Uncle Robert’s Funeral Decisions

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Yesterday evening, we found out that my Uncle’s funeral would be in Liking, Missouri. That’s about 4 hours more of drive (not to mention stopping for eating/bathroom/gas breaks) one way than last Saturday (6 1/2 hour total last Saturday). Which means, that’s additional 8 hours of drive plus stops- which just seems a bit challenging- with a toddler.

Don’t get us wrong, Jaiden did a great job of putting up with such a long drive  last Saturday. Towards the end of the trip, he did become very crabby and wanted things his way. He would not reason with me at all- he wanted to HOLD his TV (DVD Player) that was strapped on the headrest of the passenger seat. Earlier, he did, and he broke it! Lucky, I’m have a knack of fixing things when need to be, I got it to work again, even after his Uncle tried to fix it! 😉 Yay. So, I told him he could not hold it anymore and that it’s staying on there from now and on (only for trips). The crabbiness lasted for about an hour, and the secret was Joe’s MOUNTAIN DEW! 🙂 He was a happy kid afterwards, didn’t have much left in there so Joe gave it to him to finish it off. Not the way I would have wanted it to be, however, it did the trick and he was calm for the rest of the trip home. 🙂  

Not only that, but that’s additional cost of gas, food, plus we would have to stay overnight at the hotel- it’s 10 1/2 hour drive, no way we could do it in one day like we did last weekend. After some serious thoughts, and discussion with Joe, we decided not to go to the funeral. It hurts me, but I know that if my Uncle was alive, he would just say that he’s grateful that we came down to see him last week, and not to worry about coming to his funeral. That’s just the type of guy he is, very laid back and “cool.” With that, I must make peace with that, and use our funds towards paying off our debts, instead of getting ourselves in more debt.

Also, with that being said, eventually I would like for us to purchase a water fountain, in memory of our loved ones: Baby C, Uncle Robert, Aunt Kathy, Joe’s brother Mark, Joe’s father, Joe’s other father- Ron, and so forth for those people that we have lost in our lives. That will be our summer project- including that to our landscaping. 

I’m definitely grateful that we had the opportunity to see Uncle Robert last week. Yet, I’m worried that I would be judged by others because of this decision we made. I should not worry about that, and just focus on myself, and our family. I’m the type of the person that does worry about what others think of me, and that is something I need to work on myself, not to worry about what others think of me/us. 

We will be keeping everyone in our thoughts and prayers the next several days as they lay Uncle Robert to his final resting place on Saturday afternoon. We love you all! ❤ -M 

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Bad Daddy Moment

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There are several however this one was pretty bad. It was January 1999 my oldest son who was almost 2 at the time had been put down for a nap and I was enjoying the NFC championship game. For those of you who do not remember the Vikings had an incredible team Randall Cunningham, Randy Moss, Chris Carter, Robert Smith, Jake Reed, and Gary Anderson did not miss a field goal all season and that is just a few names. We were a Lock! Finally I get to see the Vikes win a Super Bowl. Well all you Packer fans know that didn’t happen and BTW all you packer fans can kiss my ass! 😉 Anyhow, we were playing the Atlanta Falcons at home, it was tied up 17-17 there was about 90 seconds left in the game and the Falcons had just punted the ball to us. One of the most prolific offences in NFL history was taking the field, they huddle… they break the huddle and come to the line… Cunningham barks out the cadence… and takes a knee?!?! All my emotions boiled over! I jump to my feet and yell “NOOOO YOU STUPID FUCKING COCK SUCKERS”! within a second I hear a tiny voice come from my sons room “fucking cock sucker” OMG I am the worlds worst Dad! I just taught my son what exactly not to do and say. After about 30 minutes of trying to change the subject, cartoons, toys, and anything else I could think of he stopped saying it. If you are a Vikings fan, you understand and have already forgiven me. If you are a Packer fan… Kiss my ass. 😉 -J

Even in sorrow we will find levity!

