Saturday, July 26, 2014


I have been SICK .....I have some kind of "infection", but no one can figure out where.  Could I run into ONE situation where Doctors actually have answers??

So I'm on antibiotics, which is YUCKY for me because I'm actually allergic to Penicillin, so I have to take a different category of antibiotics which really bother my stomach.
BUT..... at least I'm on the mend.  I feel better now at the beginning of Day 3 (of medicine) than I have felt for almost two weeks!  Of course, the worst part of antibiotics, and the reason I avoid them whenever possible, is that you have to take them until they are gone, NOT until you feel better -- you must take them ALL.  BLEGH!!!  :-P

Anyway, I am doing OK, besides moments of profound sadness.  Having dealt with loss and death for over half my life, the part that I hate the most (besides actually LOSING the person I love), is how you can be going along feeling mostly ok, then something will occur to you about your loss that hits you like a truck, and devastates you, and it's like it just happened again.  This has happened to me about my Aunts being gone, even as recently as this past Christmas!!  And they have been gone for 27 years and 13 years!  Some years I coast through The Dates -- you know, their birthdays, their deaths, the last times I saw them -- and mark another year almost nonchalantly ("wow, it's been 25 years since Marcia died!", "today is the last time I talked to Diane before she died 12 years ago,  and I still remember almost everything we said").
But then out of nowhere, PEELING POTATOES at the sink with Christmas music playing, listening to my kids enjoying their Christmas presents with Brian helping them set things up, I had to SIT DOWN because a wave a grief came over me that almost knocked me over!  Just by happily remembering a Christmas from my childhood when everyone was still alive and we were all together -- a GREAT memory!

So that has been happening ALOT since Cheryl died, and to a smaller degree, my Grandpa.  And it's awful because you have NO control over your feelings and reactions to it (or at least, I don't), so no matter where you are when you have these dreadful "realizations", you can just start crying!
And I'm resentful again, that there is this huge loss for me/us, yet the world just continues on like always.  I'm supposed to now navigate my life with another HOLE in it.  I'm telling you, my life is starting to look like Swiss Cheese.

Anyway, I really didn't get on here to whine and complain about my poor feelings -- :-P
I wanted to share something that I find so comforting and AMAZING!!

Remember all the things I said about my Grandpa....?  I knew he would be deeply missed by the community in the Northboro/Southboro/Marlboro area where he had spent most of his life and made such a huge impact, but I had no idea.....

Late coach is called inspiration to many

That is a link to an article in the Boston Globe about him!!!

And here are the obituaries, with numerous condolences and messages about how much he impacted people in a positive way....

See why I am SO proud to be his grand-daughter?!! :-)
(and PS~ they spelled my last name wrong!)


So I am slowly making my way back to the land of the living, not just existing.  If I could conquer this mystery "infection", I might actually have the energy to post some pictures of things I made before Cheryl died.  I haven't done much since, but when she first went to stay with her cousin, I was working on TONS of things!  I had spent so much time WITH her, helping her, that when she left it was like there was nothing to do and I got a little crazy, or some would say "frantic". 

I also MUST SAY how much I appreciate all the comments, emails and thoughts and prayers from my dearest friends!!!!  I know I keep saying it, but it really means SO MUCH, I can't even put it into words! 
Thank you all from my whole heart for the love and care you've sent me!!  I will never forget any of it!!!  XOXO

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Another Sad Day.....

My Grandpa died early this morning.  It's not terribly sad for HIM, but I'm sad for my mom.  No one shares her memories of her early life now.  Everyone from her immediate family is gone.  Of course, she had six kids, so she's hardly alone, but there has to be something unbalancing about being the last one left like she is.

My Grandpa was the grandson of Ida Ojerholm, who I've talked about before on my blog.  She came from Sweden in the 1880s.  He's the son of her youngest child, Margaret.  He was born too late to fight in WW2, but his cousin Eric Ojerholm was a Marine and fought and died at Iwo Jima (after his father fought in WW1, and survived).

My Grandpa was the only child of his parents, and early on loved and excelled at football.  Right after he met my Nana, he played one season for the NY Giants!  (which doesn't help me like them ONE BIT! :-P)  But he was considered too small (ha!), and besides, my Nana told me, they "were in love" (said with a drippy, heavy voice)(my Nana was funny! :-)
So he didn't go back, and he married my Nana, and he went to work at two jobs and raised a little family of 3 girls!

About the time I came along (1969), he had just started a coaching job in Marlborough, Massachusetts, at which he would end up becoming "legendary Coach Kronoff", and be inducted into the High School Football Coaches' Hall of Fame!  It was a huge deal!!  But I am most proud of being his granddaughter because of his attitude, and it's effect on people.  He had a strong work ethic, and as a coach (and later, a substitute teacher, where all the kids loved him, as well! :-), he never bullied or swore, or would allow that with his assistant coaches.  He never allowed showing off in the end zone or after plays AT ALL.  He believed in hard work, a positive attitude, and treating others with respect and fairness.

Long after he was coaching anymore, when I was an adult and would be visiting him and my Nana and aunt, random men would show up to see him and shake his hand and tell him what they were doing now -- sometimes they were IN college, sometimes they were married men -- and they wanted to come see him.  He used to say that was one of the perks of being a coach for him, having former players come back to tell him how their lives were turning out.

In my swirling, chaotic life, HE was a grounding person for me -- my big, strong, never-ruffled Grandpa.  Nothing bad could ever happen to us with my Grandpa as the head of our family.

....Except it did....

