Thursday, November 3, 2016

Back to Blogging

Over a year ago, I had logged in to blog on Oliver's birthday only to find a HORRIFIC message in my comments from some anonymous coward.  You could tell that they just wanted to inflict pain.  I read the message and just started bawling.  It took me to a place that I didn't want to think about.  I got on Facebook and was on the DIPG support group page and quickly learned that this has happened to MANY of us grieving parents.  I just don't understand people who want to just destroy people with their words and actions.  It truly makes me sick.

So, I've been gone for a while, but feel the need to start journaling again.  It is a nice way to preserve memories... stories and pictures... for my family.  I had wondered if I should just put my blog on private to avoid hurtful comments, but realized that I get more loving and supportive comments than hurtful ones, so I'll keep it public.  Ollie's story needs to be shared and I love to see that people still stop by and learn about him every day.  It makes my heart happy to know that he is not forgotten. 

Friday, October 21, 2016

Signs from Heaven

I've read several articles about how you can know a loved one is near.  They are able to send us signs.

BIRDS - Cardinals are often a sign that a deceased loved one is near.  I don't see them often however, when I see groups of three birds together I think of Oliver as he loved the song, "Three Little Birds" by Bob Marley.

REPEATING NUMBERS - I see repeating numbers ALL THE TIME now.  I don't check the clock much throughout the day, but at least once I'll see a repeating number.  Many times I'll see 3 or 4 repeating times in a day.  I'll also often see 7:11 which is Ollie's birthday - July 11th.  There have even been a few days where I've seen 7:11 am and 7:11 pm!

MEANINGFUL SONGS - His favorite songs come on the radio in the car, at home, in my doctor's office, at the store.  Eden said that in class yesterday her teacher turned on the radio for them and Eden heard 'Human' by the Killers, which was Oliver's favorite song.  She knew he was there with her.  The funny thing is... a lot of his favorite songs aren't usually played on popular radio, which makes them even more unbelievable when we hear them.  When I was pregnant with Thor, I had a prenatal exam and while I was waiting in the room, I heard 'Human' come on over the loudspeaker and just started crying.  My OB came in and I was able to share a little bit about Oliver, which is always a blessing.  We were in Toys R Us once and while we were in there we heard 'One Love' by Bob Marley and 'Our House (in the middle of our street)' by Madness, I think.  Two songs that you don't hear over the radio very much, in the same store on the same day!

Other signs -

MEANINGFUL THINGS THAT EVOKE MEMORIES - We were at Nordic Fest in Decorah, Iowa one summer and I couldn't believe a sign I saw for a restaurant in town.  It was called 'T-Bock's'.  Now for most people that wouldn't mean anything, but to me it brought back a memory of when Oliver was a little boy.  Whenever we would go somewhere, he would always say, "See you later!  T Box!"  It made no sense, but when I saw this sign that memory just flooded back!

FULL MOON - Ed spoke about the full moon at Oliver's funeral talking about how the moon reflects the sun and how Oliver can reflect the Son (Jesus Christ) in his life.  Since then, whenever I see a beautiful full moon I think of him.

HIS NAME - His name appears on signs, restaurants, objects, etc.  We were at Panera and I saw this bread slicer behind the cashier and started crying.  The brand name is OLIVER and there are three numbers in the corner... 711... his birthday 7/11 (July 11).  I needed a sign from him that day and he made sure to let me know he was there!  We were watching a football game and saw a quarterback named Oliver who was number 10.  Oliver was 10 when he passed.  Every once in a while I'll see Oliver's name in a TV show I'm watching.  A menu with 'Ollie' written on it through a window and 'Ollie's BBQ Shack'.  Some are harder to spot, but I'll see it none the less.  I always look for Oliver tractors in parades and I just realized there is a repeating number on it... 88.  During a basketball game on TV 'Ollie's Bargain Outlet' appeared on one of the signs and I got a shot of it before it changed!  Our friend took us to a little ice cream place in DeKalb, IL that bears Ollie's name.  I saw Ollie right next to Quinn, another little boy who passed from DIPG in Iowa on one of my logic puzzles.  Also, in the collage at the top of the page, I went to the local humane society and stopped by the store to get some snacks for the animals.  While I was there I was going to grab a pop and I walked over to the cooler and before I opened the door, I saw, at eye level, right in front of me, a Coca-Cola bottle with the name "Oliver" on it!  I've always wanted to find one and Oliver sent me straight to it!

HEARTS - He sends me things in the shape of hearts all the time.  The heart in the sun was when we were driving home from the cemetery on one of his birthdays.  I couldn't believe it.  The heart breaking through the clouds with the light shining through was pretty awesome, too. 

Saw this heart made of shingles on our way home from one of the boys' tee ball games!  They also had heart shaped cut into their wooden privacy fence.
This heart shaped tree stump was at a geocaching site near where we were camping this summer.

This hole in the tree is on the corner where we turn to go to church.

Heart shaped cloud at Kelly Park in Florida.

