Close the Door, Put out the Light…You Know they won’t be Home Tonight…

Reflecting back on this week, it was a very tough time for us. It should’ve been a very fast week, but it felt more like two weeks had passed. And as if we hadn’t been dealing with enough death this winter season, starting with Mom and then the plane crash aftermath; we had two close family friends pass away this week. It’s been especially hard on the children as they struggle to come to grips with the reality of life and death. What would’ve likely been a second blizzard of the season this week turned out to be a lot more rain with flooding in the area – followed by a cold snap with more snow – we barely missed getting dumped on again. As I sit and type this entry out at the end of the week, I look out the window and see about two inches of snow setting on our front lawn. It looks pretty but I know it is bitterly cold out as well.
So let’s get a quick run down of this week, shall we…On Monday we had rain, rain, rain. It rained all day long without letting up. I think we got close to two inches of rain this week. Matt was still hurting badly in his chest and said it hurt to breathe – much less move very well. To his credit, he is not letting it slow him down but he is truly paying the price for pushing his body to its limit this past weekend. He saw the school trainer who examined him and said he felt like he had a broken or dislocated collar bone. He would not clear him to practice until he got checked out by a doctor. The fear was that if it was broken and he wrestled with it, the lose bone could possibly tear his aorta or larynx or a number of other inside body parts that were at risk. Needless to say, he did not practice that night. Abby had basketball practice after school and Ann had an After-Prom meeting that night where she learned that she & Shawna will be taking over the reigns for this annual project from her cousin Tony.
We had yet even more rain on Tuesday. But the temperatures were amazing – up in the lower 60s! Man, I could get used to this! It is still January, right?? Matt was hurting so bad that Ann made an appointment with Dr Guse in Columbus – the one who will be doing his surgery after the season on his shoulder. He had x-rays done but they didn’t show anything so he ordered a CT scan for later that evening. Matt ended up missing most of school after I picked him up after lunch. I had forgotten about the new security measures at the school but am glad they got them. But it made me think…unfortunately, the glass doors won’t stop a man with a gun… The results from the CT scan would not be ready until tomorrow, so he missed practice again, which was just as well since it still hurt his chest with every breath. Meanwhile, I picked up Luke from Mom & Sandy – who were both exhausted; neither is sleeping due to Kenny being so sick. They ordered a hospital bed for him. I knew then what it meant. I remember only a few short months ago when Mom got her hospital bed, she was only with us for a few more days before she passed. Bu had a basketball game that evening at the junior high school against the St Nicholas Trojans. Abby and b-team Pirates looked good, winning easily by 20 points, 32-12! Abby had 2 points, going 1-10 from the field and 0-2 from the stripe. She also had a turnover. However, defense was her thing – as was her entire team; they played great team defense. She had 13 rebounds and 7 forced turnovers and jumped the tip at the start of the game.

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We came home after the game and were sitting down watching some TV when Abby started getting texts and notifications on Facebook that her best friend Megan’s dad had died. Larry is a policeman here in town and so we weren’t sure what had happened – you know how the truth can be distorted easily when information is first coming out about an incident. By the time Ann started getting confirmation texts, Bu was getting pretty upset. She spoke with her other friend Brooke on the phone (she lives behind Larry) and she came over to our house to get away from the stimuli – the incident took place in Larry’s home. Ann took both girls out to the hospital where family & friends had gathered with Larry. That’s when Ann called me and said that he had been shot and there is an ongoing investigation. He was dead from an apparent self-inflicted gun shot wound. Abby, Megan & Brooke stayed out at a hotel with Megan’s mom and sister. Ann, who is good friends with Larry’s ex-wife, came home at some point but was up very late. She finally came to bed about 2. What a long day it had been up to that point. However, about a half hour later the tornado warning sirens started going off which woke us both up. We turned on the TV to find it was in Columbus and headed our way. I called the facility and they were in the midst of following our tornado protocol but were doing otherwise OK. We watched the news and saw that it was thankfully losing strength. It quickly was downgraded to a thunderstorm by the time it got to Greensburg, so we didn’t wake the boys. It was unlike any other storm we had ever seen in our lives. Even though we were under a severe thunderstorm warning (and had just had the tornado warning) – there was no thunder…not one single lightning strike. Very bizarre, indeed… Don’t get me wrong, we like the warm weather in January, but not if it is going to bring the severe weather. I think I’ll just stick with the white stuff and call it good enough.