I will say one of the worst things that happened to blow apart my world was when my aunt Marcia, his youngest daughter and 30yrs old, was killed by a drunk driver.  I was 17, and my dad drove me to my Nana and Grandpa's house that morning (she had died around 1am), where my aunt Diane, my mom and my sister Karen already were.  It was horrifying.  And the horrors just kept coming -- listening to all of my beloved grown-ups sobbing and my mind scrambling to find a way that it wasn't really true, it didn't really happen.....trying to WAKE UP from this horrible dream to my real life, where my biggest tragedy was having to tell my dad I got a B in Physics.

But there would be no waking up -- this WAS my real life, and what the worst memory for me of that day (and the days that followed) is, was when I heard my aunt Diane walk into my Grandpa's tv room where he was sitting, and then I heard him break down and cry, sobbing like a little boy but with the deep sounds of his voice.  That's when it hit me that this WASN'T going to be ok, EVER Grandpa was crying.

Recently, well "20yrs"-recently (lol), he enjoyed becoming a GREAT-Grandpa!!  We have lots of pictures of him surrounded by an ever-increasing number of babies and little kids! :-)

Of course, *I* got the FIRST.....hee hee hee!

Being the oldest, I am ALWAYS first....!! :-D

That is my Grandpa, with his daughter (my Mom), and ME (her daughter), and then MY two boys, who were the first-born grandchildren!  You can see I'm holding my trouble-some ADAM in a "sling" carrier -- my hand is unconsciously covering his face when the camera flashed, because I remember he was finally asleep, and I was hoping to get an hour's nap out of him! :-)

Actually, the latest pictures of him with ALL the other grandchildren who have come along since are alot better -- CUTER! :-)  There's him with TONS of kids!!  I don't have any of those with me, I know my sisters have them on their cameras/phones/computers.  THIS picture I posted is an actual paper picture, I can hold it in my hand.  I remember being so impressed by the technology of my new camera that stamped the date on the pictures!

Here are some other favorite pictures of me and my Grandpa.....

The first two are with my dearest Nana, too!  The last one of me on the slide is about a year or so later.  I was the first grandchild, so I was treated like a princess!! :-D  These pictures are also the hard, cardboard kind.....does that make me old....? :-)

I have to say, I'm really ready for this summer to be OVER, for this year to be OVER.....I feel overwhelmed by all this loss, and a little insecure now about who else could I/we lose before 2014 is over.....what is next?  I haven't talked to Pat in almost a month, because she's traveling around the country visiting sisters and nieces with new babies, and having fun while she feels good.  As far as I know, she isn't having any "cancer issues", and I'm VERY grateful for that.....I pray it continues ....forever!  Of course, it can't..... *Sigh!*

I am sad and sorry that my Grandpa is gone, but I am glad for him that it was quick and he had lived a full, satisfying life that he felt grateful for.  He also was happy and ready to join my Nana and Aunt Marcia and Aunt Diane, who died before him.  I will miss him, but I am SO grateful and proud to be his grand-daughter!  And I thank God for that.  My heart is grateful.

Friday, July 4, 2014

For My Dearest Followers/Friends......

I don't have the words to describe how touched, comforted, and GRATEFUL I feel from the thoughts and prayers that you all expressed to me.....there are no words that can convey how special it was to read your comments, and to know that even those who didn't comment were praying and caring about me!! 

Audrey, thank you so much for your perspective!  I had been thinking about your feelings through this whole thing with Cheryl, ever since you mentioned how hard it was for you to read about what I was going through because of your recent loss.  But you never avoided my painful posts, and your comments were almost always the first ones -- even though I knew it was difficult for you.  I am SO touched by your selflessness -- sending me comfort and support every time you could tell I needed it!  What an amazing, generous friend you are to me, THANK YOU for being here!!

Barb, your comment and quote had such a wonderful affect on my feelings -- I could feel myself slipping into a little bitterness over how many times God has taken someone I care about, and how unfair it seems -- WHY ME...???  But after reading your comment, I could feel that self-pity disappear, replaced with acceptance and understanding.... along with relief (bitterness and mistrust of God always scares me, even when I can't control it).  I called my mom to read that quote to her, too, and your comment, and it was a comfort to her as well!  THANK YOU for your friendship, I treasure it, and it's always a blessing to me!

Cheryl, THANK YOU for being such a faithful friend to me.....seeing your comments and emails is like getting a hug from you.  You are like a big sister to me, and I wish you were here too!

Donna, your comment was so comforting, reminding me that my friend is away from ME, but in spiritual joy in heaven.  I get so caught up in what *I* have lost, I don't always think about what has really happened -- her suffering is over, and she is "...celebrating in Heaven".  Reading those words eased some of the sadness in my heart, and I am SO grateful for that!  THANK YOU for being such a caring friend to me!

Grace, I was so touched to see your comment -- I enjoy our posts on the APP Forum so much.  You are a sweet, positive friend to everyone, and it makes me happy to have you call me "friend".  I am SO grateful for your prayers and thoughts (and hugs!).  THANK YOU for your caring comment!

Debra, your comment was so special to me, partly because it was unexpected, but also because of your kind words.  Everyone on the APP forum is so special, and I'm very happy that you joined to add to the fun and closeness.  I look forward to posting on there again when I feel more cheerful and can be inspiring and fun again.  THANK YOU for your comment and your thoughts and prayers! 

And to ALL my other followers/readers .....even if you don't comment, I am grateful for all those who have been praying and hoping for Cheryl and Pat, and me.  And all those readers who care about what's happening to us over here.  The people I've met online are THE BEST people I've ever met, and I thank God for bringing you all into my little life! :-)