Posted by: Jim E | May 1, 2017

“How Ya Doin’ Jeremy?”…”Fine”…And Still We Mourn…And We Grieve…In Celebration Of His Life…

When I go back to January, 1973…and Jeremy’s original surgery to take out the tumor in the back of his head…it turned out to be a malignant brain tumor…and when he was brought back to his room…and they put him in his bed…he was 2 1/2 years old at the time…his head was bandaged all around…he had tubes here and there…he was still basically, “out of it”…I mean, he had just had brain surgery…but what I did then was something I did all the time…and his answer was the same as it always was…I said, “How ya doin’ Jeremy?”…and he said, as he always did, “Fine”…

That was Jeremy…that was his character, positive and upbeat…and over 40 years Jeremy walking Ranch 2016.jpglater to his last day…he was the same…I mean, he was a courageous person…(I wanted to say, “kid”…because I always referred to him as “my kid”, in the most honoring and loving way)…okay, he was a courageous kid…his character was without blemish…he was, as someone called King David, in the Old Testament, “a good repenter”…if he ever did something wrong, when confronted, he never did it again…(I mean, Jeremy bit his kindergarten teacher…his Mom made sure he never did that again)…

He was a special kid…just yesterday, Judie and I were talking about Jeremy…yup, we still do that…and plan to whenever we feel like it…it is part of our grieving, or moreWaco and Ranch 2016 correctly, part of our honoring and celebrating a wonderful son…but as we talked about him…I stopped for a moment and asked Judie, “Are we over-the-top, with our view of Jeremy?”…I mean, all the descriptors of Jeremy we think of, are so positive…he was such a good son, good person…everyone loved him…he was kind, generous, loyal, had deep faith and on and on…just a good person…

But Judie and I both agreed that he was all that…we stopped to think, Jeremy lived with us for all his almost 47 years…through all his growing up years, teen years, adult years…through sickness and surgeries…we were with him to everyone of his doctor visits, school years…his work years…ALL his years…we knew more about him than anyone could know…he was just a good kid…and he was ours…we still are honored to be his parents…(and a bit proud too)…

We are giving ourselves time…we still find ourselves just start crying when we are Jeremy and Jess pool 2000016reminded of something or see something, that is related to Jeremy…I think that is okay…everything we read about this kind of loss tells us to do so…just last weekend, Jess, Jennifer and Julia came down to Little Rock from Minneapolis for Megan and Lamar’s wedding…as they were in our home, we went in to look at Jeremy’s room…most things have changed, but a few things remain…like pictures on the wall and some of his truck collection…but on the wall was a picture of Jess and Jeremy in a pool…we all talked about the year it was taken…we had guesses but Judie took it off the wall…took off the back to see if there was a date, it was the year 2000…as she took it off, there was a note folded up behind the picture…I will add both the Jeremy and Jess pool 2000-2017picture and note here…as Jess opened the note…he said, “It’s from me.”…and he broke down…well, we all broke down (as I am, as I write this)…it was that kind of moment…finding something in that way, in that moment…it was wonderful…all this to tell you how tears just come at certain times…unplanned and sometime surprising…

Thinking about unplanned things…a couple of weeks before Jeremy died, we took a road trip to Minnesota for my brother’s funeral…we stayed at Jess and Jennifer’s while we were there…Jeremy was struggling with some of his issues then…we had to be with him all the time…choking, passing out, help with walking, etc…but he just couldn’t wait to go…he loved road trips…and we hadn’t been on one in some time…but we felt we needed to go…one of the last mornings there, we were going to leave a little early…meaning mid-morning…it took Jeremy some time to “get going” Jeremy and Duke 2in the morning…while we were near the door to leave…I was by the door and Judie was near Jeremy…I could see Jeremy was “going”…meaning passing out…Jess has a lab (will add a picture) named Duke…he and Jeremy “hit it off”…best buds…the dog was nearer to me…but as Jeremy was “going”…he would stare…Duke growled, something he has never done…but he knew something was wrong with Jeremy…Judie caught Jeremy and we sat him down…and Duke came right over and put his head in Jeremy’s lap…the picture is right after all this happened…what a great picture of both of them…great memories…

