Can I Handle the Seasons of my Life?

Where to start… It was a very hard week for me personally as I came to grips with my mom’s mortality. I knew she was putting on a brave face when I spoke to her the last few weeks. Dad finally told me the cold hard facts and that the doctor can’t even say if she will see 2013 at this point. Her goal is to reach her 63rd birthday (Grandmaw’s age at her death) and see her 34th wedding anniversary. It is difficult to accept that we may have spent our final Christmas together and that she may not see Matt’s high school graduation nor ever see him wrestle in person or maybe even not see my little brother get married. All these realizations have obviously had a huge impact on me as a person and it is difficult to take much of the other things in life very seriously right now. Everything else is so small and silly compared to what my brave mother is going through. Mom has really taken a turn for the worst and everything has come on so quickly. She went from being just fine during Super Bowl weekend when Rob & Sharon were down, to sore, to diagnosed, to treatment, to deathly sick in a matter of a couple weeks. As I reflect back upon my life, I think about how much she and Dad B have been through in their lives and all the sacrifices they made to make mine and Rob’s lives as good as they are today. How do you thank someone for that? I am so appreciative of all the little things she has taught me – my work ethic, my outlook on life, that happiness is more important that money, treating other people with dignity and respect, being open-minded to people that are different from you, helping others, being kind to others – what a good mother she is…I look at my children and hope that I can be half the parent to them as she and Dad have been for Rob & I. Everyone I talk to about my mother always has such nice things to say…and I mean genuinely nice things…and that is exactly who she is – a genuinely good person. That’s probably what I’m most appreciative of…that I can proudly say that my mother is a good person besides being a great Mom.
With all this going on down in Florida, we somehow tried to make the children’s lives as normal as we could while still trying to explain the facts of life to the kids in terms each would understand. And time does march on…Monday was our first day back to school after Spring Break last week. The kids were a little slow going in the morning and it much cooler when we went to get in the car. We were back in pants – Spring Break was definitely over. We took Molly to the vet for surgery on her ear. She ended up staying the night. Abby had track practice and then tap dance class. Matt had weightlifting and then freestyle wrestling practice. Annie was too tired to cook that night so we treated ourselves to our favorite takeout – Koch’s! But first; as promised in last week’s post – we start off the pictures portion by going back to last Sunday, for which we have several good pictures of the girls prepping, performing and celebrating their high gold-winning dance routine at the Applause Talent regional dance competition up in Indy. The girls were the only team that was not a recreational entry, so placing 8th overall is pretty damn good for the competition they went up against. All the pictures of the actual routine were purchased at the event (we bought all the pictures of the routine), as they did not allow any cameras or video. They danced to Manic Monday. Oh and Abby’s word of the week – “Creepy!” Everything she has described this week has been “creepy!” …sounds to me like she has been watching too much Scooby Doo this week…

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Tuesday was even colder – Brrr! We woke up to below-freezing temps – WTH! I talked to Dad on the phone that night and found that it was a rough weekend for my folks down in sunny Largo. We think about them constantly each day and love them so. I had to go up to Indy to the Crowne Plaza hotel for a three day seminar for CPI (crisis prevention) to renew my trainer’s certification. Ann had a busy day with more drama at work, got Abby’s glasses repaired (I’d almost forgot she wore glasses it has been so long), picked up Molly from the vet and picked out photographs that the town sports photographer had taken of Matt at wrestling meets this year. Abby had track tryouts and made it through the first round of cuts, followed by jazz class at Dixon Dance. Matt had weightlifting and freestyle wrestling.