I bought some fabric to recover our dining room chairs and found some that had three little birds in different colors.  I found the heart on the leaf after I had bought the fabric!

 We were at a Childhood Cancer Event and Thor was playing in a rock garden picking up a rock and tossing it.  He grabbed one (he was only one year old at the time) and handed it to his sister, Eden.  Eden looked at it and couldn't believe that she saw a heart in the middle of it!

 This was one of my favorite 'Ollie Hearts'.  Ed and I took our long awaited honeymoon to Florida (after 13 years of wedded bliss).  I didn't realize that I would be gone over Mother's Day until we were there on the beach that morning.  We were walking along in the surf and I saw the foam rolling in with the waves and out of the corner of my eye I thought I saw a heart.  I reached into the water as the wave was flowing back and pulled out this shell.  I was completely stunned to see a heart cut out of the center of it.  I just couldn't believe it.  The timing had to be perfect for me to be on the beach at that moment.  I cried several times throughout the day, knowing that he was there with me.  I still can't get over it.

***I'm so grateful that Oliver sends us signs.  It really helps me get through every day, knowing that he is still existing even though I can't physically see him.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A Look Back at 2013 - OCTOBER

Jaren and I went on a nature walk through our neighborhood.  We did a unit on leaves so we found some leaves from different trees and made some fun art projects with them.  Jaren had fun on the giant wood chip hill at the park as well.  Of course we can never leave our house without a sword in hand!

In continuing our leaf unit, we took a field trip to Hartman Reserve Nature Center.  We had a scavenger hunt there and found lots of fun things.  The boys LOVE 'exploring'!

Ollie's cemetery in the fall...

We went to Heartland Farms pumpkin patch this year with my brother and his then girlfriend and her daughter.  There were animals, a pumpkin shooter, giant pillow trampoline and other fun activities.  I had my picture taken along side the pig... as we both looked like we were going to pop at any minute!    The kids had a blast... until the dark clouds rolled in and it started to POUR!!  Good thing we had just finished our hay ride!!

Eden giving some love to her new baby cousin, Sophia.  I got the chance to take some family photos of my brother-in-law and his sweet family and Eden was in a 5 week volleyball clinic with one of her best friends, McKenzie.

 We had a lot of fun painting our pumpkins this year.  Here is the lineup...

 Eden always comes up with the best costume ideas every year.  Last year during Halloween her and her friend, Kamiah, decided that they were going to be grandma zombies... or... "Grombies" the following year.  This is the result this year... pre granny wig.


Eden - Grombie             Jaren - The Human Torch             Phineas - Spiderman

Church Trunk or Treat
 Mom School Halloween party

 Trick or treating on Halloween night.

 Jaren with his Frankenstein thumb I painted for him, the boys in some after Halloween sales costumes, me... myself and baby (8 months pregnant) and the kids modeling their sweet specs from a our friend Katelyn.

Monday, July 28, 2014

A Look Back at 2013 - SEPTEMBER (Part 2)

Riverloop Amphitheater

Cedar River

When we were leaving the Amphitheater, we saw this OLLIE HEART on the cement wall.

Transitioning into middleagedom...
(Anyone remember the SNL skit... "Middle Aged Man"?) 

 I think I'm 7 months pregnant here.

 Birthday dinner at Galleria de Paco.  (Click on the purple link to learn more about the restaurant.)
It was my first time going there and I heard it was really amazing inside.  The ceiling and walls were all done with aerosol paint, by an artist from Bosnia that is our age.  Just unbelievable!  The food was REALLY good, but I make a better lava cake!  Sadly, it was just solid and it didn't ooze out, but it was flaming so that was pretty cool.  I loved it there and the manager was really nice, too!  I saw an OLLIE HEART in my salad in the form of a craisin.  Wishing me a Happy Birthday... my sweet boy!

After we ate at the Galleria de Paco, we went out to the cemetery to visit Oliver.  The sunset was absolutely gorgeous out there!  The clouds started out orange and turned pink and purple.  Just beautiful.

When Ed and I got home from the cemetery, one of the boys spilled a glass of water and when I went to clean it up, I saw another OLLIE HEART!  Two in one day for the mom on her birthday.  My heart was full...

Eden was the student of the month for Mrs. Klein's 5th grade class so we brought her some Wendy's for lunch.  I love my kids and I'm so proud of them!

 My mom and I saw this AMAZING rainbow as we were leaving her school and were getting into the car to go out to dinner together.  It was the most vibrant one I've ever seen.  I could see every single color!  Made me think of Oliver and Sadie Huish, another sweet DIPG angel who loved rainbows.

Playing in the 'dirt' at the farming area.  We saw the planetarium show and learned about some constellations and he even got to hold a real moon rock that he looked thrilled about!  Jaren in 'American Gothic', in front of the Sullivan Brothers statue outside. 
(Click on the purple link to learn more about the five Sullivan brothers.)

My sweet little astronaut, Jaren, age 6.