April 2001 Updates on

Mary Beth's Journey

 

The following page contains updates regarding Mary Beth's Journey for April of 2001.

Links to other pages:

Home / Pictures / Mary Beth's Obituary

March - 01 / May -01

If you wish to contact Mary Beth's family, you may do so through contact us.

4-1-01

Our friend Sara Clark shared an amazing story with us and we thought it appropriate to pass it on.  Sara is our youth minister at Our Lady of the Pillar and bonded in a special way with our family, but especially with Mary Beth.  In February Sara's husband Ryan had a birthday so they hosted a birthday party for his family.  Apparently at the party, a curtain rod and curtain came down and has been sitting on their quilt rack.  Ryan is in his busy season as an accountant and has not had the opportunity to re-hang the curtain.  Sara has been asking him to do so, but he has not had the time to do it.  She has been frustrated that his schedule has not allowed him to hang the curtain, so she was praying to Mary Beth.  She asked MB for patience and for her help in getting Ryan to carve out some time to do this chore on his "Honey do" list.

A few nights ago, Sara was woken up by Ryan in the middle of the night.  She asked him what he was doing waking her up.  He woke her up because the curtain rod and curtain were laying over him in bed and the curtain rod had rubbed against his leg awakening him.  The curtain was covering him like a blanket.  Ryan thought Sara covered him with it, but she was asleep and the curtain and rod were laying on their quilt rack when both of them fell asleep.  When the alarm rang that morning, Ryan quickly hung the curtain and rod then went back to tax season.  We thought this story was worth repeating.

God bless you,
Gerry

4-2-01

Greetings from Garden Plain, Kansas.  I am here to be with my parents tomorrow morning while my dad, Grandpa Willie, has a heart catheter procedure to determine the extent of any blockages that may be present around his heart.  He has historically been an extremely healthy individual, so he is understandably nervous.  I am confident that everything will go well and he will be back laughing tomorrow afternoon.  If you have the opportunity, please send him a prayer or two and you can ask a certain angel to look over her grandpa.

Speaking of Mary Beth, her sense of humor is very similar to Grandpa Willie's.  He is truly the funniest person I have ever met.  While she was here, she laughed a great deal like he does and played jokes on people just like her grandpa.  Now that she is gone, she is still playing jokes on people as witnessed in yesterday's update.  She used to scheme with her sisters and brother on what to do to Grandpa each time we visited Garden Plain or whenever Grandma and Grandpa came to visit us in KC or St Louis.  The most ticklish spot on Grandpa is on his hips just inside his pockets.  It is remarkable how sensitive he is in this spot because if you tickle him here, he immediately falls to the ground in laughter.  Mary Beth learned at a very young age of his ticklish spot and every time she saw him, she would sneak up behind him, stick her hands in his pockets and tickle him.  The two of them would soon be on the floor laughing and tickling each other with Barbie, Heidi and William joining in the fun.

God bless you,
Gerry

4-3-01

Today is a wonderful day.  The results of the heart catheter were very positive for Grandpa Willie and he was released around 2:00 pm today to go home.  It was great to see family, but I am grateful that my visit was shorter than 24 hours.  Thank you for your thoughts and prayers on his behalf.  They have been answered.

We are pleased to announce that Sweet Charities Boutique has selected Mary Beth's Angels Foundation as its recipient for the moths of April and May.  Sweet Charities houses a unique gift collection and service bureau.  A portion of proceeds from the sale of personal care products, gifts and jewelry benefits a designated charity each month.  For the next two months, Mary Beth's Angels will be the charity.  Sweet Charities is located within Jean Phillipe & Company Hair and Skin Care Center at 707 Old Frontenac Square (just behind Coco's at Lindbergh and Conway).  If you are looking for an Easter present, birthday gift, Mother's Day special something, or a treat for yourself, please stop by and take a look.

God bless you,
Gerry

4-4-01

One of Mary Beth's favorite things to do was to read to her brother.  When she was finished with several books, Will would turn her cheek and give her his patented "fifty" kisses.  MB said this was one of the best rewards she ever received.  He has taken turns giving all of us his supply of fifty kisses on occasion since Mary Beth left us, but tonight he decided to again give them to her.  We were lying in bed, we finished his books and said our prayer.  