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It was the spring of 1995 and my family had just lost one member. I was 24 and my 27 year old brother Mark had passed away in his sleep. Mark was a big man, His height was 5’8″ but Mark weighed about 350 pounds. Mark was a good, old soul with a heart to match. I come from a family with 5 boys and 4 girls 9 years before this we had lost our brother Tim in a motor vehicle accident so the Men in the family began to feel a bit cursed. Anyway, during Marks wake we were listening to the eulogy given by our priest. I was sitting in the front row, 2 seats to my right was my brother Mike and in between us was our 5 year old nephew. As the Priest was speaking about Mark and his life the urn with Marks ashes was sitting to the Priests right. We all had our heads bowed as we were beginning to shed tears when my nephew leans over to my brother Mike and ask’s “Uncle Mike, how did they fit uncle Mark into that little box?” With tears in our eyes we began to laugh and laugh hard! People began to think we were loosing it as they were rubbing our shoulders and consoling us. Later that evening we shared our story and to this day it bring one more smile to our faces that Mark provided. -J

Uncle Update & Donate.

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This past weekend, when we saw Uncle Robert, he was still responsive. He even sat up on his bed, and walked to the bathroom all by himself like a trooper that he has always been! I did find it very hard seeing him the way he was, and couldn’t help thinking, really– it took them this long to find out that he has cancer in his blood. Makes me upset, and it makes our family upset too.The simple fact that my Uncle went to hospital on weekly basis to get rid of fluids his body accumulated due to his kidney issue he was having. He was on waiting list for years, I mean, YEARS- over 5 years, for a new kidney. Still, I cannot help wondering, why did it take them so long to find out that he has cancer in his blood?  When they found out he had that, my Uncle was given two weeks to live. You can image the utter shock when my family found this out. He was given hope years ago, he was hanging onto it that he would eventually get a new kidney. No luck, as soon they found out he had cancer, he was taken off the list immediately. I cannot help but feel that Missouri does not have a good health care. Yes I’m upset. We are fortunate to live in Minnesota, we have excellent medical teams throughout the State, and have wonderful health care.

Monday night, my Uncle Robert was in so much pain. He couldn’t keep down any fluids & food, he was feeling starved. He was unable to get rid of his waste. That makes me wonder if anyone from the Nurse/Hospital encouraged him to drink prune juice? I remember when my Grandpa Eugene was dying, I remember that he drank prune juice. It really helps. Heck, I have even used it with Jaiden when he was struggling at one time.

Tuesday morning, he became unresponsive. 😦 On Tuesday evening, April 17th, he passed away. My cousin Whitney sent me a text to say “He’s gone” 😦 The world stood still, it literally frozen, my heartbeat skipped a beat- I started sobbing. I’m upset. I’m very sad. I’m also happy that he’s not suffering anymore, and not in pain, yet, this is a man we all loved very much and I miss him so much!

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This is a good time to ask all of you to consider adding “D” to your Driver License (or Identification Card)– to donate your body parts when you pass away. The day I passed my driving test, and went into DMV to fill out paperwork for my driver license, I added “D” to donate. I am happy to know that when I pass away, I’ve given others a chance to live their life with any body parts. Lets join, add D to your DL/ID, and give life! 
Thank you all for the love, thoughts and prayers. Hugs. -M

JJ found the laundry chute!

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Soooooooo JJ has this thing where he knows his Mother is Deaf and takes advantage of the situation. Today he told Mommy he needed to go potty so as a big boy he goes up to the upper level bathroom and does his thing. I received the picture below today from Misty to see just what his thing was. The subject said “Oh he is in time out”! I laughed for about 20 min straight (that is how long it took me to drive home to ensure the safety of all) Image

Misty was (to say the least) Pissed!!! I am sorry but this was just funny!!! I can see him in my minds eye finding different items to throw down the chute. I was not kidding when I said “this is my life” I see myself kinda like a planet. Yep, I have a gravitational pull and if you sling shit in my vicinity eventually it will slam into me. 🙂 The good thing is my laundry room is now minty fresh!!!! -J

Carnival Fun.

