Thursday, September 28, 2006

Things that remind me of Mom

  • Big coffee cups, the really wide one's that fill up your hands
  • Coffee, in general
  • Lake Michigan
  • Good gossip
  • Laughing
  • Walking the dogs
  • Jello popsicles (the homemade kind)
  • Beautiful art

Feel free to add to the list :)

Friday, September 22, 2006


The other night, while in Traverse City, I was sleeping and I distinctly heard my mom's voice say "Jill.." and I replied..."What?" And her voice said "I love you." I'm not sure if it was a dream or a figment of my imagination. Either way, it was nice.

Doing alot of studying lately (I do a good job of avoiding it at times, too). My first two tests went well. I have 1-2 exams per week (mostly just 1) until the end of the semester. It's kind of nice (WHAT?!?) because it ensures that I stay on top of the material. I don't have a chance to get behind because I'm constantly studying. Right now I'm studying pathology, which I enjoy, but there is a great deal of material for this exam.

Ian has tomorrow off (yay!). I have a wet lab tomorrow morning to go to, and we both have some studying to do tomorrow.
Earlier this week, one of or professors informed us that he had to cancel lab due to the death of a family member. The emotions of losing my mom came flooding back (as they often do, about every other day).

In addition... Ian is visiting his uncle in the hospital right now, who is very, very ill with cancer. I have only met his uncle once or twice, Ian doesn't know him all that well, either. But he is family. It's a long story, but unfortunately, he is not expected to live much longer. It's very sad.

On the upside, Ari (my dog) continues to do well with his chemotherapy for lymphoma.
Anyway, I should get back to studying...and yes, sometimes we, vet students, have to study on Friday nights.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Story of Lynne in Saginaw News

Death of sister-in-law brings thoughts of mortality

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The other day, I drove by the frosty green house on Cass where we spent many hours visiting my sister-in-law Lynne and her family.
The memory of one afternoon comes back so vividly, I almost can smell the brownies baking in the oven. We got there in time to watch her spread the batter, and then sat around the kitchen table while it cooked.

By the time the knife came out clean, even the kids had wandered down from the big playroom upstairs, waiting for a bite. And we now know that leaving the sugar out doesn't affect anything but the taste -- and that taste is gosh-awful, no matter how good they look and smell.

Memories keep Lynne alive. Death took her too early.

At the dinner following Lynne's memorial service earlier this month, her children invited people to come up and tell their favorite stories. But beyond a rousing toast, most of us quietly shared our memories.

Since then, well, it's interesting how the whole idea of your own mortality works its way around. This is something that happens to our parents' generation. She was only 55, she didn't smoke, where are the guarantees?

We know the answer.

Conversations drift to the past; a simple comment about the weather goes back to "Remember the time we drove up Mount Washington ..." Trips put off for one reason or another now find their way into being, as if we're making up for lost time. We see old friends, and hug and stare as if we're trying to memorize their faces for all time. Lesser worries take a back seat now, but ones that carry any risk, such as my grandson Alex's upcoming eye surgery, leap into overdrive, creating worst-case scenarios.

You start looking around and wondering who's next? Maybe it's time to tackle that basement, sort through the boxes, see what the kids want to keep when you're not there anymore to tell them why a three-legged milking stool has a plaque with your name on it.

Lynne and I didn't stay close after her brother and I divorced, but our lives once were tightly entwined. Back when my parents wouldn't allow me to go on car dates with my steady boyfriend -- imagine that! -- she drove us to proms and movies and the mall.

Lynne was my matron of honor, not terribly long after her own wedding. Her son Josh was born a few months before my Nicole. Her Jonathan came along less than a year before my Jennifer, and Jill was born just months before my Brian.

She was Nicole's godmother, and Jennifer's namesake -- Jennifer Lynne.
Maybe I should have taken better notice when she divorced, because it wasn't much longer before I was treading that path, too.

Maybe I shouldn't put that basement off for too long, either.

Lynne leaves a great legacy -- paintings, a children's book about her beloved Pogo, and three beautiful children who would make her very proud of the way they've stepped forward in these difficult times.

None of this seems real, and all too real at the same time. And until my time comes, I'm determined to make this a life that counts.

Lynne is sorely missed, says News Staff Writer Sue White.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Two stories, completely unrelated....

but I want to share both of them with you. The first is a very sentimental story about my mom. The second is a strange, but funny e-mail from one of my classmates, who happens to have one eye.

Story one: from Kyrstin Ritsema (a very close friend of mine).