The prayer we have all said every night since MB was an infant is, "Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep, guide me through the starry night and wake me up when the sun shines bright.  God bless Mary Beth, Barbie, Heidi and William, Mommy and Daddy, Grandma and Grandpa, Grammy and Poppy, my great grandparents, my aunts, uncles and cousins, and all my friends and relatives.  God night Baby Jesus, we love you."

William has since added to the end, "Good night Mary Bethy, we love you".  Then he starts blowing "fifty" kisses into the air and he says his angel is catching them.  We are certain he is right.

God bless you,
Gerry

4-5-01

A part of yesterday was very difficult yet very special for Sheila and me as we attended the lower grade mass at Our Lady of the Pillar being said for Mary Beth.  We truly miss her more when we are with a group of children gathered to pray for her.  The tears begin to roll down our cheeks when her name is mentioned.  One of the most special hymns for us was sung yesterday at mass.  It is very simple and these lyrics are sung repeatedly, "Jesus remember me when you come into your kingdom."

When we hear this hymn, we immediately think of our prayers with our dear friend Father Tobin just minutes after Mary Beth took her last breath.  We held hands and prayed over Mary Beth and concluded with by singing this hymn.  It is so simple, yet so powerful for all of us. 

God bless you,
Gerry

4-6-01

Another Friday in Lent, another Pillar fish fry.  With each passing day, there appears to be a little more semblance of normalcy in our lives (not that our lives have ever been normal - in fact, those who know me consider me anything but normal).  We gathered tonight to enjoy community and break bread with the Pillar family.  Each time we gather, numerous people seek us out to talk about how we are doing and to express their love for us and reassure us that we are remembered in their prayers.  It is such a wonderful feeling to be surrounded by so many friends who care so deeply.

Things are getting back to normal in a sense because we were scattered about town tonight.  Barbie was hanging out with her friends and attending a party.  Heidi was the most well dressed person at Pillar before she departed for a League dance.  When she came home she reported, as she usually does, that she danced with boys who were much shorter than she is.  And again, we reassured her that they would soon be taller than her.  William was running around with his buddy Tricia attempting to seek out mischief.  And we were enjoying conversation until it was time to walk home for Will's bath.  Another Friday in Lent, another Pillar fish fry.

God bless you,
Gerry

4-7-01

Fourteen years of smiles and still going strong.  Today marked the 14th annual Aunt Sheila and Uncle Gerry's Easter Egg Hunt.   This was obviously the first Easter Egg Hunt we hosted without our Mary Beth in attendance and it was difficult in a sense.  But life must go on with smiles on our faces just as MB would expect.  We know that she was present because we had a glorious day weather wise.  During the previous 13 years we have endured everything from driving rain storms to snow flurries to extreme heat.  Mary Beth remembered when it was too hot and how the chocolate melted before the eggs were gathered, so she helped us out with a perfect day.

Before the 141 children went to seek the 2,460 eggs that were hidden in the neighbors yards, we all paused to reflect on the important things in life and all prayed the Hail Mary in honor of our angel Mary Beth.  After the hunt we gathered for some great conversation.  Two of MB's friends, Caroline and Nellie, talked about how cool it will be the day they attend Aunt Sheila and Uncle Gerry's Easter Egg Hunt as parents bringing their own children to hunt for the eggs.  We too look forward to that day.

God bless you,
Gerry

4-8-01

Ursuline Academy was a sea of purple on Friday according to Mary Beth's friends Amanda Wilson and Sara Evens.  Amanda is a freshman and Sara a sophomore at Ursuline and they both reported to us about the success of the purple dress down held at their school on Friday to benefit Mary Beth's Angels Foundation.  Amanda sought out and acquired permission to run this fundraiser and it was a great success.  The total they raised in this one day event was approximately $600.  

It is through efforts like this by the young women, faculty, and administration at Ursuline Academy that we will fulfill Mary Beth's dream of assisting underprivileged children.  We want to express our heartfelt appreciation to Amanda and all who participated to making this day a success.

