Sorry, I know you were all dying to see five more of my memorable days, but I took the last couple of days off. I decided not to bore you all with a list of my favorite athletes, plus I just haven’t had time to write up a list. You know, give it what I’ve got to make it a decent read. I still don’t have much time but I’m going to do my best to write this final list then get back to my weekly updates…hooray!
If you recall, a few days ago I listed five of my most memorable days in my life. I told you about my proposal to Lis, our wedding, our reception, the day Lukas was born and my first baseball game I ever went to.
I’m going to finish up with five other days that I will never forget. Again, they are listed as TOW (The One With/Where/When), the way all the “Friends” episodes were named.
Let’s begin with a day that is still fresh in my mind…
TOW All the Surprises – August 19, 2006
It seems like just a month ago we were celebrating my
Grandparent’s 50th anniversary, and well, it was about a month and a half ago that we were. Though it is still so fresh in my mind, that day and that weekend will never be forgotten.
I look back on that day and remember the fun I had. We spent time with the family and my brothers and I got to show the rest of the family that the little annoying boys they knew of, were actually older annoying boys that were also funny and could light up a party. We’ve been known to do that.
I’ll also remember that weekend as an emotional time. Four months after the passing of their baby boy, my Grandparent’s were celebrating their anniversary. What was supposed to be a time to look back on the wonderful life they had together was spent being sad because a big part of our family was gone.
Mostly though I’ll remember the numerous times my Grandparent’s were surprised. We surprised them the night before with a limo ride and a trip to the Space Needle for dinner. Then the next day when our guests appeared one-by-one from behind the bushes with golden balloons, leaving them in complete shock.
We will probably never again have a day like that. But for that one night in August we celebrated 50 years of my Grandparent’s and the family they built. And boy was it a blast!
TOW the Test – February 27, 2004
We walked through Fred Meyer past the pharmacy when jokingly Lis asked if she should buy one. We had talked about it before but had never seriously thought about doing it. “What if?” We thought. We weren’t ready for this, not yet.
We thought about if a bit and then she grabbed the pregnancy test.
We grabbed our groceries and headed home. I had to work that evening. It was a Friday night during high school football season, so I was scheduled for 9 p.m. I told Lis to try it but she wanted to wait. I’m sorry, I couldn’t wait. I had to know the results. She tried it and we waited…impatiently.
Minutes later she flipped over the test and we checked it with the box. Then Lis covered her mouth, began to cry and walk backwards. I couldn’t believe it either. We were both in shock. We hugged and cried and I headed to work with a heavy head.
All throughout my shift I looked up stuff about being pregnant and what you can expect. When I got home we tried it again and again it came up positive. We were going to have a baby, what do we do next?
The next night I worked again. Lis dropped me off and then later picked me up. When she picked me up she was crying. She had been bleeding and she was scared. We didn’t know what we should do. Should we go to the hospital, which is a couple blocks away from my work, or just wait until Monday? Should we ask my Mom? If we do then she’ll freak out thinking about a grandchild and wouldn’t be able to give us a straight answer.
We decided on the hospital. Unfortunately, the ER was the only thing open and they weren’t able to answer our question about if this bleeding is normal, we either needed to be admitted or come back another day. We were admitted. We got there around 11:30pm and didn’t leave the ER until almost 5 a.m. and in between that time we found out we were having a baby, got an early ultrasound, were told it would be due around October 25 and were told to be careful because a miscarriage could happen.
That evening we told Randy and then told my parent’s that we were going to have a baby. My Mom screamed and cried and screamed and cried some more. She was going to have a grandchild at last. And Lis and I, not planning to have a kid, were going to have a baby in 7-1/2 months.
TOW Busting Makes Me Feel Good – October 31, 2002
As you get older Halloween usually becomes less of a big deal. You get invited to parties but struggle to find a decent costume and ultimately end up going as a boxer, mime or ghost. In 2002, I thought I’d try to find something for me and my brothers to dress up as.
We had the Three Amigos sombreros so I thought we could go dressed as the Amigos. I searched all over for the costumes, but unfortunately, came up empty. With just a couple of days until Halloween we had nothing. Then an idea popped into my head…Ghostbusters!
I jumped online and did a search for Ghostbuster outfits. It looked easy to make, except for the Proton Packs. I called up my brothers and our friend Wes. They were all in and would pay whatever it took to get the costumes made. I bought the jumpsuits, the patch, the belts and the elbow pads. My Mom sewed the patches on and Erik got to work on the Proton Packs.
On Halloween we strapped on our uniforms and immediately knew we had something special. The suits were great, the Proton Packs – made from cardboard and pipe covering – made the costume spectacular.
We put our packs in Wes’ Expedition and headed to the bar. We had just planned to stay in town but once we walked in the door and everyone started shouting “Who you gonna call?!?” we knew we had something special. We hung out for a few minutes and then headed to Seattle. We were aiming for the big time.
Once we stepped out of the car we again heard “Who you gonna call?!?”
Everywhere we walked people stopped and said “Ghostbusters! Alright!”. They took pictures of us, a taxi stopped and shouted “Who you gonna call?!?”, and everytime we entered a bar people would stop to pose for a photo with us. Even a band, playing at one of the bars, stopped mid-song to point us out and again shouted “Who you gonna call?!?” We were like celebrities.
