Tuesday, September 6, 2016

True Love

Today my heart is broken. Sometime in the night my dear Jon passed from this life and into the next. 

It was not unexpected, and yet shocking. I never would have thought that I'd wake without him.

Knowing Jon means that I have known true love. I have known love that is patient and kind. I have known love that does not envy and is not boastful.  I have known love that beareth all things, believeth all things,  and hopeth all things. I have known love that endureth all things.

Knowing Jon means I have known true love. Knowing the gospel of Jesus Christ means I know that I will feel that love from Jon again some day. Today my heart is broken, but I know that, in time, it will heal.

Friday, August 26, 2016

How Jon and I amuse ourselves...

Our kids wanted nothing to do with us. We sound terrible and miss half the words, but...oh that wink.

Monday, July 25, 2016

What it takes to be a man

So I have come to the conclusion that I have a much more childish mind than Anne. It is quite evident based on the type of blogs that I write versus what Anne writes. And I have decided that it is just who I am. Does this mean I don't have a serious bone in my body. Maybe. But I just remember the funny stuff so much more.
So this is a memory I have from about 12 years ago. We were having a get together from church. Games inside and volleyball outside. We lived in a house with two bathrooms which at this time were not in use.
So we had a lovely game of volleyball going on when my eldest son walked outside, onto the volleyball at the ripe old age of four, dropped his shorts and proceeded to urinate on the volleyball court. In my head I am trying to remember when he saw me peeing outside. I will admit that  being able to go outside and relieve your self is one of the many benefits to being a man.
It was then that I realized that I had talked to him about this but clearly the part about finding a tree and getting a little privacy was not communicated well enough. Clearly I had failed my son at this time. So later that day Jacob and I walked outside, found a tree, and I helped educate him on the finer points of being a man. Countless campouts and 12 years of experience later I am pleased to announce he is competent at this task. I think. Well it's not like I test him ever. That would be awkward.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Getting out of the "Zone"

So I think I used to be funny. You know funny looking, not worried about whether people thought of me, and putting people in awkward positions. You know what I mean. The occasional goose or a good arse slap, and to my family the good old purple nurple. In regards to the nurple there were other rules or clauses that were followed most of the time. For example there is the baby clause which simply says if holding a baby that is not mobile you are safe. I believe this is the reason why my brother in law Dustin now has eleven kids and may be planning more.
Really I thought all of this fun and entertaining. Recently I have been reflecting on why I have these dumb things I like to be part of and why I like to bring others with me. Simply it is really about changing and stepping out of my comfort zone. And if I am going I am taking every one else with me. I think this is why I loved working with the youth. They would do almost anything you asked them with only mild encouragement. My boys get back from scout camp and I can't wait to hear what kid did what. And I know they have some leaders up there that enjoy pushing the boys to try getting them out of their comfort zone.
I have been out of my comfort zone since I married Anne. It is a good thing both of us handle change well. Or at least we think we do. I do know that we are constantly being challenged to do more, to learn and grow. Sometimes physically, but most times emotionally and spiritually. Those are the bigger challenges. Those are the ones that test our resolve and character.
We know that we will need be challenged in our lives but never more than we can handle. Just need to buck up, get out of your comfort zone and do something or maybe nothing as the case warrants.
Having ALS is not the worst thing in the world. I think that I am incredibly lucky to have family and friends close to help when needed. I am constantly reminded that there are so many others that need help and don't have the life lines that my family has.
My recommendation is to get out of your comfort zone, wake up on the right side of the bed and give someone a little goose. But be careful with who you goose. Some people might not take it well when someone grabs their arse. But if you are on the receiving end then know secretly it came from me.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

The Very Best

Disney World, February 2014

Jon doesn't get down very often. He handles his disease with amazing strength, humor and grace. Recently, however, he had a hard week. As it turns out, he wasn't worried about his discomfort and he isn't afraid of what is to come. Jon was sad about what he is missing out on as a dad.

Boundary Waters, 2013

Jon and I always knew we'd have a big family...and we also always knew that, while we loved our children at every age, we were really going to enjoy the teenage years. Because, seriously, teenagers are SO MUCH FUN. Which has proven to be true. Our teenagers are a good time.