God bless you,
Gerry

4-9-01

Yesterday marked the beginning of Holy Week and we began with a procession into church with palms in hand to commence 10:00 AM mass at Our Lady of the Pillar.  This Holy Week has a deeper meaning for our entire family this year.  As we experience Christ's human suffering, death and resurrection, we are reminded of the blessing we have in our lives.  We have lost some very special members of our family since last Easter.  Great Grandma Nett, Aunt Joanie and, of course, Mary Beth have all departed from our lives on earth.  It is this week that truly drives home the wonderful feeling of knowing how enriched our lives have become by having them with us.  We look forward to celebrating Easter and reflecting on these special gifts of love.

God bless you,
Gerry

4-10-01

Spending the evening last night and the day today in the City by the Bay brought back some great memories.  When we entered the city limits, we drove by Pacific Bell Park.  We attended a game at this beautiful ballpark last summer and one of our most vivid memories was seeing the entire scoreboard emblazoned with the words "The San Francisco Giants welcome MARY BETH RICKEN and family".  Mary Beth was one of baseball's greatest fans.  She believed that baseball is America's game and she appreciated a shut out as much as a homer.  She loved to keep score at the games and always wanted a scorecard.

Yesterday also marked opening day at Busch Stadium for the Redbirds.  It was a bittersweet event for me because they won yet I was not in attendance.  Poor business travel planning on my part caused me to miss the first home opener since I started attending them in 1981.  There is nothing like a day at the ball park with family and friends.  If you haven't seen a game in a while, try it this summer and sing, "Take Me Out To the Ballgame" during the 7th inning stretch.  We know a certain Angel in the Outfield who will be listening.

God bless you,
Gerry

4-11-01

While I was working on the timely preparation of our income taxes tonight, William was playing with Heidi and his cousin Nate.  While Heidi was bathing Nate, Will came into the computer room and began to discuss his views on life with me.  He picked up the phone and asked me to dial heaven because he wanted to call Mary Beth.  He said, "Dad, what is Mary Beth's cell phone number in heaven?  She does have one there doesn't she?"  After several minutes of discussion about how cell phones are an earthly technology, he realized anytime he wanted to talk to her, he could just do it without a phone.  He thought it was cooler than using a phone.

He then asked me if the people in heaven were hungry.  Assuming he meant people suffering from hunger, I told him that I did not think anyone in heaven was ever hungry because it was such a perfect place.  He looked at me with puzzlement and said, "Dad, everyone gets hungry and I am sure God has a refrigerator for everyone so they can eat when they get hungry."  He then went on to explain how some people here went to bed hungry because they had no food in their refrigerator.

After his discussions with me, he watched the end of the mini series "Jesus" with Heidi.  Heidi was amazed at his knowledge as they watched.  He shared with her how Jesus had Lazarus raise from the dead as one of his miracles, then asked if we could bring Mary Beth to Jesus to have him do this for her.  Heidi explained that Jesus is always with us and that none of us except Mary Beth could see him.  He then saw the beginning of the scene condemning Jesus to death and explained to Heidi that this was the part when the mean judge whose name starts with a "P" tells the people to kill Jesus.  

Needless to say, Heidi and I learned a great deal tonight from the questions posed by a four year old.

God bless you,
Gerry

4-12-01

Yesterday, we attended the living stations of the cross as performed by the 7th and 8th grade classes at Our Lady of the Pillar.  It was a very real depiction of Jesus last moments on earth and the students were all wonderful in their roles.  While I was watching the stations, my mind recalled the time Sheila and I spent last Spring in the Holy Land.  It was truly a very powerful experience for us to be on the Mount of Olives standing in the spot where Jesus met with his apostles overlooking Jerusalem.  We saw the site of the Last Supper, the place where he was taken to the high priests, then to Pilate, and to Mount Calvary.

We visited the Church of the Holy Sepulcher which is built over Mount Calvary.  An alter is built over the peak where Jesus died on the cross with a hole under the alter.  We knelt to pray there and placed our hand in the hole and touched the very mount where he gave his life for us.  We had jewelry blessed on the marble slab representing the spot where he was taken down from the cross and wrapped in his burial cloth.  After attending mass there, we entered the tomb where he was placed and we said our prayers and lit candles.  We prayed for the miracle of health for Mary Beth and for a successful adoption for Joan and Jeff who were in the Ukraine at the time.  We know these prayers were heard because we received 8 more months with Mary Beth and Nate is running around St. Louis as one of the happiest kids on earth.  We never underestimate the power of prayer and the will of God because we know through her suffering and death Mary Beth touched (and continues to touch) countless lives.  Yes, this Holy Week is truly our most special yet.