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I was back in Indy for training just off Pan Am Plaza again on Wednesday morning. It was another busy day of drama at work for Ann as well. She attended her After Prom meeting that night with her buddy Shawna. Abby had track and Matt had weightlifting. Luke went to Alex’s house for a few hours to play. Sandy brought by her new Jeep Liberty. Although a couple years old, it is in excellent condition with no apparent scratches and just minor signs of wear. Luke loves it. Mom got sicker and dehydrated, needing to be admitted in to the hospital. The chemo has really put the whammy on her. It gave her diarrhea and she lost too much water to properly flush her system and it damaged her kidneys. We are hoping that the treatment they are giving her will “kick start” her kidneys but as of right now, they are not functioning and is causing her excruciating pain, some confusion and other symptoms. She cannot continue with her chemo regimen until she gets her kidney function back. I had a very long talk with Dad on the phone. It was a very hard talk filled with tears and some awkward silence (we are guys after all) and he described how they had talked with the folks with hospice and said that they were told by the doctor that statistically speaking, Mom has three to nine months to live. That was a tough pill to swallow and I struggled to hold it together the rest of the night.
Thursday was the last day of CPI trainer training in Indy. I was commended for my hands-on teaching skills and I aced the test with a perfect 100%! 😉 I tried but couldn’t reach Mom all evening. Rob & Sharon headed down to be with our folks, which I was thankful for. Ann & I talked about going down ourselves. I got the mower back finally but now I have a jungle I have to gradually cut down! Abby made it through another round of cuts at track practice. I believe she has one more on Monday night. Matt had weightlifting and freestyle wrestling practice after school. Luke played with his neighborhood buddies while Abby & I exercised outside. Ann got Matt signed up for Driver’s Education!! Man, do we feel old…. And it was American Idol night – Ann made good on our traditional popcorn that made everybody happy…especially when we found out Phillip and Elise made it through to the next round. We were sad that we said good-bye to our sentimental favorite, Hejun. I want to say thank you to all the friends & family that have said so many nice things on Facebook, via greeting cards and on phone calls. It really means a lot to Ann & I to hear those comforting words from all of you. While on Facebook, I came across several different pictures of some of my Scheu cousins that I wanted to share here…

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Friday was a long, busy day at work for me as I tried to catch up everything I had missed this week. Abby had track practice where she tweaked her knee while working out on the long jump and hurdles events. Ann took Matt to the BMV to get his permit. It’s official – we have another driver in the house. He couldn’t smile for his own pictures, which I still think is weird – or should I say creepy, Abby? LOL. Matt drove Ann to Wal-Mart and then brought her home. He has really good instincts and just needs to be taught the skills formally. He will be fine…as I’m sure Abby will probably be a pretty good drive as well – it’s Luke that scares me! Matt spent the night with his buddy Blake who now lives in Metamora. I talked to Mom for the first time in a few days. She sounded pretty rough and was difficult to understand. I cried for an hour afterwards, I think. She is on several pain meds and has a swollen tongue, not to mention the issue with her kidneys which is screwing up her body. The treatment they tried did not “kick start” her kidneys so she started dialysis today. In fact, her chemo is officially suspended until the kidney issue is resolved. Dad said she has been kind of going in and out. She supposedly spoke with Grandmaw & Grandpaw Brown and some guy named Ed Crabbe last night. She said she didn’t trust Ed – he took people over the hill. I guess she told her Mom & Dad that she wasn’t ready yet to join them as she has a wedding to attend. I guess she asked if her boys were here…and that was my cue that I needed to get there. So Ann booked us a flight and we are heading down to be with her and Dad as quickly as we can. We fly out on Air Tran on Sunday and will be back on Wednesday – at least that is the current plan. Ann & I are very lucky to work for companies / bosses that allow us great flexibility to the point where there were no questions asked when we spoke to our bosses about needing to go south for a few days.
We were up early on Saturday as we headed to Columbus for Abby’s choir competition. Abby and her choir teammates sounded pretty good. They earned a silver medal for their efforts today! …Really good for their first year of competition. Afterwards, she chose Steak & Shake for the celebratory lunch. Man – there’s nothing like a steak burger, fries with their seasoned salt, chili w/ cheese & onion, a soda…and a shake to go! Mmmmmm… 😉 Luke ended up going over to Alex’s house to spend the night. We packed our bags, watched the NCAA Final Four basketball games (it’ll be Kansas vs. Kentucky in the final game on Monday night) and talked to Rob. One more thing I need to say is that we are so thankful for Maryann & Sandy for helping us with the kids for the time we will be away. Without them, we would not be able to have the life we do and this is just another example of how good they are to us – thanks guys, you’re the best! We plan to board our flight about noon and will land after 2 or so, down in sunny, hot Tampa where Dad & Dave will pick us up. It will be good for my soul to see Mom, even though I know it will be hard…who knows, it may be the last time I see her. …How crushing it is to write that last sentence…damn this is hard…