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The year was 2005 and I was running the Maintenance department for a private school in St.Paul. Every spring they had a carnival put on by the school and run by the kids. This was always a very fun event and it was in my eyes necessary that the Maintenance department be very much involved. I had a rather new employee working for me at the time a 22 year old young man named Matt. Matt was a very motivated, smart, fun and a bit naive young man with a big heart, I am happy to say he and I are still friends today. This carnival like most had booths that you could do various things at. So as Matt and I were walking around looking at all they had to offer we noticed there was a “Colored hair spray booth” we decide this would be a good place for us to start having some fun. Matt decides he will go first. Matt does not have hair and he shaves his head so any color he chose would stand out. Matt sits down and tells the little girl he would like Blue on his head the little girl agrees and hands Matt the towel to cover his face. Matt bows his head, covers his face. I take the blue can of hair spray out of the little girls hand and replace it with florescent pink! He looks up, catches his reflection in the window ask whispers “you are a dick!” to me. I barely heard    him through mine and the children’s laughter. He demanded I have my hair painted yellow and to be a good sport I agreed. I have very dark hair and when done you couldn’t even see any yellow. Next we moved onto the face painting booth. Matt demanded I go first this time in order for him to be able to keep an eye on me and I agreed, I had them paint a hammer on my cheek. Matt sits down and asked for a saw, but what Matt didn’t know is earlier when he turned around to look at some of the other booths I told the girl doing the face paintings “no matter what he asks for, you paint a rainbow on his cheek!” She did!!! So now he has a pink head and a rainbow on his cheek. Matt also when embarrassed his face would turn bright red… awesome!!!! About an hour later our boss Randy comes down from the upper school to check things out sees Matt and begins to shake his head and laugh. We begin to talk about some things we need to do to begin prepping for the spring season, he looks at me and asked ” did you guys take the winter air out of the tires on the tractor?” I looked at Matt and asked “did you?” ( I knew right away where Randy was going with this) Matt looking confused says “no??” ” How do I know if it is winter air?” Randy proceeded to tell him he needed to go purchase a summer air gauge to ensure he was putting in summer air. Matt hesitantly turns around gets in the truck and heads to the hardware store. Randy and I laughing over ourselves are calling the hardware store to be sure they have some fun with this as well. Matt returns about a half hour later with… see below.

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They sold him a digital tire gauge!!! Awesome!!! I will keep this tire gauge for the rest of my life! I see it and immediately see Matt with his florescent pink head, rainbow cheek, embarrassing blushing cheeks walking into the store asking for a summer air gauge. 🙂 I know Matt will read this and laugh. Remember when the most important part of your day was screwing over your friends. 🙂 -J

Our Day Trip to Missouri.

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Yesterday morning, we woke up at 3:45am, and quickly got ready, loaded up the car, set up DVD player (thank you Papa for that!). Lauren and Brandon arrived, and we took off, filled up our car with gas and got coffee for Joe. We hit the road by 4:45am, along with dense fog we had. Hard to see, it’s still dark outside, and we literally had our eyes opened on the road the entire time. We couldn’t wait until the sun comes up, thinking that the dense fog would pass… Nope, as outside become brighter… sun couldn’t come through, it was still fog at 6am… 7am…  I checked my phone, the weather bug said that we were under dense fog advisory through 9am! Just before we got into Missouri when the fog finally lifted up. Still, there were no sun.

We met up with my mom, grandma Marjorie, aunt Barb and cousin Darrell for a quick-lunch at Waffle House. Much to my shock, a male was sitting at the end of the restaurant, smoking! What? I thought there were law throughout the United States that were no smoking in any restaurant? Maybe it’s just certain states, for which I’m THANKFUL that Minnesota banned smoking all/any buildings (except for Casinos). Nothing beats to the heart of our stomach, breakfast meals!!! 😀 Our food was absolute delicious! We were stuffed, and ready to go see Uncle Robert, & rest of the family. During our final stretch to see Uncle Robert, 10 miles of driving, up and down on zillion hills, sun finally peeks out of the clouds, Jaiden saying “wheeee” every time we went down the hill. 🙂 It was calm and a perfect drive. We saw many cows, baby calves! Oh, and yes, we cannot forget, my favorite, HORSES! I dream of owning a horse someday.

