June 2002 Updates on

Mary Beth's Journey

 

The following page contains updates regarding Mary Beth's Journey for June of 2002.

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May -02 / July - 02

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6-1-02

This evening we had the opportunity to celebrate 50 years of married life for Sheila's parents - Bob and Mary Ann Kriegshauser.  We have learned that 50 years is a long time, not only for marriage but for life itself.  Several blessings from God are present when you see a couple committed to one another and to this sacrament for five decades.  We thank God for the blessings of their health, family, friends and faith as they have endured the many triumphs and challenges these past fifty years.

God bless,
Gerry 

6-2-02

Summer in St Louis is truly in full swing.  Will was in two different pools today, we all have more color on our faces, and I put a saddle on a mosquito earlier this evening and rode it around the neighborhood.  Barbie has informed me that the Race for The Cure website has been sending error messages out and not allowing people to sign up.  This problem should be fixed very soon.  If you are interested in participating in this wonderful event, the registration fee is $16.00 and the deadline is TUESDAY - June 4th to join the Mary Beth's Angels team.  You may register at the website at http://www.stlouisraceforthecure.org/HowToRegister.aspx.  Look for team #604 - Mary Beth's Angels in the drop down menu.  We would love to have you join us on Saturday morning June 22nd.  You do not have to run in the event.  You can join William and I as we walk the route and enjoy the morning. 

God bless,
Gerry 

6-3-02

It is always wonderful to spend time with family and friends, especially those that you do not see that often.  We had the opportunity to do so the past two days at the wake and funeral of Sheila's Aunt Pat Gundaker.  We celebrated her life just as she would have enjoyed had she been physically present.  There was humor in the eulogies, bagpipes playing Amazing Grace at the cemetery in Catawissa, MO and refreshments afterwards at the Red Cedar Inn in Pacific, MO.  Days like today make you appreciate your friends and family and remind you to spend more time with them outside of weddings or funerals.

God bless,
Gerry 

6-4-02

We want to thank all who signed up to walk/run in the Race for the Cure as part of the Mary Beth's Angels team organized by Barbie.  Although the sign-up deadline for being a member of our team expires tonight at midnight, you may still sign up on the website as an individual after today at www.stlouisraceforthecure.org.  Even though you will not be an official member of our team, we will gladly open our arms to you and ask that you join us in support of all who have been affected by cancer.  It is through the support of these events that the necessary research may be performed to increase the number of cancer survivors.

God bless,
Gerry 

6-5-02

Taking family photos can be stressful at times but tonight we made it through a photo shot without a great deal of stress.  While we were having our picture taken for the Pillar directory, I never felt stress but rather a huge void.  This was the first such setting in which our family was sitting for a picture with one less smile.  I know she was with us to assist in our smiles because we actually ended up with a photo in which we were all smiling with our eyes open!  MB - happy smiles to you until we meet again.

God bless,
Gerry 

6-6-02

We have the bundle of unleashed energy staying with us for the next couple of days and nights before his grandparents come in town to spend some time with him.  Uncle Jeff is out of town on business and Mr. Two Year Old Nate is here.  It is so much fun seeing Will play the role of big brother and teach him the tricks of the trade.  With his mischievous smile it is evident that he does not need the education provided by his older cousin on several fronts.  From using his food as play toys to climbing to the top of the rope ladder then letting go, he provides his share of challenges but we would have it no other way.  Besides, we know his mom is laughing hysterically up in heaven with MB as they see us scurry around to watch him.

God bless,
Gerry 

6-7-02

It is very heartwarming to see the Sansone family smiling and enjoying themselves as we did this evening as we helped Botch celebrate his graduation from St. Louis University High School.  Is has been over a year since his dear mother Peggy left us and they miss her everyday as we miss our dear Mary Beth.  Regardless of the events that occur in our lives, we must keep our faith in God's plan and believe that there is a reason for everything.  We keep smiling and enjoying the minutes we spend with family and friends.  Our wish is for everyone to have the faith and trust in God to savor life every minute of every day.

God bless,
Gerry 

6-9-02

We are having fun in the sun this week in Naples, FL and enjoyed some beach time this afternoon after waking up way too early to catch a flight.  In the event this web site does not get updated regularly this week, you will know that we are either having a lot of fun, experiencing technical difficulty or both.  At any rate, we wish you a happy and healthy week, wherever you are.

God bless,
Gerry 

6-10-02

We became very familiar with the working of stingrays today but much to Will's dismay.  He spent over three hours with Sheila and me in the Naples Community Hospital after being stung on his foot by the tail of a stingray just after noon today.  He stated that he still likes all animals except one - the stingray.  After much bleeding, swelling, soaking in hot water, x-rays, antibiotics and ice cream, his foot is back to normal outside of the gouge taken by his seafaring friend.  He charmed all the nurses as he managed to smile quite a bit between the crying and the tears.  When we entered the emergency room, we were informed that another stingray victim arrived five minutes before us.  In speaking to this woman, she stated that she had given birth to four children and this pain was much worse.  So, all in all, we were very pleased with how well Will handled the ordeal.  We look forward to tomorrow because - Every day's a holiday!