God bless you,
Gerry

4-13-01

Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Oh sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

Were you there when they nailed him to the tree?
Were you there when they nailed him to the tree?
Oh sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they nailed him to the tree?

Were you there when they laid him in the tomb?
Were you there when they laid him in the tomb?
Oh sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they laid him in the tomb?

Were you there when God raised him from the tomb?
Were you there when God raised him from the tomb?
Oh sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when God raised him from the tomb.

We sang this psalm today at Good Friday services.  Sometimes I feel naive enough to think that in fact I was there for these events because I was there when during Mary Beth's suffering and death.  We realize that we will never be able to experience losing your only child like God did.  We find solace in knowing that Mary Beth's death was not in vain.  Just tonight we received a stack of letters from OLP youth group members and a bucket of coins for Mary Beth's Angel's Foundation.

God bless you,
Gerry

4-14-01 - Happy Easter!

He is Risen! Alleluia!

God bless you,
Gerry

4-15-01

Today was an absolutely beautiful day for all of us.  The only tears we shed were a few by Sheila and me during 10:00 AM Easter mass.  We thought about Mary Beth a lot today, prayed to and for her, and talked about her as well.  The mass was more wonderful than the weather with the members of the Pillar choirs outdoing themselves.  William sprinkled his bunny food in the lawn last night and it was all gone this morning and the baskets were full.  He was very excited that his ploy to lure the Easter bunny to our home worked.

We enjoyed a brunch with family and friends and had a small egg hunt with the Stapletons.  The evening found us gathering at the Kohn residence enjoying an Easter dinner with family.  The true highlight of the weekend was the fact that Sheryl, Andrew, and Casey Ricken joined our Catholic faith in full communion during the Easter Vigil in Haysville, KS.  We are very proud of their accomplishments and wish we could have been there to join in their celebration.

God bless you,
Gerry

4-16-01

There is an old adage, "The only two things certain in life are death and taxes."  We know all too well that we are all destined to die someday and pray that this occurs for all of us and all of you in the far off, very distant future.  The part about taxes being certain rings true today as we have reached the deadline to pay our Uncle Sam his due.  In fact, I signed tax returns today for Mary Beth in her absence and will do so again next year.

However, to state that these are the only two certainties is completely inaccurate.  We know that the most important certainty in life is life everlasting.  We all strive to attain this goal through our beliefs and especially through our actions.  It is not how much we give but how much love we put into the giving.  By showering others with love, we will achieve our ultimate goal; for it is in giving that we receive.  Thank you all for giving us the gift of your love.

God bless you,
Gerry

4-17-01

I just drove by the Metrodome where our Royals are playing the Twins and winning so far.  While driving by, I thought about Mary Beth's desire to see a game in every park.  She didn't make it to this particular venue but I am sure the rest of our family will attend a game there someday in her honor.

Tonight we ask your prayers for our friends Jenny Steinmann and Rachel Baumgartner and their families.  Jenny is nearing the end of her stay in the bone marrow transplant unit at Children's and Rachel has had her preliminary meeting to enter the unit later this Spring.  We understand how difficult these days are for the patient and the family.  The process is physically and emotionally challenging for the patient and emotionally challenging for the family because of the isolation, separation and illness of their loved one.  Let us all pray that both Jenny and Rachel are blessed with successful outcomes and also for strength for their families to endure this process.

God bless you,
Gerry

4-18-01

Tonight was a night for practicing and attending functions.  Barbie and I worked on her lines for the upcoming production of "Heidi" as performed by the 8th grade class.  Heidi spent time in church rehearsing for Friday night when she is honored to serve mass for the confirmation of our 7th graders.  She is particularly excited because our friend, Most Reverend Archbishop Rigali is celebrating that evening.  Sheila spent time at Children's Hospital at a prayer service for ill children and our faithfully departed.  Just spending time on these activities this evening brings back so many memories for all of us; Mary Beth's participation in her 8th grade play, Barbie and Mary Beth's confirmation when Barbie served at Mary Beth's and Heidi served at Barbie's, and all the prayers that have been said for Mary Beth and all of us through our challenges.  These in fact, are great memories and bring smiles to all of our faces while a sole tear flows down our cheeks.