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Next up, we have our video section including our one new family video as well as a few from around the net this week:

Next is our Waybac section. Don’t have much time this week, so it’ll be a quick one. Leading off, we have an unknown / unlabeled photo, circa mid-fifties I would guess. I wonder if Mom can ID this one as Aunt Marilou’s step-daughter? I think another copy of this picture has been up before. Next is a great picture of Mom from what I believe to be her sophomore year, so I would date this one at approximately September of ’65. Our final one in this section is of Mom & Dad Scheu’s wedding in April of ’68. It looks like this one is taken directly after the ceremony in the church as they greeted everyone leaving the sanctuary. I see Aunt Mary, Little Vicki Albrights, Grandmaw Brown, Aunt Brenda, Granny & Grandpa Scheu, Dad Scheu, but the others I don’t immediately recognize.

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This middle section has some great pictures of Mom. We start out on the day that changed it all – that fateful day in Lafayette, back in June of ’78 for Mom & Dad B’s wedding. This is the day, as I told Dad earlier this week, which was the game changer for Mom & I. Mom told me earlier that she has lived a very happy, full life. I reminded Dad of that and added that it was directly because of him that she is able to make this statement. To think of where we were in our lives back then and look back at the journey from this point forward is amazing. Thanks Dad. All of the pictures in this section are from the reception at the 40 & 8 in Lafayette. Some of the familiar faces that I can see are Linda Workman and the other gals from Mom’s days of working in the Welfare Office in downtown Lafayette; Vicki Crum (Mom’s best friend at the time and also her Maid of Honor), & Aunt Midge and Uncle Hi. I have always thought Mom looked so pretty in that yellow dress. She really slimmed down for this event and even at the time I thought she looked great. Looking back at it 34 years removed now and I still think she looks fabulous…and you gotta love the ‘chops that Dad B is sporting in these pics! LOL! That group of pictures is followed by their honeymoon cruise and this batch of cruise pix has people whose names have likely been lost to time. I seriously doubt that Mom or Dad could still put names to these faces, but it looks like there were several folks having a good time, including their favorite waiters and bartenders. 😉

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We finish up this section with a batch of my little buddy, Rob when he was just one month old. I remember when we were taking these pictures. We were all so excited to finally have Rob and I could hardly wait for him to grow up so I could play ball with him! I remember the layout of that house and how much Mom & Dad put in to it to fix it up…hell I still remember the first day we saw it – what a dump! Ha! Ha!! I remember that old couch and those end tables, I remember laying on Mom & Dad’s bed and talking on the phone (I thought it was so cool that they had a phone in their bedroom!); I remember Carmen coming over with Carol and later going with them to Magic Mountain and riding Colossus – at the time, the longest wooden roller coaster in the world! I remember Dad, Ed and I “making” or should I say enhancing Rob’s chest of drawers in to a changing table top out in our little garage which of course had Dad’s workbench. I remember how Rob & I’s bedrooms were attached through the walk-in (walk-through?) closet. That was a neat little house. California was good to our family. Sadly, I’ve not been back out west since we left in 1980 – though I have “visited” our old neighborhood via cyberspace on Google Earth. It has changed a lot in 33 years, as you might expect…

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And we wrap up this week’s entry with our newest section – The Shit Luke Says. Here is the setting – Luke was at Mom & Sandy’s house after school on Tuesday. Sandy brought home the new jeep on a test drive. Luke quipped, ‘Gigi! You’re too old to drive a jeep.’ Sandy asked him how old you needed to be and he replied, “You know – 25, 35 or 43.” Sandy asked what if (she) got it anyway? To which, he matter-of-factly stated, “You would have to put bull horns on the front!” :0) Maryann then said well this way Matt could drive the Crossfire and then when you (Luke) get older, you can drive the Jeep…but wait, what about Abby? Luke piped up, “Aw, she can buy her own…”  Aaahh the shit that Luke says…

Well that wraps up another entry on the Scheu Family Blog. Thanks for keeping up with us this time out and we’ll catch up with you next time. Until then, have a good one. Mom, I love you…
Later, Scheu

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