God bless,
Gerry 

6-11-02

After our stingray ordeal yesterday Sheila and I took a long peaceful walk on the beach.  We commented on how we had not seen any sand dollars on this trip and recalled a time when we gathered dozens on one trip.  Mary Beth was our expert sand dollar finder when we visited Fort Myers Beach in the early nineties with our friends the Lauers.  MB was probably around eight and she waded in neck deep water waving her foot along the bottom.  She would scream out, "I've got another one!", and lift it out of the water with her foot and hand it to us.  After Sheila and I reminisced about this wonderful family trip, we found two sand dollars.  Thanks Mary Beth!

God bless,
Gerry 

6-12-02

Please join us in keeping our surrogate daughter Gerilyn Goeddel in your prayers as her physicians determine the source of an episode that occurred yesterday.  As she was driving on highway 40 to her lifeguard job, she blacked out at the wheel.  Thankfully her guardian angel was watching over her as she made it to the shoulder without harming herself or anyone else.  We are confident that her healthcare providers will determine the cause and she will be back on the road soon.

God bless,
Gerry 

6-14-02

On this first Flag Day since the tragedies of last fall let us recall who we are what we stand for.  We are a nation of great people who are free to express our beliefs in an open manner.  Our quest is to treat everyone equally regardless of gender, religion or ethnic background.  Many people have gone to our defense to preserve these rights and carry the symbol for which we stand; our star spangled banner.  The pride of our nation is present in southern Florida as our flag is flying proudly in front of homes and places of commerce alike.  This day is often overlooked on our calendar.  Let us not overlook what we stand for and pause to thank God for the blessings we have.

God bless,
Gerry 

6-16-02

Happy Father's Day to all dads.  I had a great day today spending time with my family.  I spent time with all four of our children as well as their wonderful mother.  It was particularly difficult for me at the cemetery I guess because I could not give all of our children a hug today.  Please do me a favor and give your dad an extra hug or your children an extra hug. 

God bless,
Gerry 

6-17-02

Please keep Neil Kauten and his family in your prayers this evening.  Neil is the brother in law of one of our friends in KC, Rick Nowicki and received a double lung transplant seven years ago.  Neil sought counsel from another double lung recipient before and after his surgery, our Aunt Joanie.  She enjoyed sharing her experiences with him and will now have the opportunity to meet each other in our Lord's kingdom.

We understand how trying the health of a double lung recipient can be since Joan went through it twice.  Neil battled a fungus this year which is rather rare in transplant patients and proved to be too much to overcome.  Let us all consider being an organ donator by informing our families of our decision.  Because of this decision made by complete strangers, we had the opportunity to spend several more years with Joan, attend her wedding and witness her become a mother.  Neil's family received a similar gift of seven more years with him.  Joan and Neil were the fortunate ones.  By donating, you will give the gift of life to another family and we know how precious that gift truly is.

God bless you,
Gerry 

6-18-02

"That a winner!"  This phrase was said numerous times over the years by Jack Buck to end each Cardinals victory.  The world lost a very special individual tonight when he closed his eyes for the final time.  Ironically, he passed away after the game in which the Cardinals met the Angels for the first time ever.  Those who knew him, listened to him, or knew of him will miss him.  His caring and sharing epitomized his greatness.  Today we can state what has been obvious for years - "Jack Buck - That's a winner!"  

God bless you,
Gerry 

6-19-02

I would like you to read the following letter and seriously consider helping Matt and others.  I also encourage you to read their website and keep them in your prayers.

Dear Friend,
Help save my life and the lives of others!  I am a five-year old, young male seeking the match of a lifetime.  You see, I need a life-saving bone marrow transplant and if you are between the ages of 18-59 and free of any chronic disease, you could be my perfect match!  Find out by becoming a donor and registering with the National Marrow Donor Program (www.marrow.org) this Saturday, June 22 10 am - 4 pm at First Evangelical Free Church, 1375 Carman Road, Manchester, MO or by calling the Heart of America at 1-800-366-6710 to request a blood test kit to take to your own doctor.  There are 3,000 people like me seeking a second chance at life ... so please help if you can!  Visit my website at www.alexandmatt.com for more information about me and my seven yr. old sister, Alexandra who already found her match and had a transplant May, 2001.  We both suffer from a life-threatening blood disorder called Fanconi anemia and need your help.  Also, click on the Harley icon on our home page for the latest fundraiser!  Please pass this on to your e-mail list ... All things are possible with God.  (Luke 1:37)  Hoping you will help me and others in need if you can.  