We went from bar-to-bar, never really stopping for a drink. We were getting more attention than I ever thought we’d get, any of us thought we’d get. We went to one bar and made it into the costume contest. We easily made it to the finals and then won the prize for Best Costume, winning $200 and a snowboard. We had made our money back from making the costumes, plus some.
Our night didn’t end there. We walked up and down the streets of Seattle, posing for photos, replying to everyone’s question with “Ghostbusters!”. We did everything but sign autographs.
Our night ended in the morning. At 4 a.m., after we hit up all the after-parties, the ‘Busters were done bustin’. We just had the night of our lives.
We went out the following year and got the same reception. After that Wes moved away and Erik got invited to his friends pimp-and-ho’s party or white trash party.
Last year, Randy and I zipped up the suit and headed back out to the bar. And in a glimpse of the past we were again treated like celebrities. The DJ played the Ghostbusters theme song and Randy and I did our thing on the dance floor. Yah, bustin’ makes me feel good.
My last two memorable days were actually depressing days. These two days I’ll never forget. Both came on surprising phone calls nearly a year apart and both felt like I was being hit in the face by a brick. Both days also brought our family closer and made us tighter.
TOW the Hole in the World – April 24, 2006
I sat at work wishing the time would go by faster. It was a Monday and time seemed to stand still on Mondays.
Then the phone rang. It was my Mom, she was estatic, talking nervously like she had been crying. I told her to calm down and tell me what was going on. I understood there was an accident and it involved my Uncle Jeff. Then she said, “Your Uncle Jeff may be dead.” And I quickly responded with a loud, “WHAT!?!?” Then she told me she’ll call be back with more details and that she had to go.
I sat at my desk wondering what was going on. My body got tense, I couldn’t concentrate, what was I supposed to do? The ladies asked what was going on. I told them I didn’t know, other than my Uncle may have been in an accident. I checked the Washington State Patrol website…nothing. Then the phone rang.
She let me know that he was in an accident near the border and that if I wanted to I could meet them at Uncle Jeff’s apartment either now or after work. It was 3:30pm, I wasn’t going to be able to work thinking about what might have happened. I got up went out the back door and headed home in confusion.
Lis was home and she had gotten a call from Erik. She was upset and said she was scared. I didn’t know what happened but Erik was on his way here and we were all going to drive to UJ’s.
On the way there we talked about silly things that may have happened. Thought that this was just nothing, mom was overreacting.
We got to the apartment and noticed Grandpa’s bus was there. Not a good sign. We walked up the apartment and into the door. Everyone was quiet. We walked in and everyone looked up at us, then Mom said, “Uncle is dead.” We couldn’t believe it, I was surprised, shocked and then began to cry.
I had never been to a funeral or dealt with a death so close to me and the family. Now we were dealing with someone that was extremely close to us. In the following days I battled with having to work while trying to help prepare things for the funeral. My Grandma asked if I could talk to the Pastor to help with the Order of Service. My Uncle Steve, my brothers and I made a slideshow for the service. My brothers and I were pallbearers along with my Grandpa, Uncle Steve and cousin Butch. It was a lot to take in that week and has been hard on the entire family in the six months after he’s passed.
We will forever look back at that week and that day in sadness, but we’ll look back at Uncle Jeff and realize that we were blessed to have the coolest Uncle-ever. To see the slideshow we made click here.
TOW Did You Say Cancer? – April 7, 2005
Like the passing of my Uncle Jeff, the family and I had never dealt with cancer this closely. My Grandpa had cancer on his kidney, but it wasn’t as serious as what we’d learn on April 7, 2005.
It started with bruises in odd places all over her body. It got worse when little tiny red dots appeared all over her legs. After weeks of wondering what was going on, Lis decided to finally see a doctor.
We sat in the office and the doctor looked at her in curiousity. Later I assumed that he knew what was going on but didn’t want to give a final decision until he checked her blood. We left the doctors and five minutes later Lis received a call.
I went back to work and 10 minutes into my work day I received a call from Lis – crying. Lis doesn’t usually cry. “It might be cancer,” she said. I broke down, grabbed my jacket and again headed out the back door.
My Mom took us to the hospital and Lis was set-up in a room. We were confused when the lady told Lis to change into a hospital gown and were more confused when they told Lis she would be staying at least overnight.
That evening her oncologist came into the room, dismissed my brother and Dad and told Lis that she had leukemia and that if it went untreated she would die in 3-6 months. He told her that she would be staying in the hospital for 30-35 days and that she would begin a week of intense chemotherapy in two days. Her body will go through something that you can never wish on anyone. She’ll lose her hair. Most depressing though was that she was going to have to end breast-feeding and spend a month away from her 5-month-old baby.
I don’t need to go on as the story is in this blog you read. You can read my first entry here. When Lis started chemo I started a journal on my computer at home. A month later I put it into a blog and continued to tell the story of Lis, Lukas and me. I have made some friends, have touched some hearts and have shared the story of how we overcame this battle as a family and how I became a strong believer in the power of prayer.
Lis continues to do well. She has to go back to the doctors every two months and still has a titanium port in her left arm. But other than she doesn’t have any problems or side effects from the cancer. Thank God and thanks to all of those that prayed and continue to pray for her health!