This weekend could not have come soon enough! While we had tossed around going to Mom and Dad’s cabin in Spooner or up to see Judy and Sam in Walker, in the end we decided to stay home. We have been going at such a fast pace, staying home seemed to be the best choice this Memorial Day weekend.
This past week was a difficult week for our big guys. Some things were very sad and difficult to understand… like the unexpected passing of a Hastings High School student and other things little….like normal junk that kids go through and to them it seems just terrible at the moment, but they get through easily and move on.
Once again I was reminded that when our kids hurt so do Jon and I. As parents we want nothing more then to make things better, to take that hurt away…no matter how big or small it is. We know this feeling all too well with John and his fight with cancer. Of course this is on a totally different level, but oh my, how a parent’s heart can ache for their kiddos.
By Friday the guys were feeling better and we were ready to begin the long weekend. Michael went to work at Dairy Queen and the rest of us headed up to order a load of landscape rock and to get some flowers and vegetables to plant. It is always dangerous to take our little florist (John) in to any kind of flower shop. He loves flowers…all of them and any kind. He”ll just grab and start plunking them onto the two level cart.As fast as I am taking one off, he’s coming with two more and chewing me out for removing the one in my hand. I could hardly think straight because it was hot and humid in there and we had been picking up and putting flowers back for a long time! With sweat rolling down my back, I gave in and headed for the check out. I tried to get John to go to the truck with his dad and Jeffrey. His comment, “No way! I want to see how much this costs!”. This was my fear. I had no idea the money amount on those 2 levels of the cart, but I didn’t have a good feeling. John stayed with me and thankfully he got distracted by the suckers at the checkout…and the total wasn’t as bad as I had thought. 🙂
Once we were home I walked down to get our mail (I’m sure our mail person doesn’t appreciate that I don this only about once a week.) I was going through our huge stack of mail and Jon found me bawling in the kitchen. I’m not much of a crier and it’s a good thing because crying makes him very nervous. When I saw him I said through gulps, “It’s not bad, everything is ok. Jeanine took a job in Orlando and her last day at Children’s will be June 5th.” Poor Jon….his response to me, “We love Jeanine…..I think you need some sleep.”… to which I had to laugh. The emotions of the week had obviously caught up with me.
Jeanine is John’s Child Life Specialist. She was with us each and every step through John’s treatment. She was the one that had to tell him the tough stuff. She explained his cancer to him, told him his hair was going to fall out and why, prepared him for each and every surgery. Jeanine was there for the darkest days and the best. John didn’t let her “in” right away. You can’t really blame him…she wasn’t coming with much good news those first few weeks, but as time went by a beautiful relationship blossomed. John trusted Jeanine and looked forward to seeing her when he was in the hospital. There were many games of Trouble, Candy Land and Race to the Roof. Jeanine didn’t treat John like he was a sick little boy with cancer. She treated him like you would a 5 or 6 year old and helped him through all the steps it took to get through treatment.
Not only was Jeanine a gift to John, but she was to me as well. I would ask her questions on how to tell John information or how to handle any issues that we were having. Knowing Jeanine was on John’s Team was always a huge comfort.
So why the tears? End of the school year stress? Stressful week at home? Probably both of those things and also a feeling of , “No! what if we need you?”(You know….those scary thoughts of “what if if comes back….it’s not going to come back…but…” I do know that Jeanine will forever have a very special part in the Gegens’ hearts and know we have the perfect excuse to head to Orlando!
Saturday was a busy day around the house. The laundry machine was churning all day long and I was able to get out into the garden while John did some work in the yard. For the past two years Jon’s mom Judy has done a wonderful job of planting our garden and taking care of it. Saturday was my official return to our garden. I planted marigolds, tomato plants and a pumpkin plant. I also planted some of our patio pots. I would take breaks to play catch with John or watch him swing his clubs in the backyard….it was a very productive day
Sunday had Michael heading to Canterbury Park with friends for a music festival and Jon and I headed back outside to work. More plants were put in their place and more rock spread. We decided it was time for a little fun and headed to Prescott to play a par 3 course there. The only golfer in the bunch is dad and he was very patient with the three ding-a-lings he was stuck with. We had a good time and no one took a ball or club to the head!
John had his regular labs and physical this week. His counts look good, but there is a little concern over his most recent hearing test from May. These test show that John now has some low frequency hearing loss on top of the high frequency hearing loss he already has. We will go back in a month to have him retested and we will go from there. John has been doing well, but we miss hockey for stretching and strengthening his legs. I’ve been trying to get him out on his bike more. Today when we were walking during golf and not riding in the cart he said, “I know why you are making me do this….exercise.” Yep.
The school year is winding down with only 8 more days for the kids. If you are wondering what a first grade classroom is like at the end of the year here’s a story for you.
On Friday I had dismissed the students from sitting on the carpet by me back to their desks. I had them move by calling their tables so everyone would move slowly and safely back to their seats. I called one table and before I could stop it …and in 1 swift motion, a little boy ran across the room, slid across his desk top and landed in his desk with more flair than I ever saw Bo or Luke Duke slide into the General Lee! . Once in his seat, my friend looked up at me waiting for what was going to come next. All I had for him was, “Next time could you please make a different choice when going to your seat?”. He smiled and nodded his head yes. This is just one little moment of the many the next 8 days will be filled with.
After all the work and play….I am exhausted! I am heading off to bed.
I hope you all had a wonderful weekend with friends and family.
Special prayers to our friend Josh as he is at Amplatz going through the stem cell process. Keep on keeping on my friend!
Love, Hope and Blessings,