Just a kid wanting to grow up and play football,
Matthew Pearl
St. Louis, MO.
dipearl57@hotmail.com

God bless you,
Gerry 

6-20-02

Today was a day of healing for many as we witnessed either in person, on the television or on the radio the memorial service for Jack Buck held at Busch Stadium.  The service today was as moving as the pre-game tribute last night and was full of emotion in celebrating the life of a great man.  When you encounter the loss of a loved one, you experience a wide array of emotions.  The past two days have been difficult on the family members.  We had the opportunity to spread a little cheer to two members of Jack's family this evening as we kicked off one of our summertime neighborhood pastimes.  The snowcone machine was in full force tonight in the backyard as friends and neighbors gathered for these cool delights.  Little Trudy Buck, Joe and Ann's youngest and Ann joined us to consume some.  Ann called it a welcome break and shared her memory of Mary Beth when they spoke two years ago at one of Will's pre-school events where Fredbird, the Cardinals mascot, was the highlight.  She loved everything about baseball and now has one of the best-ever baseball greats in heaven to talk to about it.

God bless you,
Gerry 

6-21-02

One of the causes for Mary Beth's Angels Foundation is to tend to the needs of hungry children.  To assist in this effort, the foundation has financially supported The New Hope Food Pantry in St. Charles county.  Yesterday, the pantry closed its doors due to a lack of funds to pay rent.  The article in the Post-Dispatch may be read by clicking here.  Thanks to all who have supported MB's Angels, the pantry will re-open its doors next week.  This article may be read by clicking here.

God bless you,
Gerry 

6-23-02

Participating in The Race for the Cure was an awesome experience.  It was amazing to see the thousands upon thousands of people from all walks of life participate.  While we did not hear an actual number, the estimate was 45,000 walker/runners.  Among the sea of humanity were hundreds of women wearing pink t-shirts denoting them as survivors.  With the efforts of all the sponsors and participants we will hopefully continue to see more breast cancer survivors as well as survivors of all forms of cancer.

God bless you,
Gerry 

6-24-02

We have all learned to adjust our thoughts and actions based upon our own unique life experiences.  The thing that strikes me more than ever are the words encapsulated in Mary Beth's life motto - Life is short, laugh hard!  The sudden death of Darryl Kile at the age of 33 is very troubling news and God's reason is unknown.  His wife and three young children (5 yr old twins and a 10 month old) are left to go on without their husband and father.  Life is so precious that we often take each day for granted knowing that there will be a tomorrow.  I have reflected several times during the past few years on how special each moment is but I must continue to remind myself that we truly have gifts beyond measure all around us continuously.  So, whatever you are doing when read this, pause and take a moment to think of how fortunate you are and give thanks to God for your many gifts.

God bless you,
Gerry 

6-25-02

I received this in an e-mail from my sister Pat today and thought it appropriate to share, especially after attending the Cardinals game tonight which was played in tribute to Darryl Kile:

If God had a refrigerator, your picture would be on it.  If He had a wallet, your photo would be in it.  He sends you flowers every spring.  He sends you a sunrise every morning.  Whenever you want to talk, He listens.  He could live anywhere in the universe, but He chose your heart.  Face it, He is crazy about you!  God didnít promise days without pain, laughter without sorrow, sun without rain, but He did promise strength for the day, comfort for the tears, and light for the way.

God bless you,
Gerry 

6-26-02

I would like to ask you to get out your prayer list and add a few people to it.  Our friend Erin Wilson is preparing for her second stem cell transplant which will occur on July 8th in Kansas City.  This is rare territory she is exploring.  Please pray for success and strength as she faces this latest challenge.  Our friend Rachel Baumgartner has been battling a case of the shingles.  Please pray for her speedy recovery.  I also ask your prayers for two of my uncles who are undergoing treatment for cancer - Ed Ricken and Joe Doss.  Although you may not know these individuals, all of your prayers are heard and appreciated.

God bless you,
Gerry 

6-29-02

One of the most positive people you will ever meet is our friend Joan Milburn.  She and her husband Mark have endured a great deal of loss in their lives.  Joan lost a sister to breast cancer and she and Mark lost twins at child birth.  We have admired them as they provided us with strength when we lost Mary Beth.  Now they are facing another challenge.  Joan has been diagnosed with breast cancer and is being treated.  She informed Sheila that two very important dates have occurred so far in her treatment.  The day of her surgery was the anniversary of her sister's passing and the date she began chemotherapy treatments is the anniversary date for the twins.  We all believe she is being looked upon by her special set of angels and appreciate your prayers for Joan and her entire family as they face their latest challenge.

God bless you,
Gerry 

6-30-02

At 11:30 am this morning, we added another member to the Ricken family.  Lucy is a 12-week old yellow Labrador Retriever.  We would like to thank Sarah and Bud Stein and Ann Beerman for making this happen and allowing Will to have a "great day" in his words.  At one point this afternoon, he turned to me and simply asked, "Am I dreaming?"  It has been said that a picture says a thousand words.

God bless you,
Gerry 

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