Like a ton of bricks

I am up tonight bawling.  After dreaming about my bio dad last night (why are dreams so weird??) I decided to google his name tonight.  I found the forum site of the Patriot Guard Riders.  More specifically, I found the page where they posted Mike's services to get riders to attend.

The sheer respect and caring in the words written for his passing by complete strangers floored me.  I wasn't able to respond with a thank you as the forum is private, but somebody had an actual email listed.  I debated and debated and finally decided to send a brief thank you.

These men and women attend services for soldiers and bear flags and salute and accompany the procession, blocking traffic at each street.  They stand at attention for soldiers they have never met.   They do it with such respect and professionalism that it is easy to forget that they are volunteers.

The floodgates are open and I am getting a "cry headache", but I know it has to all come out.  Being on vacation immediately after his funeral buffered the pain.  Now that I am home the finality is hitting.


  • Being home is a good thing
  • Florida was awesome
  • Jack has until Sunday with his beloved bottle.  Then it is big boy all the way
  • Nico got his braces off today
  • I have 549 pictures to get developed
  • Salad should be its own food group
  • I am researching going back to college for a speech degree
  • Nana asking me to send her an Abba-Zabba bar in the mail had nothing to do with senility or mumbling
  • Being back in my own bed gave me a huge neck ache
  • I am broke like our justice system
  • I missed you people
  • Jack has learned how to open the screen door and escape

Why is my mom crying?

Because for the first time in 14 years, her children and her children's children were all together for an amazing weekend of family fun.


Grandpa Mike's service was amazing.  A group of motorcyclist from several VFW groups came and bore flags at attention and gave us an escort to the cemetary with flags flying.  The funeral home did a great job with the photo tribute which you can see here.  They included the pics of the big boys balloon release. 

It was a really hard day, but an amazing day.  He would have been embarassed at all the attention, but he deserved it.  He even got his 21 gun salute.  AND I managed to get back through airport security with one of the spent shells. 

Our vacation has started now and is going great. Jack and Kenzie got their first haircuts and pictures done together.

The big boys have been in Gainsville getting spoiled by fraternal grandparents and Jenn, the babies and I went to Universal Studios.

The big boys come back today, I have missed their guts,.

Thanks and more thanks for all the sweet words on the last few posts.  You guys are kind people and I love it.


We leave for Florida in the morning for a planned trip. I will leave the big boys with my best friend as Jack and I travel again to Arkansas for Grandpa Mike's services. The big boys won't be able to attend due to the financial strain of airline tickets.

Today when I knew he had passed away, I went and got red, white and blue balloons and asked my pastor if he would say a prayer for us before we released them. A 21 balloon salute. I wanted to boys to have some sort of memorial too.

My pastor, amazing man, not only showed up wearing red, white and blue, but he gave a short memorial about Grandpa Mike based on things I had told him. Then he read the following poem.

By Howard Schnauber

I am the flag of the United States of America.
My name is "Old Glory".
I fly atop the world's tallest buildings.
I stand watch in America's halls of justice.
I fly majestically over institutions of learning.
I stand guard with power in the world.
Look up and see me.

I stand for peace, honor, truth and justice.
I stand for freedom.
I am confident.
I am arrogant.
I am proud.

When I am flown with my fellow banners,
My head is a little higher,
My colors a little truer.

I bow to no one!
I am recognized all over the world.
I am worshipped -- I am saluted.
I am loved -- I am revered.
I am respected -- and I am feared.

I have fought in every battle of every war
for more then 200 years.
I was flown at Valley Forge, Gettysburg,
Shiloh and Appomattox.
I was there at San Juan Hill,
the trenches of France,
in the Argonne Forest, Anzio, Rome
and the beaches of Normandy, Guam,
Okinawa, Korea, and Vietnam.
I was there. I led my troops.
I was dirty, battle-weary and tired,
but my soldiers cheered me
And I was proud.

I have been burned, torn and trampled
on the streets of countries I have helped set free.
It does not hurt, for I am invincible.

I have been soiled upon, burned, torn
and trampled on the streets of my country.
And when it's by those whom I've served in battle -- it hurts.
But I shall overcome -- for I am strong.

I have slipped the bonds of Earth
and stood watch over the uncharted frontiers of space
from my vantage point on the moon.
I have borne silent witness
to all of America's finest hours.
But my finest hours are yet to come.

When I am torn into strips
and used as bandages
for my wounded comrades on the battlefield,
When I am flown at half-mast to honor my soldier,
Or when I lie in the trembling arms
of a grieving parent at the grave of their fallen son or daughter,
I am proud.


If you knew him, you would know how very appropriate that poem would feel to him. He was a patriot, old school.

Today was hard, but the boys did a good thing for themselves and for me.

There is much we will miss about you, but nothing we regret. See you when we get there.

Saying our goodbyes

Mike has developed an anti-biotic resistant super bug and his heart is starting to react.  They are recommending that Mary remove the ventilator.  After a meeting with docs, family and the chaplain, that is what they are doing at the moment.

They don't know how long it will take, but I know he will step out of this life into heaven.

I knew the time would come when I would wish that I had gone down there.  Now is that time.

Dad update

He is still here with us, but not expected to improve.  I have been given the password to speak with the ICU nurses directly and that has been a blessing.  They all have beautiful southern accents that make me so homesick.  They are incredibly sweet and honest.

I like honest.

Mike is the biggest patriot that I know.  He never passes the American flag without saluting.  He ends all phone calls and letters with the words God Bless America.  This morning I asked his nurse to please tell him that Monica and the boys say Happy 4th of July.  If he can hear her, that will make him smile.  It's a silly thing to think, but if he has to die, I think he would like knowing it was on Independence Day.

We are still praying for a healing miracle though.  I am selfish like that.

Prayers for my dad

This is Mike, my bio dad, that we went to visit in April.  I thought it was possibly the last time I would see my Nana.

I fear now that it might also have been the last time I will see my biological dad.

A few weeks ago, he was hospitalized for pneumonia.  After three weeks in hospital, he went home.

Sunday, he went back with recurring symptoms and it has gone downhill from there..

He has been transfered to a better equipped hospital and is now on a ventilator.  His kidneys are starting to shut down and his blood pressure can't be kept up in the correct range.  He is running a fever and his body is being overrun by yeast from all the antibiotics.  His is in a medically induced coma, but managing to fight to pull tubes and things out.  His right lung is the major problem and is leaking air out into his tissues.

I am torn.  Part of me wants to go back down there, but all I could do is sit in the waiting room.  Part of me knows that he would want me to continue with vacation plans since we had an excellent visit in April.  His wife, Mary, has not asked me to come yet.  If he asks for me, I will go.

Pray for him, Mike and his wife, Mary.

Friday 10:30am
Mike has turned septic and the next 12 hours will make the difference between life and death.  I fear he will leave us today.

Yes, I know he is a boy

But he is just the right size to measure these on!
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If you are sick of tutus, don't look here

This is the forest fairy tutu for the other twin niece. I am almost done making what I will take with me to Florida for gifts. Vacation starts Monday!!
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A tiny tutu

This one is for a new baby girl that is my mom's neighbor's daughter.
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