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Ann did not go to work the next day since she had zero sleep and so much was going on. Abby and the girls did not go to school that day. Matt was still very sore but still was anxious to get back in to practice. Ann called the doctor’s office a couple times but wasn’t able to get any answers on the CT scan, so he missed practice again. To be honest, we aren’t sure he can go yet anyhow – he hurts just to lay still and can’t get comfortable at night. He has tried sleeping in his bed and on the couch but nothing has worked. Abby did not go to basketball practice but did go to dance practice at Dixon later that night. The temps started to drop as the wind picked up through the night and it went from the 60s in the early morning down to the 20s by that night and the snow was coming back.
We woke up to a cold Thursday with snow flurries. I had to be in early and work late for our annual training fair for all the staff. During the day, I got a phone call from Ann that Kenny had passed away. Kenny was a good man who raised a wonderful family. I know Gigi is very sad, but Kenny’s fight is over and he is finally at peace. Matt’s CT scan results finally came back. Turns out that he has a deep contusion and his collarbone had apparently dislocated and then popped back in. There were some questionable chunks of something but they couldn’t verify what it was – likely from an old injury….God only knows with that boy! Ann spent time with Mom & Sandy that evening, trying to console Gigi. I had an interesting drive home. The weather conditions turned from questionable to downright nasty within about an hour or so. We ended up getting a lot more snow than they had anticipated. The rain had started to freeze, so we had a layer of ice on the road, covered by an inch of snow. It made driving conditions some of the worst I had seen in a couple decades. Of course, Decatur County and especially Greensburg were totally unprepared. I didn’t see one truck on the road. But I saw a couple of slide offs and was involved in a couple of near-accidents. I didn’t even attempt to pass one single car. I was pretty pissed about the driving of one particular butthole on the bypass that nearly caused a pile-up accident. The conditions were pretty bad but we had a line of about 5 cars going about 45 MPH on the bypass. The guy in front of me just put on his brakes for no apparent reason and when the rest of did, we all started sliding. I had to pop it in neutral and get on the shoulder to avoid the jackass. The guy behind me had to come in to the left lane to keep from hitting me and the guy behind him was sideways when I looked up in the mirror. Then when I was getting off and trying to turn on to Park Rd, I was going maybe 25 mph with my turn signal and brakes on when I watched Park Rd come and go as I slid right down the road. So I came on through town, the leader of a parade-like procession. We could go no more than about 20 mph. Once you put on your brakes, you slid. If you got on the gas, you slid. It was pretty much idle speed down Main St. Where were the road guys??? This is a state road in downtown – unbelievable. I made my way home but saw a couple more slide-offs and nearly and accident from the car behind me that took a turn way too fast and nearly took out a fence at the junkyard. It took me over an hour to get home. Two of the kids’ names were in the paper that night – Bu for basketball and Matt for wrestling.