God bless you,
Gerry

4-19-01

Angels 

By Heidi Ricken, age 11

 

Everyday I think of them

Glittering in the sky like a gem.

 

Beautiful faces

Of all different races.

 

Sometimes I want to stare

And gaze upon their lovely hair.

 

I dream about their halos of gold

They truly are of Godís perfect mold.

 

Their feathery wings tickle my nose

They sprinkle raindrops on many a rose.

 

I dream they are purple dressed

With their clothes all neatly pressed.

 

My sister is certainly at home

In the kingdom under the heavenly dome.

 

God is always there

With MB in his care.

 

I dream that angels never grow old

And they donít ever get cold.

 

I can only use my imagination

To think of Godís wonderful creation

 

And I kneel down to pray

I shall be one in heaven someday.

 

God bless you,
Heidi

4-20-01

 

Another day, another year older.  Today was number 40-something for me and it was a great day.  I attended the Alleluia mass this morning at Pillar as performed by the 8th grade.  Then I had birthday cake at work followed by lunch with my other April birthday buds, Dan Sullivan and Keith Vidal.  I worked the rest of the day then went home to enjoy dinner and cake with our family, Uncle Jeff and Nate and Barbie's friends.  This evening I attended the confirmation mass for Pillar's 7th graders and watched Heidi serve for Archbishop Rigali and Father Tobin.  It was great to have the opportunity to speak with our friends Archbishop Rigali and Father Hank Brier.  Then it was off to the Chaminade mixer while Heidi and I picked up nine 8th graders.  They piled into my little Xterra and cranked the speakers at full blast for the ride home.  Just another typical birthday for a typical dad.

God bless you,
Gerry

4-21-01

 

Daughter to Mother

By Barbie Ricken

 

Mommy, you say that I am a mistake,

But I am a human being whose life is at stake.

Mommy, I know you and daddy didnít want me,

But you made a mistake, so please donít kill me.

 

Please take care of me, even if you donít want me.

You can put me up for adoption where I can have a loving family.

 

Mommy, I know Daddy left you, and that must be hard

But please, Mommy, take care of me.  Please, Mommy, try hard!

 

Mommy, I can hear you when you say all those things,

About getting an abortion, which means killing me!

 

You know Iím alive.  Yes, Mommy, you do!

My heart beats, I can feel pain, and I love you!

 

Mommy, please donít kill me before I am born.

Iím afraid you wonít care or even mourn.

 

Mommy, I want to be a teacher for students like you,

And teach them chastity Ė the right thing to do.

 

So please donít kill me or you will crush my dreams,

And rip my life apart, right down the seams

 

Mommy, if you can hear me, please answer my prayer:

ďPlease give me the right to life.  Donít abort me and be unfair.Ē

 

I should have a right to life, just like you.

Your mommy didnít abort you!

 

Mommy, what are you doing?  Think about the right thing to do!

Both you and I know that I canít live outside you!

 

Who is this doctor?  What is he going to do?

Mommy, wait, stop, I love you!

God bless you,
Barbie

4-22-01

 

The writing piece above was written by Barbie as an entry into St Louis Archdiocese Pro-Life Creative Writing Contest.  She was fortunate enough to be selected as a finalist among the 1,300+ entries from 8th graders throughout the archdiocese.  We attended the awards assembly today and had the opportunity to speak with Bishop Naumann before he made his presentation to the students in attendance.  It was also great to see one of MB's St Joe friends Peggy Lodes there representing L.I.F.T. and performing a skit for all assembled.  We feel very blessed to have so many talented writers in our home.  The jury is still out on Will, but early signs indicate he will give all three of his sisters a run for the money.

