"Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase"

Martin Luther King, Jr.



Monday, March 25, 2013

Chemo Progress: No. 4


The day after her mother passed away, Mom began her 4th series of chemo and 3rd month. It was such a difficult week and very stressful. I was worried that she wouldn't be able to grieve the loss of her mom because she had to schedule in fighting for her own life. It's understandable. We all have to find ways to cope. Just last week she was in the hospital for a few days with another stent infection and a few other combined issues. She's back home as of Saturday but admits things are getting more difficult. We're looking forward to special time together in May. Until then we are hanging on for the ride and griping with white knuckles. I'm still so comforted by her sweet voice and positive attitude.

Love you Mom! Just Keep Swimming!

In Memory of My Grammie


On March 11th, Lois Ahrens passed away. She was so much more than just a name. Lois was my Grandmother, and my Mom's Mother. When I was little I decided to call her Grammie. I certainly didn't make up the name Grammie, but that was news to me! It's been difficult to find the desire to write about it because I miss her so much. I've missed her often since I moved away 16 years ago. Although we lived far apart we always remained close in our hearts. During our visits it would almost hurt as we would look at each other and imagine not living so far apart. We have such wonderful memories growing up near our grandparents and spending time with them. We would often have slumber parties. I loved dinner at Grammies because she would always butter and salt her veggies and offer us special cookies from her cabinet of assortments. The best was sneaking into Aunt Barbar's bubble gum stash or Boppie's Chiclets. After dinner, when it was almost time for bed, I loved listening to her dishwasher as we would eat our Breyers mint chocolate chip ice cream from a tiny white dish. Sometimes before bed we got to pick a mini cereal box and it was always a fight for the Cocoa puffs! Grammie knew how to spoil us every chance she could. I loved taking a bath in her claw foot bathtub and wrapping up in her towels scented with a fabric softener I wasn't used to smelling. The silly little things that bring you comfort and stick with you are so powerful. Honestly I have pages and pages of them filed away in my memory. Playing piano, hammock swings, vintage Barbie dolls, playing dress up, poached eggs, piƱatas, Charlie's chips, bird watching, playing pool, Sears catalog shopping, cozy fires, and the list just goes on. The most important thing on my list would be looking into her eyes and feeling such love and comfort that only a mother can give. My Mom's Mother was simply amazing and will always remain one of the most special people that I will ever know. May she rest in peace until I see her again, one day.

Love you Grammie,
Jess

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

A Cancer Benefit

Date + Time
Saturday, April 6th, 2013 // 12 PM - 11 PM

Place
Piper Glen Golf Course // 7112 Piper Glen Drive, Springfield

Music
Whirled Peas, Mike Burnett, Out Of The Woods and Leaving Ashland

Suggested Donation
$10.00 for individuals // $25.00 for families

Contact Information
Barb Brewer 217.793.3475 or busymommy4@aol.com
Coleen Orme 217.691.6230

Live Auction
Starts at 4 PM by M.T. Vann. Silent Auction, Food, 50/50 tickets


A message from the family

Every life is filled with different challenges, but nothing is more important to one’s existence than support. In this particular 4-year fight against cancer we could not have made it this far without your selfless and unwavering encouragement. Just when things seem hopeless our path becomes a little bit brighter because of you. We are in awe of the family, friends, community at large and even complete strangers who have come together to help us in this fight. Throughout our journey, Mom has always been a self-sacrificing provider, raising and protecting her children from the trials and tribulations of life. Now in her greatest time of need, it's our turn. It goes without saying that words alone cannot relate our feelings to you all. We thank you in advance for your understanding and support in this cause. We are humbled and truly grateful.

With Love,
Jessica, Jaclyn, Jenelle and Josh


Monday, March 4, 2013

Looking Forward


Mom was always so great about keeping me excited and movivated about life. Whether it be nervousness for a school project, a play, memorizing countries or even trying to get up in the morning! She surprised me with special little gifts, cards, sayings or my favorite cereal so that I could have something to look forward to. Mom would always encourage me to try new things and to do my best. I was a horrible basketball player but still felt fantastic about giving it a try!
I know she's trying to do the same thing in her own life fighting cancer and I'm trying to help, but my words are different and not as great as hers. After we received the news that her cancer was back I was at a loss for words. I wondered what she would say to me if the roles were reversed. So I asked, "Mom what would you tell me if this was happening to me?" Her reply "Just listen to your body, stay positive and take one day at a time." That was probably the most difficult advice she could have offered to me, while applying it to herself. We can be silly like that, even during the worst times. We are all so much alike and understand each other even if there aren't any words to say. She's the best Mom ever! I appreciate and remember all of the special little things she still does for us! Now it's our time to give back and share with Mom what she's taught us along the way. Taking one day at a time, keeping positive and taking action when needed... We can get through this and... Have something special to look forward to!

Love you Mom!