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The kids had a two-hour delay from school on Friday. I shoveled and salted and made my way back over to Columbus. The road conditions were much improved. I shoveled and salted at work as well when I got there. It was so freakin’ cold. The temp was about 7° but the wind chill was about -20°. My face was hurting by the time I was finished. Matt finally got to return to practice. He said that he felt terrible. He said that when he wrestled against his heavyweight practice partner and the other 220 guy, he couldn’t do anything – even get up to his base against either boy. It was then that I knew he was done for the season. I could hear the disappointment in his voice and felt so bad for him. Here this child had finished wrestling last year, made it through spring and summer weightlifting, varsity football and the whole wrestling season with this broken shoulder and now that his journey was nearing the end, his body had given out on him. His mind was ready for Regionals, but his body was conveying a very different story. Still, he had to make the decision of what to do on Saturday. He gathered with the team that night and they drove on down to Jeffersonville High School, near Louisville, KY for the tournament this weekend. The weather was supposed to be bad that night, so they left early. I told Matt that he had a difficult decision and I was sorry that he had to make it. I told him that on one hand, he needed to seize the moment – Carpe Diem – you never know if you will ever get this opportunity again. You cannot predict what life will be like a year from now. He didn’t want to look back on this moment in 10 years and say, “What if…” However, on the other hand, he had made it through tremendous odds and adversity to earn a bid to Semi-State last year, Regionals last year, and won the sectionals in football – with no permanent damage done to his shoulder – something we couldn’t guarantee last year at this time. So maybe we should be happy with what we’ve accomplished, be happy with well-enough and not put yourself in a place where you either hurt yourself badly, embarrass yourself or hurt yourself permanently and not be able to do any sports again. I think he learned a lot at practice. If he couldn’t do the basic things at practice, there was no way he could compete at Regionals this inured. He finally called late that night and said he had made the decision to not wrestle. I know it was probably the toughest decision he has had to make in his young life, but I think it was the right one. Both Ann & I told him that we would support either decision fully. But I think shutting it down now was a good call on his part. That night, I met Ann and the kids out at Larry’s viewing. There was a huge crowd and we spent about a half hour or so out there. I brought Luke home and we got Taco Bell. Abby stayed with Megan out there and then came home later that evening, after dinner.
On Saturday, we had two boys make it through to Semi-State. Brandon Butz and Drew Nesius both punched their tickets for the next round! Congrats to those boys and good luck to them next weekend!! I know it killed Matt to sit out today’s tourney. I hope he remembers how he felt and uses it as motivation during rehabilitation. Abby went out with Megan for most of the day and she and Ann went to Larry’s funeral. We felt it was best that I keep Luke here as he was pretty upset last night after visitation. He said he kept thinking about Grandma Bryan and he was teary most of the evening as we talked about grief and loss. We did our weekly chores around the house, watched several movies, made a Wal-Mart run and took naps on and off all day and night. It was nice to have a slow weekend day again. Abby ended up staying the night with Megan again. Matt had a party that night and ended up staying the night with his friend Andy, the QB on the football team.
On Super Bowl Sunday, Ann picked up Abby and materials for making her famous spinach & artichoke dip. We went out to St Mary’s for Abby’s volleyball games against the other St. Mary’s team. The Orange Dreamsicles went 3-0 on the day (21-11, 21-19 & 21-13). Abby scored several points and only made a few mistakes. She could still learn to be a little more aggressive on the floor. Still, the girls looked like they were really having fun – which is what this league is supposed to be all about. For a team that doesn’t practice, they look pretty good. There is one girl that tried to lose the game for them. You will see it on the tape. All the other girls looked really good today. Shawna had Ann take some pictures, so hopefully Shawna will send us a couple of those pictures. After the game, we came home and got changed to go out to Kenny’s viewing in Westport. The lady at the door was very rude and made us stand outside in the 10 degree weather with the wind howling. I’m sure she was just doing her job, but it was her tone, attitude and the little dirty looks she kept getting. Ann said Mom O wanted to be shown here when her day comes but after today’s experience, we don’t think that will happen. We came home and changed again while Ann made her popular spinach & artichoke dip and we went out to our friend Brian & Angie’s home for a Super Bowl party. Matt was asleep and so we left him. Besides, I think he wanted to watch the game with Jamie & Dee. The Messers’ party was a nice way to cap an all-around shitty weekend. Brian broke out the Sailor Jerry and it was on! The game was great as the Ravens built a big lead until the lights went out in the stadium. The Niners came back and made it a game but the Ravens held on to win by 3 points. Ann got us safely home – thanks Hon’!

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Next up is our video section, which includes three family movies from this week and several from around the ‘net this week:

Next up is our Shit Luke Says segment. We have two entries this week. Luke comes up to us in the living room out of nowhere and says, “According to the internet, I sucked on your breasts when I was baby…is that true?” We laughed but didn’t ask to see the internet site! Then later in the week, Grandma asked what happened to his cheek (he has a zit). He said, “Don’t tell anyone, but Abby pierced it with a thumb tack.” Oh that boy and his stories…

That just leaves our Waybac section. We still have a couple weeks of pictures from the Gil Hutton Collection. This week we have a picture of Gil on Lake Schaffer; Aunt Judy and her family with newborn Cathy in October, 1963; Aunt Judy in 1964/65; many of David in June, 1970 and Uncle Chuck & Aunt Judy in December, 1970 (I think).

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And that wraps up another episode of the Scheu Family Blog. As always, we thank you for keeping up with us this time out and we’ll catch up with you again next week. Until then, have a good one. We miss ya, Mom.
Later, Scheu

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