Jeremy had a wonderful way with not only dogs, but with kids…they seemed drawn to him…little kids would look at him…no doubt he was unusual to look at, but it never bothered Jeremy…he would turn it around…and go up to them and talk to them or joke with them…they were his best customers at Cub Foods in Minnesota Jeremy and Madi Christmas 2016and Kroger in Little Rock…and Madi, our great granddaughter loved him in the same way…(here they are at Jared and Marisa’s Christmas, 2016)…as those kids in the store, that he would ask if he would give the crying child a piece of candy to soothe them…Mothers would thank him for caring…

Jeremy will live on in so many ways…

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Responses

  1. I love your memories. Keep them coming. Love to you both.

    • Ann…thanks…Jim E

  2. Beautifully written, thank you for sharing!

    • Juli…thanks…Jim E

  3. This is beautiful Dad. So many moments. Good memories of a kind hearted son, brother, friend. We were all so lucky to be in his family! Love you 😊❤️

    • Jennifer…thanks…you were there for some of those times…with Duke…with Jess’ picture and note…just can’t make that “stuff up”…memories that become legend in our lives…I had to write it down so an old man will not be able to forget…and yes, we were fortunate to have “a Jeremy” in our lives…toward the end, he tried to have “all that come out”…but it was hard for him, with all that was going on…but he never gave up…the Lord Himself had to reach down and take him home…couldn’t write the script for it…it couldn’t be written any better, and people wouldn’t believe it if we did…Dad

  4. Jim – fantastic, as usual! Enjoyed reading it very much! Barbara

    • Barb…thanks…Jim E

  5. Dear Mr. Elmquist,
    My name is Kathy Shattuck Brown. You may or may not remember me. I taught math at St Francis High School and was privileged to have both Jess and Jeremy in class for two years each. I learned of Jeremy’s passing on Jess’ facebook back in March. Jess just posted a link to your blog tonight. I just finished crying through many of your posts. I was always moved by your family and your love for Jeremy. He was truly one of the most amazing students that I ever had. He touched my heart way back then and your sharing touched my heart tonight. God bless you and Judie as you mourn and continue to celebrate the life of your precious Jeremy.

    • Kathy…Oh, how could we forget you…I think between Jess and Jeremy…there was a bit of “teacher crush” going on in our house…they loved you…and you found “forever friends” with them…Jeremy talked about you along with other teachers and coaches who touched his life with happy times at St. Francis…no doubt he was loved, by all of his family…but by so many others…and many of them in their quiet time, could not really put their finger as to why…but he just embraced life and all those around him…everyone was his friend whether they wanted to be or not…it went on through his life, right to the end…doctors that treated him found that they grew to love him too…it was uncanny but real…so you can see why Judie and I, as well as his brothers, miss him greatly…we continue to honor him, as he honored us to be his parents…there was a goodness there, with a twist of laughter and good humor…you can see I still miss him…yesterday was a hard day for Judie…we trade off so to speak…some days harder than others…but we know Jeremy is in heaven…and now maybe he is the 6′ 5″, he always thought he was…in a 4′ 9″ body…thanks…Jim E

  6. That was so touching Jim.

    • Sharon…thanks…Jim E

  7. Jim: You have a great skill in writing and I can picture the event. Keep it up. As I mentioned to you in my note, it is great to write all you remember and don’t let anyone rain on your parade. Grieving is never over.You will grieve forever (but not as intense as it is now). You will just learn to live with it. You and Judie will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same again. Nor should you be the same nor should you want to. (Words adjusted a little, but from Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’s writingsj).

    Ruth

    On Mon, May 1, 2017 at 3:18 PM, Your Roving Reporter wrote:

    > Jim E posted: “When I go back to January, 1973…and Jeremy’s original > surgery to take out the tumor in the back of his head…it turned out to be > a malignant brain tumor…and when he was brought back to his room…and > they put him in his bed…he was 2 1/2 years old a” >

    • Ruth…thanks…Jim E

  8. I love the memories and stories you’ve been posting. Thank you for sharing your family with all of us. I continue to pray for all of you.

    • Julie…thanks…we still miss Jeremy and I feel that writing about him makes sense to me…I don’t want to forget, and I’m afraid I will forget some of these memories if I don’t write them down…so it’s both, to keep a record and a way of grieving…he was such a wonderful “kid”…thanks again…Jim E


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