Weston, Missouri was absolute BEAUTIFUL rusty small town, yet they had “lively” downtown, beautiful homes, and many antique stores. We went to Uncle Robert’s home, yes, he was discharged from the hospital on Friday, and went home with hospice care. It’s official, no turning back. Nurse had just left, and I was greeted by my cousin Danielle who I haven’t seen in years! And her beautiful girls who all were excited to see all of us, definitely not the shy type you usually see in kids. Right away, they all wanted to be picked up and sit on our hips (that includes Joe, Brandon and Lauren), like Jaiden was on mine, as we walk and chat. 🙂 Zoe right away asks Jaiden to go play with him in the backyard. My cousin Whitney comes out, and we give her a birthday cake as her birthday was couple days before– 19 years old. We also said hellos to my aunt Tammy.

We come inside and see our cousin Levi, who we also haven’t seen in YEARS. Such a fine gentleman he has turned out to be. We see Uncle Robert sleeping in his bed in living room. Nurse said it was time for his nap just before she left, so we chat, and get caught up with news, Jaiden plays with my cousin’s kids and all is good. I’m standing there, and thinking… how is that even possible. Reality hasn’t really set in that he’s dying. I just wanted him to wake up, so I could give him a hug. He finally wakes up, and falls right back to sleep… 10 minutes later, he’s actually awake, and looked over to grandma, asks her to come over right away. Aww. My heart just ached. No mother should ever bury their own child, yet, Grandma’s going through loss of 4th child in her lifetime (two in the past three years, Robert will be her 3rd in three years). I see her, she’s standing and talking, yet, staying strong. My Grandma’s truly a STRONG woman.

Everyone goes to say hi to Uncle, and he sees Jaiden running around, and says “Hey JJ” and he looked around, smiled and said hi and goes right for me. That’s when I finally come up to him and say hi, gave him a HUG. He asks how I am doing, and I said I’m good. I wished at the moment, I had banana bread that Jaiden and I made for him, but I had already given it to aunt Tammy, and it was sitting in the kitchen. I’m really not good with words, let alone having difficult time communicating with my family, yet, I LOVE my family, bottom of my heart. I ended up just looking and watching him the entire time, pet their turtle (Thanks cousin Whitney for showing me how!), watching Jaiden run around and play with the kids. Three hours later, Uncle Robert was going back for his 3rd nap since we were there, we bid our final goodbyes and he hugged me firmly, I said my dad said hi (Thanks to my brother, Brandon, for interpreting that) and I had to quickly walk away. I grabbed Jaiden and headed for the bathroom while I tried to stop myself from crying. Jaiden went potty, then I went, and we said goodbyes to rest of the family, and left. I have cried plenty this past week, and I know I will cry more. I just needed to stay strong for my whole family.

Off we went, headed right back home and tried to somehow beat the storm that was heading our direction. It rained on/off, lightly and as soon we hit Des Moines, we knew we were in the middle of it. We stopped for dinner at Pizza place (new place we tried this year!, so that makes it THREE!). It’s pouring really hard… we look outside, and it’s lightning. Radio comes on and says we’re under flash flood warning. We enjoy our pizzas, then we got back in the car and continued our trip back home. It’s raining hard. Cars are driving slow. Cars are driving fast. We could barely see the road, at this point, we just want to be home. Rain finally lights up just shortly before we entered Minnesota, and then it became windy. What’s next, we wondered.
Nevertheless, we were just glad to be safe, and still on our way home. We finally pulled into our driveway right at 11pm! That’s the story about our 19 hours trip. Thank you all for the prayers for a safe trip. Needless to say, it was a terrible day for driving. So thankful for the chance to see Uncle Robert again, and get couple more hugs from him.  – M