Posted by: Jim E | March 24, 2018

Jeremy Has Been Gone A Year Now…We Remembered It With Celebration…

I complete this year of posts, on our Son Jeremy’s life, with some sense of closure…closure of one year since he died…one year that we have lived without him…and one year, as we determined last year, would be one of celebration of his life…I think we have done that…lots of things have come and gone…you can read some of that in the 15 posts I have written during this year…

It all started with last Sunday…last year Jeremy died on March 19th, which was a Sunday last year…so we began our special time on Sunday…we got up and went to church…came home and went to Chinese Kitchen to get takeout for lunch…it was one of Jeremy’s favorites…so that began our Sunday, the way we would always start our Sunday with Jeremy…then we went to the cemetery where he is buried…

Jeremy's cemetery 2017

Jared, Marisa and Marla wanted to go with us…and then Jared and Laura decided to come along…we had a great time talking, laughing, crying and remembering Jeremy…it was a good time there…it’s beautiful and peaceful…just the way he would want it…at least to Judie and I, it is a perfect place for him…well, for us too, we have a place there too…

On Monday, this year it was the 19th, so it is the actual day of Jeremy’s death…we watched the slideshow that Will, Jessica’s husband, put together for Jeremy’s funeral service last year…it was so well done…some of Jeremy’s favorite music and some of our favorite pictures of Jeremy…it was a wonderful way to start our special day…we also watched the video that Jared made on the morning that Jeremy died…he set up his IPhone in the hospital room and videoed when we walked in and how it all went…it was a hard video to see again…but at the same time, it was, as we decided that morning…the starting of a celebration of Jeremy’s life…and his new life in heaven…

Jeremy Peace Dove on door. March 19, 2017

Judie just came into the room and showed me the album of pictures she put together for Jess…it is priceless…they really grew up together…they shared the same room for years…often during the early part of Jeremy’s life, he ended up in Jess’ bed many nights…Jeremy was recovering at the time from his surgery, radiation and chemotherapy…He and Jess have always had a close relationship…

Then with a cup of coffee, we went to the Arkansas River to listen to the funeral service, it’s only 10 minutes from our house, and a favorite place for Jeremy to go…(a boat ramp…picnic tables and campsites)…the church makes a audio disc of the service…so we took that to Maumelle Park and overlooking the Arkansas River, we listened to the entire service…we enjoyed all of it…all of our boys spoke, Jay, Jared and Jess…Judie and I spoke too…it was great to hear all of the feelings our family shared with everyone who came…this picture is from over a year ago, enjoying a picnic lunch, at the park, overlooking the Arkansas River…

Jeremy picnic Arkansas River 2015029

All of these memories brings me to something I have not said in so many words…Judie and I want to say “Thank You” to everyone…those who have done so many things for us during this year…those that came to the funeral…we were dumbfounded by the love shown our family…and the love shown to Jeremy…Dr. Keller, Jeremy’s doctor at Mayo Clinic, who did so many miracle surgeries on Jeremy, he came…he told me when I greeted him, “I could not, not come.”…and there were others who came from far away, we appreciated it…and there were many who worked with Jeremy that came and they and others sent cards, flowers, and messages on the funeral home site…books about mourning…they all were so appreciated…

Then there were our neighbors, whom Jeremy so loved…they were wonderful during this time…those that Jeremy worked with at CUB Foods in Minnesota…Kroger, here in Little Rock…so loved by Jeremy…and he was so loved in return…we just replaced the fern that one of his co-workers sent to his funeral last year…it lasted until the frost last fall…we still have some plants from his funeral…

Jeremy fern memory March 2018

But our thanks goes on and on…I am not able to mention everyone who has touched Jeremy’s life here and in Minnesota…doctors, teachers, coaches, the job coach who got him his interview at CUB Foods…and Joey from Easter Seals, here in Little Rock, who got him his interview at Kroger…the person at Arkansas Disability who helped him get hearing aids so he could work…so, so many to thank…

And our neighbors, who adopted Jeremy as their own…provided friendship of someone who many times they could not understand…but treated him like their own…talking and swinging on porch swings in the summer, ball games with one…backyard talks with others…sitting with neighbors who owed him nothing…but gave their all…we thank all of you…

Jeremy and Don, a neighbor 2013

Let me take a sharp turn at this point…let me go back to 1972 for a moment…Judie and I were 30 years old…parents of 4 boys…our youngest, Jeremy, developed a tumor in the back of his head, that needed to be taken out…the operation was successful…and Jeremy had a life as full as he could make it…but I remember some days when we didn’t know…we just told ourselves that we would enjoy him and love him for as long as we had him…it was almost 47 years…Wow…what a great and wonderful time we had together…

I remember when he had radiation…I was the only one who could get him to hold still…he was about 2 1/2, but he and I had this bond, this trust in one another…I was outside the radiation room talking to him over an intercom…but he, inside the radiation room, had to lay still the whole time alone…or else he had to be “put under”…that was too much for me, to have him put under everyday for a month…so we two, developed over time…to understand, we could trust one another…he did it…that young…amazing…

