Posted by: Jim E | January 12, 2018

Sometimes With Jeremy…I Had To Marvel…And Laugh…

Sometimes when I write about Jeremy…I think people may feel I exaggerate his positive traits…but when I think about that, and go over what I say…I am more convinced my positive description is correct…heavens, we lived almost 47 years with him…both night and day…let’s just agree, he was a special kid…I know he was a man, but remember, he will always be “my kid”…both Judie and I use that term…like, “what a great kid”…

I thought about this the other day…it just popped into my head…how Jeremy got along with adults, though he was handicapped in many ways…Jeremy graduated from high school in 1990, he was 20…he went to vocational technical school for one year…the next year, he told me that he wanted something different, something closer to home, he hated that long bus ride to his school…

Shannon Square Shoppes

So I talked with one of our job coaches at the school where I worked…she helped Jeremy get a job interview at CUB Foods near our home, in Andover, Minnesota…I will never forget the proud look on his face, when he came out of the interview…as he told his Mom and me, that he got the job, it was 1991…from the outset, he loved working at Cub Foods…a great group of people that took him under their wing…he really grew up there…learned to do a job well, meet expectations, and get along with adults…and interact with those above him, in other words, learned who was boss and how to please the boss…he never forgot who paid his wages…he was thankful and loyal…

The thing that popped into my head a few days ago, was Jeremy’s 10 anniversary working at Cub Foods…they invited him, and others, to a dinner to celebrate their years of service at the store…there were a few others too…10, 15, 20 years…I really didn’t know what to expect…I had just retired a year earlier…the dinner was to be at a country club in the Western suburbs of Minneapolis…in other words after 40 years of “dressing up”…and determined not to do it again unless I had to…here again, I had to…heavens, it was for Jeremy…and he had to put on a jacket and tie too…

Jeremy, and Mark Allison 10th year at CUB060

As I said, I didn’t know what to expect…and the longer we were at the dinner, the more I wondered if I shouldn’t have gone through what “may happen” with Jeremy…I need not of worried, as you will see…after the dinner part of the affair,  Mark Allison, (above) who was the multi-store manager got up and started the program…my heart dropped at bit…not knowing what was ahead…he started by telling everyone how they valued their staff and all the other nice things to be said at these kind of things…and then he said he would introduce each honored guest and tell how long they had been at the store…and they would ask each one to tell something about themselves and something about the store…something like that…

Jeremy, Doug Windsor 10th year at CUB059

At this point, I wondered how Jeremy would do with this…I couldn’t take him out and help him through this…so we just waited…Jeremy’s turn came…he stood up and for about 5 to 10 minutes he did a stand up routine that completely took my breathe away!…there were about 40 or 50 people in the room…he got up and started telling stories about his bosses…about the store…about his job…and on and on…he had all of the room laughing (and not at him, with him)…

Both Mark Allison and his store manager Doug Windsor (above) took the brunt of the fun…and Jeremy took some of his own self-depreciating humor…he had the room in his hands…I on the other hand was Wowed by his ability to handle this situation…I will add pictures…notice, he was completely comfortable in this situation…of course he was “with his work family” and he was at home with them…but as his Dad, I just sat there stunned…and notice the after program picture…they just kept up the humor…and there is Jeremy “holding court”…can I say Judie and I were honored to be his Mom and Dad…

Jeremy and Mark Allison 10th year at CUB061

It made me think about another time, where Jeremy “held court”…it was in a court room…for a period of time he was on SSI…which is a Social Security program for handicapped who are looking for work…so when he got his job at Cub Foods, I contacted them to tell them he was working…they said his monthly check would still be coming until he made a certain amount of money…I told them he did not need it any more but they insisted and so we just went on…about a year later we got a letter that he owed not only that money, but other money too…it came to about 3 thousand dollars…I sent in a challenge to that, with explanation…long story short, it ended up that Jeremy had to go to a Social Security Court and plead his case…

Jeremy SSI courtroom

I was totally surprised by the court room…heavens, it was a court room…I thought it might be just a room that a person would come and listen and make a recommendation in this situation…but no, it was a “real court room” with a real judge…sitting behind the bench…so when it all started, I was ready to go up with Jeremy to help him through this situation, since I was the one whom they dealt with to this point…but that was not the way it was…Jeremy was asked to come forward…I got up to go with him…but the judge told me that only Jeremy should come forward to the bench…

And Jeremy did it again…confident, even bold…he told the judge he loved to work, he worked hard and knew who paid his salary…and worked hard when he was on the clock…he was humorous, straightforward, honest, and won the judges heart…kind of like he did with everyone he met…and worked with…the judge, after he was through with questioning Jeremy, came off the bench and congratulated us on what a great son we had…congratulated Jeremy on his work ethic and his confidence and wished him good luck…later in the mail we got his findings…Jeremy did not have to pay back the money…old Dad was not needed here…Jeremy held his own…it was a pattern in his life…

Lastly, Jeremy and his locker room speech…Jeremy was the basketball team manager at St. Francis High School for years…all the years his brothers Jared and Jess played ball…and then until he graduated from high school…and I think for a year or so after…the following email is from his brother Jess…it will be self-explanatory…showing Jeremy’s ability, beyond what would be expected…

Jeremy, Jeff Fink story018

He was an adult in a small body and one of the things that does come home to me…is that in these last few years, where he was so hard to understand because of his strokes, it was not always that way…he could be articulate, could carry on a conversation, and in fact hold a group of young or old, and move them where he wanted…he was special…I still am honored and impressed with this “kid” of ours…

Jeremy State Tournament patch062




  1. 🙂

  2. I enjoy receiving your Roving Reporter Post’s . Thank you

    Sent from my iPhone


    • Thanks JoAnn…Jim E

  3. Dear Sir,

    Your post touched me greatly. I know about loss, i.e., loss with hope. There is so much peace that comes from loving a life well lived, one that is a peace with our Savior–whatever that peace looks like or feels like. I’m glad that you allow yourself joy, and why not…Jeremy has entered his reward. If he hasn’t already, he will hear, “Well done good and faithful servant.” Bravo Jeremy.

    God’s blessings,
    Pam S.

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