Friday, July 2, 2010

My heart and mind is in Grand Marais, MI in the gorgeous Upper Peninsula with my entire family. My grandpa's funeral was today as was my baby sister's 21st birthday. I am sending my warm memories of grandpa via telepathy to the rest of the family, and I promise to plant something amazing next to grandpa's grave once we are allowed to travel. Grandpa taught me about gardens and the love that goes into them. He also taught me how to feel the beat of a song and how to drive a car. Every summer day during break, we drove down to Adam's Trail and back when I was fifteen. As we passed stretches of forest, Grandpa would share stories about Grand Marais' past, and his own past. I will always remember our one-on-one times... From early morning donuts (my family sent me "up the hill" to Grandpa and Mana's since I woke up too early and way too cheery as a little one) to those drives, Grandpa and his stories will play again and again in my heart and my head completely drenched in love and warmth. Love you, Grandpa! Love you, Krempa and Soldenski family!

Grandpa was probably laughing at me as I yelled at Mr. Coffee this morning, as in my coffee maker. I actually felt my adrenaline kicking as I shouted, "Hurry UP!" That'll show 'im, huh? Once I realized that I was bossing around inanimate objects, the fog started to clear a tiny bit. It is still foggy in this noggin of mine, but I will let myself be hazy today. I'm granting myself permission.

Last night was a tough one. Gideon got up many, many times to use the bathroom. He also requested a hamburger at 3am. Once I brought him the burger, he changed his mind and wanted pizza sticks. Then, more bathroom. Again. And again. And again. By the time 6am rolled around, my little one was wide awake. Like a broken record he kept yelling, "MOMMY! PLEASE get me a new monster truck!" I'm wondering if maybe he thinks toys just come to him in the night the way food has (recently).

Once we were all out of bed, I won't say awake since we were awake all night, Gideon requested eggs and bacon. In my dazed state, I got busy. Once I placed Gideon's feast before him, he screamed, "I don't wanna eat THA-AT! I want HOT DOGS!" Oh. I stormed into the kitchen muttering my annoyances left and right. Brody was sweetly coloring in the same room and said, "Mommy, don't be mad at Gideon. It is his medicine, remember? He is still Gideon." So, my eldest granted me a life lesson today. I needed that snap-me-out-of-it while I was dousing myself into my downer self-pity pool party. After having about 3 hours of sleep total, Mr. Coffee felt my annoyance. Sorry, Mr. Coffee. You have only helped me today. I guess it's true that we take out our frustrations on those we love the most, huh?

Gideon got another headache and slept for a couple of hours before we left for the clinic today. Once we were on our way, his headache subsided, and I'm convinced that was the result of Cathy DeVries' impromptu call and prayer. Brody spent his day perfecting his Spiderman costume and scaling buildings aka the fort outside. Gideon and I are currently finishing up his plasma transfusion (while watching Alvin and Chipmunks) and Brody is swimming at the Thornton's house. I am guzzling my Diet Coke and really would like the caffeine IV I had as soon as Brody was born (remember that, family? Funny times. I kept saying, "How come new moms complain about being tired? This is SO easy!" Hahhaha... Ignorance definitely is bliss, huh?).

To balance the horrendous night, I need to say that yesterday evening was the BEST evening since this diagnosis. Gideon helped Brody set the table and then the two of them sat down and played on the floor together. While their new Super Heroes battled one another (thank you, Deb Milka), I fought back tears and forced myself to video the moment in my heart. It is filed away for those moments when Gideon's altered persona rages against his brother and best friend. They were best friends again in this moment, and I savored it.

Ummm... I was just interrupted in a fabulous way! Nurse Jean, Nurse Gaye, and Dr. Mullins came in and serenaded us. Have I gushed enough about the staff here at the Clinic? If I haven't, I am now. They made me laugh so hard. I needed that laugh. Oh, endorphins! Please stay! Feel free to sing along with the following song to the tune of "You are my Sunshine"...

(by Betsy, the Music Therapist)

You're feeling gassy
Can't seem to go
Your belly's straining
about to blow
You are impacted
and feeling blue
constipation has got a hold of you!

Sometimes there's bloating
and belly aches
a lack of fiber
is all it takes
you need a softener
or milk of mag
Constipation, has made your life a drag!

May set you free
When on the toilet
you only pee (<-- PREACH IT! That was last night!)
Don't be discouraged
there's help for you
if the time comes when you cannot poo!


  1. Oh, Sweet Girl.......So many prayers and tears and giggles reading these beautiful postings by you.
    This too shall pass.

  2. You were all so missed today. At one point after the funeral some of us were discussing this actual possibility of Grandpa helping Gideon's angel... There are empty rounds and a booklet from the funeral on their way to you as well as many other gifts from loved ones in the north. :) I read a very poignant blessing referring to the family and loved ... See Moreones who could not be present due to illness, and I could feel a few dozen hearts very suddenly sending love to you from the pews of Holy Rosary. I love you so much!!

  3. I grew up in Munising! Just west of Grand Marais.... in fact was just there for a 25 yr. class reunion. I am wondering if this is Jen's Dad that passed... or her Grandpa??? So sorry to hear of it. Your memories of him sound priceless. Praying for you all and Gideon.

  4. We all had you in our minds and in our hearts that day. I think Annie is right that Grandpa is right there, watching over Gideon along with his angel. You were missed at the church, the cemetery, the Seagull, the Kamp, up the hill, and all over the town this weekend.

    There was a gaping Schripsema-sized hole that just couldn't be filled!! But, without exception, EVERYONE I spoke with mentioned all the prayers, love and hope that they are sending out to you... from the O'Brien's to the Schrots, to family members I'd never met before. Gideon's Army is growing larger and marching onward!!!!!
    ~~Aunt Nancy~~
    and the ravening horde ;)