And so, that week, Jon was feeling so sad about what he was missing out on with our boys. He's not playing basketball and passing along his pretty fantastic shooting skills. He's not in the boundary waters passing along his love of the outdoors. He's not on the golf course teaching them that all it takes is one good shot to keep you coming back for more. 

There are few things more attractive than a man in a pink apron, doing the dishes!

He's not in the kitchen passing along his incredible work ethic, as Jon always understood that he was just as responsible for our home and family as I was. Rarely did I have to do the dishes. Nor is he passing along his love of cooking and of good food... Thankfully he did that before ALS. All of our kids are pretty proficient in the kitchen thanks to Jon!

Jon teaching Bitsy how to swing in our  kitchen, 2012

Jon is no longer on the dance floor teaching our girls to swing, or showing our boys the ropes for their current experiences with dances and girls.

Jon guiding Abby and Katie through a tough hike, 2012

Jon is sad sometimes about what he is missing out on, but I count the ALS experience for our children as one of the blessings of this disease. This is allowing Jon to pass on to his children the very best part of him. His love of people and his absolute drive to always love and care for everyone he came in contact with. Jon has always understood that God is love, and the best way to be a good Christian is to love the people around, and simply do everything you can to take care of them. It is truly a gift for him. Jon surely would have rather taught our children these lessons by example, rather than being the recipient, but they are learning them none the less. 

Friday, June 3, 2016

Exactly what I signed up for

Our engagement photo...we were babies!

I'm not going to lie. Today was rough. Jon hasn't been feeling well lately, so I only got about 4 hours of sleep last night. And then there was a series of events that were just hard to deal with this morning. (Don't worry...nothing serious.)

I'm embarrassed to say that I was incredibly human today. And not terribly kind... So much so that I had to apologize to Jon later. (Insert sheepish face emoticon.) I definitely have those days...particularly when I'm tired.

That said, I'm still grateful for this life that we are living together, and there is absolutely no place I'd rather be.

About a month ago, Jon made an off hand comment that 'I didn't sign up for this.' He wasn't feeling sorry for himself. It was just very matter-of-fact. To be clear, this is not what I would have asked for, but it is exactly what I signed up for.

When we got married, I hoped for a long life together. One filled with adventures, laughter, babies and grand babies, and eventually, gray hair and wrinkles. OK, so we already have them...but you know what I mean.

But what I signed up for was so much more. I signed up for richer and poorer, sickness and health, good times and bad. I signed up to enjoy the incredible, joy filled ride we've had. I also signed up for the struggles and trials we've had.

Jon is my world. I can't even imagine what it could possibly feel like to love another person more than I love him. Our current life is not what I would have chosen, but it is exactly what I signed up for.

Sunday, January 3, 2016


I have been trying to figure out what type of New Years goals I could do. Having ALS means that many of the usual ones are not going to work.
1.  Exercise - I wish. I mean really that would be fabulous.
2.  Lose weight. Doctor says don't do it, and I have made a resolution to be a good patient.
3. Be at home more rather than spending too much time at work. - yup already doing that.
4. Make sure my wife knows I love her - work in progress.
5. Spend more meaningful time with my kids -  again work in progress.
6.   Get better. - As soon as a cure will is identified I am on it.
7. Talk to mom more often -  now that might be a good one.
8. Give up chocolate - I think not.
9.  Watch more movies- only if it is with my kids or Anne
10. Read books that don't have dragons or wizards- That might be a good one but I will end up sleeping more often.

Well that is quite a bit to think about and I might even do a few of them. Really though I am thinking of simplifying my life. I am sure you are thinking that my life is already simple. I mean really, what does a guy who can't move his arms or legs do. I know  I don't do much but I always seem to find something that is not important to do rather than doing what I should be doing.

So here is what I am thinking.
I resolve to cut out the things that take me away from doing what is right. What I mean is that I will simplify my priorities. So it means spending more time with family and friends and helping out with what ever I can.
So it is that and not allowing my son to ever beat me at chess again. Yup he caught me off guard.
Oh and to eat more fattening food. You know because I have to keep on the weight.
I hope you all had a happy holiday and hope your new year ends up being as pleasant as the holidays. If your holidays were not pleasant then I hope you change your attitude and stop being so uptight. If you do that and focus on making others happy you will find out that life actually is pleasant.