Jeremy and Dad cardinal jackets 1990's049

I remember after he had a shunt put in his head about 3 years old…to drain excess fluid…he developed a enlarged area in the back of his head…the shunt didn’t appear to be working…so they wanted him to have the fluid taken out…they were going to put a syringe needle in the back of his head to drain it…I don’t know if they would allow anyone else to help…but Jeremy and I worked out this “thing” we had together…I held him on the gurney…and talked to him, held him still and when it was done…as he told it…it was a piece of cake…he was something…did I ever say, he was my best friend?…he was my example of a man…Dr. Keller once told us, “Isn’t it wonderful the Lord chose to use your own son to bless your lives.”…it was so…

So many memories…he was so courageous…he showed me what it was to be a real man…

One more story to tell in this post…back in 2005, Judie had a double mastectomy, because they found cancer…I wrote this post back then, and want to show you now, what Jeremy was, all his life…Judie went to see her doctor for a check-up…Jeremy and I went along…the post will tell the story…I called it “How’s Mom”…he was special…he loved with a special kind of love…it was unconditional and active…and he loved his Mom…enjoy…

How’s Mom

Sent: Tuesday, July 12, 2005 6:09 PM

Subject: How’s Mom???…

Many of you know our son Jeremy…some of you very well…some of you not so well…but most of you know his background…and he is a man of few words…(unless he is talking about Cub Foods or his collections of old movies and 1/64 scale trucks)…but mostly he stays in the background…makes sure things are in order…along with his few words, he is a “bit anal” about “stuff”…(we are trying to figure out who he takes after…but this is still a mystery!!!)…

Underneath this seemingly aloof young man, runs a very caring, generous, sensitive and emotional side…one which “pops it’s head up” at appropriate and mostly private times…Judie and I get to see it more than anyone else…but it is there and many people get the benefit of this quiet and mostly unacknowledged and unnoticed part of Jeremy…let me tell you a story about Jeremy in the last few weeks since Judie found out about her breast cancer, surgery, etc…not a man of a lot of words…but I titled it, “How’s Mom?”…  

When we told Jeremy about Judie’s diagnosis…he listened…didn’t ask a lot of questions…just brought home flowers…(as he often does)…he quietly listened when Judie and I talked and cried…so he knew what the situation was…through all of the surgery…the stay at the hospital…at home…not a lot of talk, he just listened…

 We went to Cub Foods where Jeremy works and Liz, one of the managers, came up to Judie and told her that she asked Jeremy how his Mom was…he said, “Wonderful!”…and when Mark Allison, the “big boss” came in from Cub’s main office…Jeremy went up to him and said, “Ask Liz about my Mom.”…so Liz said Mark came right into a meeting she was in and asked about Jeremy’s Mom…Liz told him and he said to tell Judie that his prayers are with her…(Mark Allison’s dad, Bob Allison, who played on the 1965 Minnesota Twins World Series Team…died sometime later of Lou Gehrig Disease…so he understands personal pain)…

 A few days later Judie had to go into the doctor to look at a problem that was bothering her…(fluid was gathering under the surgery site)…Jeremy was along, it was his day off…and after we saw the doctor…and we went out in the hall…Judie went to the restroom…and we were looking for the men’s restroom…I was making small talk that it must be out in the entrance area…Jeremy stopped me…looked up and said, “How’s Mom???”…

 And when we later told him that we would not be able to do the things we planned (previous to all this) on his vacation…he said “Hey, at least I’m not at work.”…

 Not a lot of talk…but a lot of thought…as I told Judie later, through tears…that the first thing on Jeremy’s mind…was his Mom…”How’s Mom”…I love that…

Jeremy, Mom and Dad025

 

 


 

 

 

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Responses

  1. your comments and your memories tell a story not many can share, but God looks on the heart and sees all that your going through. won’t it be grand at the marriage supper of the Lamb. rich

    • Rich…thanks for the comments…yes, as we get older…it seems heaven is a lot more real…and wonder more and more, just what it will really be like…I’m sure if I know Jeremy like I do…he will have it all organized for our homecoming…looking for His coming…Jim E

  2. Dear Jim and Judie,

    Jeremy, you, and Judie, have been in my thoughts a lot this past month as I knew the one year anniversary was fast approaching of Jeremy’s passing.

    Your post was truly heartfelt, Jim – I couldn’t get through it without many tears. Thank you for sharing your deepest thoughts and loving memories of Jeremy. I feel fortunate to have known him – he was special in so many ways. Jeremy has left his imprint on many people…

    God bless your family as you continue to celebrate his memory and the gifts he gave you.

    With Love❤️, Connie

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    • Connie…thanks…everyone has a story, so we are not alone with all this…but for us, Jeremy a central part of our story…we are doing well…when we decided to celebrate instead of the other options, it made all the difference…and he would have wanted nothing less…he would have rained on our parade if we had done anything else but celebrate him and what he gave to our lives…and to so many others…in that way, he kept visiting us throughout the year…reminders that we were very fortunate to have Jeremy in our lives…my best to you on this Sunday morning…you have always been a special person in my life…I do from time to time, go back in my mind to CRHS and go over the good times, and there were many…the bad times???…I try to ignore…successfully, by the way…Jim E

      p.s. Connie…let me add this to my reply…I didn’t thank you for you putting out the news on Jeremy’s death last year…it helped getting the news to people I know would want to know…so a special thank you for that…Jim E

  3. Thanks for sharing! He was so special.

    • Ann…thanks and thank you for the booklets you sent…Jim E


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