“Be yourself..... Above all, let who you are, what you are, what you believe,
shine through in everything you do, every sentence you write, every photo you take.”



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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

My Heart Aches.......(dedicated to my little sister)





A few weeks ago my family began a struggle that I know has changed me and many people.  My little sister suffered from a brain aneurysm while she was competing at a dog show about four hours from home.  She was rushed to Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee where she received exceptional care from some of the most caring people I have ever met.  Over the first two weeks she progressively improved.  They were talking about her going home but, she needed to have one additional procedure to ensure the rupture would not occur again.  We all were happy and everyone expected it to be a simple procedure with her coming home in a couple days.  However our world came to a halt…..When the team of doctors went to make the repair they found that the blood vessel was in a severely weakened state and about to re-rupture.  Our worst fears came true and she suffered from a second much more severe aneurysm.  We got news a short time later that this time Sheila would most likely not recover.  We prayed for a miracle but, most of all we prayed that God would do the best thing for Sheila.  After a few days of praying, watching and crying we had to make the difficult decision to take her off of life supports and allow her to go to heaven.  Sheila always said she couldn’t wait to meet Jesus.  Today, I believe with all my heart that she has done that.  I know Sheila would have loved to be on this earth for many, many years but I also know that she lived life to its fullest while here.  She was very blessed …. She had a wonderful husband that so obviously was the love of her life.  She and Wayne have raised two amazing children.  Wayne, Brock and Cheyanna were her world and she loved them deeply.   She also loved her dogs…..they were her babies.  She had actually said one time when she had heard about someone passing away while they were showing their dog that, when it was her time, that is what she wanted.  What a wonderful thing that God granted that wish for her.  Sheila had a spunky spirit.  She had an opinion and was not afraid to share it.  She was strong and loving and touched so many lives.   She taught her children how to be strong and I know that will be the foundation for getting them through this.  My heart aches as I watch her two children, her husband and my parents deal with all there is to do as we move forward as Sheila would have wanted us to do.   Sheila felt strongly about organ donation and as a family, we wanted to honor that wish.  We chose to do as much as we could which made the process take considerably longer.  However, we know that is what she wanted and it gives us comfort to know that she will be saving lives.  Although we don’t want the recipients to feel any obligation to contact us, it is our sincere hope that one day we may be able to hear from or meet someone she may have saved.   Her spirit will live on in them…..
Now we try to find a way to go forward, our hearts ache so bad right now it is difficult to think about the future without her in it.  I keep feeling like she is going to miss so much.   Her kids graduating, getting married, having grandkids and being there for those day-to-day activities that seem so meaningless until a person you love is no longer there to do them with you.   You try not to have regrets….that is not what she would have wanted but, your mind wanders and all you can think of is, if only I would have…..
We do not understand God’s plan but, trust in Him.  We have our faith and that will get us through this.  We did not understand why he gave us two more weeks, only two more weeks after the first aneurysm but, little things keep happening that have shed some light on that too.   
God (and Sheila) wants us to learn from this and I plan to do that.  Learn to treasure each and every day and treat is as though it may be your last because, it just may be.  I know I have another guardian angel who is watching over us.  I know I will continue to talk to her every day.  I will curse at her ever time we get a snow storm and winter is lasting so long.  Sheila loved winter and I didn’t so every time we get a storm – I know it will be her…..I promised I would make a snow angel for her every year.  Since we just got this huge blizzard, we are sure is from Sheila, I decided to do the first one tonight….This photo is the first of many you will see on my blog…..one each year.  I know I will see her every time I see her kids.  I can see her in them, her strong, loving spirit.  I know she will be watching over them and all of us.  I must continue to look for the good in everything…..she had many happy, wonderful years with her family, she is in a much more wonderful place now watching over all of us.  She is saving other lives….she has given the ultimate sacrifice….So many wonderful family and friends have been here whether in person or via email, phone calls, cards and facebook -   praying, taking care of our animals, doing housework, cooking, shopping, etc……the list could go on and on.  We are overwhelmed with the outpouring of support and cannot thank everyone enough.  You all have truly been the support for us to continue on…..
We need to continue to look for the positive signs as we move forward and rejoice in the fact that she is in Heaven…..We must believe in God’s Plan……..but……my heart aches…..

19 comments:

  1. My heart aches for you too.....

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  2. Wow! What an amazing tribute to your sister. I am sure Sheila has an enormous smile right now.

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  3. Wow! What an amazing tribute to your sister. I am sure Sheila has an enourmous smile right now.

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  4. Julee,
    I just finished reading your blog, and I wanted to tell you how sincerely sorry I am for your loss. My heart goes out to you and your family!
    Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you!
    Miranda

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  5. today Im feeling sorry for myself cause things arent quite as I hoped or planned they would be. Reading this made me realize that life is a gift....and can be taken away at any given moment. I was not fortunate enough to know your sister...but tonight I draw strength from her courage! Please accept my sincere sympathy over your loss. God truly has an angel in Heaven with him now...and you...an angel on your shoulder. I will look for the "snow angels" and always remember this. May God bless you always. Mary

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  6. Julee, this is beautiful. I don't have words, only tears on my cheeks. She will definately live on in the hearts of many.
    Blessings and peace ~
    Teri

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  7. This is so beautifully written and a wonderful tribute to Shiela and all of the lives she touched. I will pray for you and the rest of your family that you may find peace in your hearts. God Bless and my deepest sympathies to you all.

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  8. Your words are so beautiful. My heart goes out to you and your family.

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  9. Julee that was absolutely beautiful. Bless you and your family!

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  10. Julie, how beautiful! Sheila was a wonderful person, she always seemed happy and as you said, spunky, I loved that in her, she loved life! God Bless your whole family, we think of you so often. Our deepest sympathies!
    The Metz's
    Mike,Sue, Taryn and Alan

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  11. What an amazing tribute. Keep her memories close to your heart. That will help your heart heal.

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  12. this event teaches you what is important in life, your family, hug and kiss them, and tell them you love them every day. Thinking about you, praying for your family.

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  13. Sheila was such a joy to be around. I treasure the days we worked together and talked about everyday life. We would spend hours discussing our faith, she never tired of talking about her faith and love for Jesus. I will miss her.

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  14. Beautifully said Julee. She was a wonderful person and will be truly missed by many family and friends.

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  15. Chris & Dave KoniecznyMarch 24, 2011 at 8:58 AM

    Julee, I didn't know your sister but it sounded like she was an angle from God. After reading this tribute I cried so much for her, you & your families. Knowing she is in a better place & watching over you & every one else her Spirit will be in every one. May God continue to watch over you, our sympathy & Prayers are with you.

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  16. Julee, wow! You are as amazing as Sheila!

    Sheila and her family, have been in our thoughts and prayers everyday.

    The Czerniak family

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  17. Julee, my heart is aching for you. I did not know your sister, but she sounded like an amazing person. She is in very loving hands right now. My thoughts and prayers to you and all of your family.
    Brian and Tara Zuber and little Riley too

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  18. That was amazing Julee! I too believe that God has a plan for all of us and each day is a learnig lessoning. What that lesson is, we might never know, but we have to trust that He has our best interest at heart. It's so hard because we want the answers....but know we have to trust in Him until we too meet in heaven. Hugs to all of you.

    Bob, Tammy and Kylee

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  19. Julee
    I got to know Sheila when she worked at Parent Resource Center. She was a wonderful person, with such energy. Every time I ran into her she talked about her kids. It sounds like they share many of her wonderful traits. I am so sorry for your loss, but am certain that her faith will be an inspiration to others.

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