February 2, 2006 - In case anyone is interested, I just saw this in the Woodstock paper:
Groundhog Days events will begin with the
Lighting of the Groundhog at 7 p.m.,
Wednesday, Feb. 1, on the Woodstock
Square. The Groundhog Prognostication will
be at 7:17 a.m., Thursday, Feb. 2, on the
Square. Groundhog Wine Sampling Social
and Groundhogs on Parade Contest will be
from 6:30 to 9 p.m., Feb. 2, at the Old Court
House Gallery. Tickets are on sale at the
Woodstock Chamber of Commerce and the
Woodstock Public Library. Call 338-2436.
Thursday - February 2, 2006 - Groundhog Day! It always reminds me of the movie of the same name that was made in
Woodstock IL quite a few years ago. I love that movie - maybe because I know where everything that's local is located in the
movie. My friend, Leslie, lived there at the time, and she dragged me over to see the house that Bill Murray stayed in. It
wasn't too far from where they lived on Hoy Street. Of course, that's in McHenry County where my maternal great
grandparents settled. Let's see if I have a picture of them. I just checked, and I do. I'll put that in here because it's such a
treasure. Catherine has such a sweet expression on her face.
The day I went out to the cemetery and took the pictures on the Remembering Andrew and Jarrett page, I also took the
pictures of the two yellowish hibiscus. That's a message from the boys. I think it's the "hang in there" message which I always
appreciate. Thanks, Guys! And, I did start my painting yesterday. It's a been a while since I've painted, so right now it looks
a little too bright. Over the years, my painting teachers have always said that "less is more" when you're using oil paints.
That's kind of hard to follow when you're all excited to put something down on the canvas. I think the reason I started painting
again was because I was reading about old people starting things at a late age, e.g., Grandma Moses didn't start painting
until she was 75. So, I said to myself, "hmmm, I'm not even THAT old yet guess I'd better get the paints out before they get
bad and yukky." It's something that I love to do and I have absolutely no idea why?! Hey, no WHY questions allowed!!!!!
haha That's funny. Gotta go make some coffee. see ya later, djb
Catherine and David Walsh - my great grandparents
Hibiscus from Heaven.........
Wednesday - February 1, 2006 - As soon as February 1st rolled around, I realized that I had to make a remembrance
page for Andrew and Jarrett - it's the link up above. If I don't remember them, who will? (rhetorical question) I put my easel
up in the dining room and pushed the table over by the fireplace and I have a picture that I've wanted to paint ever since I
saw it. Now, to get to it and do it. Good luck to me. I want to put in these things I found that the boys did. They're very cute.
I'm glad I saved them. gotta go. bye, djb
Andrew made this book titled: The Icky Bug Book -
probably in first grade. I think it's hilarious.
He wrote: There are icky bugs in this book. There is
something funny in this book. There are Lady bugs, fire flys,
Jarrett drew this guy with big muscles, big hands, a thick
neck not much hair, lots of teeth and nice straight legs. I
think he's positively gorgeous (September 1993)
FAVORITE SAYING: Most people would be satisfied
with the money they have - if somebody else didn't
have more. ~Sam Ewing
Hibiscus from Heaven.........