 

I guess the saying "You aren't getting any younger" holds true for me today.  I am a little sore today from lifting and moving flag stones with my good friend Patrick McNulty and running the rotor tiller for about two hours yesterday.  Using the rotor tiller reminded me of the Spring of 1988.  It was a beautiful Saturday in April, much like yesterday.  We always planted a vegetable garden at our Overland Park home and it was time to till the soil.  Mary Beth was dressed in her new cute Osh Kosh overalls and wanted to help me.  She was a little over two years old and was fascinated with worms.  She capitalized on this fascination and helped me find worms by sitting in the middle of our garden while I tilled around her.  She played in the dirt for about two hours and each time she found a worm she called for us to see it.  Needless to say, her new outfit immediately became one of those "special" play outfits that was reserved for projects with Dad.

God bless you,
Gerry

4-23-01

 

Today was a very special day for Sheila because she had the occasion of speaking at Saint Joseph's Academy.  She was invited by Mary Jo Hippe to teach Theology 209 at 9:00 AM this morning.  It was three months ago today when Mary Beth left us, about the same time of the day when this class was ending.  Sheila shared her experiences as she had the opportunity of joining Mary Beth's journey of faith.  She also spoke about the importance of prayer in daily living.  Being a former Angel who attended her religion classes in the same green halls, she related how her perspective has changed since wearing the SJA uniform.  According to Mary Jo, the students were awe struck by the way Sheila openly and honestly shared her faith journey.

 

It sounds like she was just being herself, because all of us are awe struck by her leadership of our family in our everyday lives.

 

God bless you,
Gerry

4-24-01

 

This morning I dropped by the school office at Pillar to ask for some guidance from Tina McNulty on a project assigned to me by Barbie.  While I was there, one of our all time favorite people walked in and shared a story with me.  It was Madonna Atwood, one of the Pillar math geniuses.  On Saturday she took six seventh graders to Rosati Kain High School for their annual math contest.  As part of their ritual before math contests, they all hold the rosary from the Holy Land that Mary Beth gave Mrs. Atwood and say a prayer to her, in addition to praying to Madonna's favorite Saint Martin.

 

This team of six students walked away with five ribbons and a trophy for their hard work that day.  Courtney Rockamann was awarded the trophy and when she returned to the table to show Madonna and her mom Kathy they both started crying because it was silver, gold, and purple and its shape looked like an angel.  The janitors at the school are thankful that neither Courtney's dad Ralph nor I were there because they would still be mopping up the tears.  We want to congratulate all the participants and let them know that they have an angel smiling at them.

 

God bless you,
Gerry

4-25-01

 

We have so many things to be thankful for in our lives but all too often we fail to give thanks.  We often give thanks for our health, but we usually focus on the state of our physical well being.  I was speaking with a dear friend today about a member of their family who is suffering from depression.  This illness, like other forms of mental illness is very real but all to often people do not accept it as an illness.  When someone is suffering from a physical ailment, the signs are very visible and we can see it as a real illness because we believe we too could possibly be affected by a physical illness.  Mental illness often remains un-diagnosed and un-treated because of fear, disgrace, guilt, etc. but nonetheless it is very real and very treatable.  People often discount it because they do not believe they could be affected by a mental disorder.  Statistics show that one in three people will encounter some form of depression in their lifetime.

 

I am sharing this with you to ask you to join us in seeking a special intention when you say your prayers.  Please pray for our friend who is suffering from depression so she may be professionally treated and return to her loving caring family life she has known for so long.  And while you are praying, please remember to give thanks for your health - mental, physical and spiritual.

 

God bless you,
Gerry

4-26-01

 

Today was Take Your Daughter to Work Day and I had the opportunity of taking Barbie to work with me.  My commitment to the girls is to take them to work for the entire day during their eighth grade year, provided they keep their grades up.  Unfortunately Mary Beth was unable to spend the day with me last year, but I know she was here in spirit today with Barbie and me.  Barbie kept very busy today being the assistant to everyone in the office.  She loves to talk on the phone and was amazed at how much of my day is spent doing just that.  She said she would not like doing that at all for a living.  

 

We discussed what she sees herself doing in the future.  She obviously does not know what she will be when she grows up, but then neither do I.  In fact, one of my life long goals is that I will never grow up.  Some may view this as an immature philosophy, but I view it as living out our angel's motto, "Life is short, laugh hard!"  I learned from one of the best.