"I just wanted to let you know that Nick and I went back to the Dunes the day after your Mom's memorial, and there was this little girl, and she didn't want to look over the deck at the water, she didn't want to look at the telescope, she kept peaking her head through the bars of the deck. (she was standing right next to me as she said this) Her Mom asked "don't you want to look through the telescope?" and the little girls said, "Naw, I just want to look at the pretty flowers down there. Don't you think that they are pretty flowers?" I told her I thought that they were beautful flowers. "

Story two: from a classmate of mine

"To all of my fellow classmates, who have all been so kind by turning a blind eye to my lack thereof: I found my eye!!!!!!! I can see so much better now!!! YEAH!!!!!! Apparently, it had gotten "misplaced" in the jungle I commonly refer to as my apartment... surprise, surprise. Since I did not feel like studying last night (of course, I never feel like studying), I spent some quality time "cleaning" (aka: stuffing things under my bed), which is perhaps the one thing I can do with only a minimal amout of "I'm-not-studying-and-therefore-I-am-going-to-fail-out-of-vet-school-guilt"... So, I am back to looking normal, rather than like a freak. Thank you to all of you for "keeping an eye out" for my eye (a very bad pun, I know)! Thanks again!"

I think both of these stories will make you smile, in very different ways, of course!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

It's strange to feel this way

I'm not sure if I'm still in shock or if I'm getting used to the fact that Mom is gone, but I'm realizing that it's been over two weeks since she passed away life hasn't changed much. I'm sad, of course, but I still feel like she's my mom and nothing has changed about my relationship with her. I know she's not here to directly talk to or ask questions, but I know she's still here in some way.

I had another dream about her last night, this time I just remember sitting next to her at an outdoor movie theater. It was nice.

My first Pharmacology exam today went well. :)

However, my husband is home early from work!!!! So I'm off to spend some time with him and our dogs!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


Recently my aunt had a dream that she was looking over some type of barrier at a picnic table full of people. Everyone had their back to her, except for my mom (who was in her 20's and happy and healthy). My mom was talking to the people, looked up and waved at my aunt and then went on talking to the people.

I had been very upset recently about my dreams. I have always thought that people who have passed away contact you via your dreams. And for several days after my mom's death I had bad dreams. Then the dreams turned to just images of my mom - I couldn't remember much about the dream, I just knew my mom was in it.

Last night, I was talking with Julie and expressed how sad I was that I haven't had a good dream about my mom. However, last night, I had a dream... my mom was definitely in it. The dream was that we thought she was ill, but they ran some tests and she turned out to be perfectly healthy. As Julie said, it was my mom's body that was ill, not her.

Monday, September 11, 2006


Yesterday we (Ian, Josh, Angie, Jon, Jen and I) sorted, packed and moved everything out of my mom's apartment. It was pretty difficult and I just put my emotions on hold - sometimes that's not the best thing to do. However, it is what I needed to do yesterday. She had so many clothes, I had no idea. Alot of it just went to goodwill, but I kept a few things. Anyway, most of her things are now all in my house/garage/breezeway. So needless to say, there is plenty more sorting and distributing to be done in the weeks to come. Aunt Marsha came over and took some of my Mom's things, for example many of my mom's teddy bears that she made years ago. Julie is coming today after her class to pick up a few things as well.

This weekend I also spent a great deal of time studying. Kayce was nice enough to teach me Pharmacology from when I missed class during the first week. So, I'm feeling pretty caught up and confident about my school work right now, which is a huge relief.

Today, I have class from 1-5 and then I'll be getting together with some classmates to continue studying pharm. for our test on Wednesday. I am also expecting a large package (Dyson vacuum). I'm pretty excited about that :)

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Saturday morning

Remember as a kid, when you woke up on Saturday mornings all you had to think about was what cartoons were on and what you were going to eat for breakfast? Today, I woke up worried about cleaning out Mom's apartment, cleaning my house (will I ever finish painting the bedroom?), paying bills and studying. I prefer to think about mindless television and pancakes.

My husband, Ian, is working today, just like most Saturday's. I really hate how much he has to work (and I know he does, too). I think asking someone to work 70+ hours a week is a bit ridiculous. I just wish he were at home.

I'm still missing Mom very much, but yesterday I scanned some old photos of her (instead of studying) - it was quite therapeutic.

Today, I plan to do some of those awful jobs I mentioned above (cleaning, studying, etc.) . Maybe I'll eat pancakes for breakfast. :)

Friday, September 08, 2006

Spreading Lynne's Ashes

Now she is part of the earth - the dunes and lake she loved so much!

Lynne's Memorial Service - Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Mom's sunset.


Day 8 / Day 9

Day 8 of my 2nd year of vet school, day 9 without my mom. My mom, Lynne White, passed away on her 55th birthday (Aug. 29, 2006). This is the beginning of my blog.