 

God bless you,
Gerry

4-27-01

 

As I was in a meeting on the 92nd floor of the Sears Tower this morning, I looked out over the Chicago skyline to the east and south and recalled the last time I was in that building.  It was about eight years ago and Sheila and I took the girls to the Windy City for some fun in the summer.  Mary Beth was 7, Barbie - 6 and Heidi - 4 and we had a blast.  We thoroughly enjoyed the museums, the aquarium, the observation deck of the Sears Tower, Uno's pizza, Ed Debevick's, Nike town, FAO Schwartz, Six Flags Great America and many other sites along the magnificent mile.

 

The true highlight of the trip though was our visit to the friendly confines of Wrigley Field.  It was a beautiful day with the breeze coming off the lake and the Cubbies won the game.  The girls' favorite part of the game was joining Harry Carey in his famous rendition of "Take Me Out To the Ballgame" as he leaned out of the press box swaying back and forth with the microphone.  On that trip we didn't get an opportunity to visit with Harry personally so the girls never got to meet him before he left this earth like Sheila and I did on another occasion.  MB has now had the chance to meet Harry and they are probably discussing the Cards' Jim Edmonds almost hitting for the cycle tonight in their shellacking of the Mets and the Cubs' Kerry Wood striking out 14 Giants in 6 innings of work tonight.  Mary Beth is also discussing the disparity among teams because of salaries and revenue sharing arrangements and is asking Harry for his viewpoint on what the Royals can do to improve.

 

It is amazing how entering a building can get one's mind to reminisce.

 

God bless you,
Gerry

4-28-01

 

Every day at least one has a huge smile on our face when we think of Mary Beth.  This morning William was very excited when he woke up.  He told us he had the best dream.  He said that Mary Beth had come back to life and she was playing with him.  She had pretzels that she shared with him and they played lots of games.  They played with blocks, checkers and Legos.  Then Mary Beth read him a bedtime story.  The story she picked out to share with him was "The Littlest Angel", one of his favorite books.  He said he couldn't remember anything else because he woke up.  We are thankful for Mary Beth reading to him last night because we did not have the opportunity to do that as he fell asleep on the couch before we had a chance to get him upstairs to bed.

 

God bless you,
Gerry

4-29-01

 

We continue to be blessed with unexpected random acts of kindness.  One occurred last night as Sheila and I returned from a bowling party to benefit St Joe as part of the auction.  When we opened the door we found an envelope with $44.50 in it with a note.  The note was from Carolyn Fava, Amy Chivetta and Mary Chivetta.  Carolyn and Amy are 5th graders and Mary is a 3rd grader at Pillar.  The three of them hosted a lemonade stand in the neighborhood and raised $44.00 yesterday selling their refreshments.  They caucused and decided that Mary Beth's Angels Foundation could use the money more than they could.  The discrepancy of $1.50 represents an extra contribution Mary gave from her own funds to help the underprivileged children.  

 

We are very grateful for this generous act of love by these young ladies and are very proud of their efforts, and we know MB is.

 

God bless you,
Gerry

4-30-01

 

Whenever you need her, she is there.  When we pray, we pray for and especially to Mary Beth.  Praying to her has become quite widespread, especially in the Pillar school community.  I have discussed tomorrow's weather with her during the last few weeks and I am certain we will have a glorious day for the luncheon, home tour, plant sale at Tina and Patrick McNulty's to benefit Mary Beth's foundation.

 

Mary Beth has become a great motivator in her absence.  One of her best friends, Liz Stapleton, is a member of the Saint Joe track team and has participated in three meets to date.  In her last meet, she set two personal bests in her time in two events.  She was excited and when her mom, Bet, asked how she thought she did it, Liz had a very simple explanation.  She said that as she rounded her last turn she thought about the last weeks she spent with Mary Beth and thought about how Mary Beth couldn't even walk.  This made her even more focused because she knew she was blessed with the gift of walking and running.

 

God bless you,
Gerry

Home / Top of page / MB's Obituary / March - 01 / May -01

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

wolf grey 3s louis vuitton outlet sport blue 3s louis vuitton outlet louis vuitton outlet louis vuitton outlet michael kors outlet kate spade diaper bag jordan 6 sport blue louis vuitton outlet michael kors outlet michael kors outlet lebron 12 michael kors outlet lebron 11 louis vuitton uk coach outlet foamposites for sale michael kors outlet online Michael Kors Outlet