My dear grandson, Caalab, today marks the beginning of a completely new life for you. Your graduation is just the first step into that life. You are no longer a child, but a high school graduate. Your hard work has paid off, and all the requirements for graduation have been met. Your public school career is over now, and your future is up to you. That is hard for me to believe, because to me you will always be that little boy who was so quick to smile, and always had some new joke to tell or a new trick to show me. While the joking and trickery continue to this day, the little boy is gone, and before me now stands a man, strong and tall, with a heart of gold. I love the man you have become. You are so caring. You give thought to those around you, and you always try to please others. You think of others long before you think of yourself…a good trait in many ways. Still, I miss that little boy that you were…the one who always had his hand in my hair. I will always have that picture of you in my memory files…twisting my hair or batting it, but never pulling it, because you were always careful not to hurt me.
It is a long road from pre-school to high school graduation, and that makes it extra special. When you started your school career, it seemed like it would be a long time before graduation, but in reality, the time slips by so quickly. Now, all those years are behind you, and you are looking toward a whole new life. Your journey is going to take you far away, and that is really hard for me, but I know that this is your dream career. Music has been your life for as long as I can remember, and yet it was a bit of a surprise to hear that you want to build guitars. It shouldn’t have been I suppose. It really was the next logical step, and I know that you will be great at it. Still, you are leaving and you won’t be able to come home for a weekend here and there. The next time I see you, you will be changed in many ways. You will have spent time in a bigger city, and broadened your horizons. Your life journey will be much different than what I had expected, but that is because your dreams are uniquely yours…and no one else’s. You have to follow your heart and live your dreams…you have to be true to yourself, and be who you were born to be. And I know that you will be very successful at it, because you are an amazing young man.
When it comes to my babies, my heart just can’t seem to understand the whole saying goodbye thing, and that makes this so very hard. Nevertheless, I would ever want to hold you back. You will go forward and you will be successful at all you do, wherever life takes you. Still, I want you to always remember where you came from. Remember the good moral values you have been taught, and always keep God first place in your life, because it was God who made you and gave you the skills you have. As you go through life, you will come to realize more and more that every skill you have came from Him to make you into the wonderful man you have become. I know that your new life will be filled with excitement and interesting new things, so all I can ask is that you remember to call your grandparents once in a while, because we will miss you very much, so don’t forget the way home. Words cannot fully express just how proud we are of you. We love you so much. Congratulations on your high school graduation, my dear grandson, Caalab. Way to go!!
Being a matchmaker can backfire on a person, when things go wrong, or it can bring great joy…usually to several people when things go right. Most often in these situations, the matchmaker is trying to match two of their friends together, so they don’t want things to go wrong. There are no guarantees that either of their friends will still be their friends if things go bad. Of course, in my niece, Machelle’s situation, she had better than average odds…at least on one side, because one of the friends was her Uncle Ron Schulenberg. If things go bad, your uncle is still your uncle right? Nevertheless, Machelle loved her friend, Rachel Franklin too, and she didn’t want to lose that friendship, so she hoped her matchmaking skills would work.
As it turned out, Machelle is a pretty good matchmaker, because her Uncle Ron, and her best friend, Rachel Franklin not only liked each other enough to continue dating, but they decided to get married. That did create a bit of an odd situation, because now, Machelle’s best friend is her Aunt Rachel. Now, I have never heard Machelle call Rachel…aunt, but the reality is that Rachel is Machelle’s aunt. And like it or not, it’s all Machelle’s fault. It isn’t often that you can take a friend that is pretty close to your own age, and change them into your aunt.
Ron and Rachel hit it off immediately, and Ron began making bi-weekly trips from Casper to Powell to see Rachel. Since it was getting to the point where Ron was spending almost as much of his free time in Powell, as he was in Casper…well, the next logical step was to put a lot less distance between Ron and Rachel, so they got married on June 12, 2010, and Rachel and her boys moved to Casper.
Suddenly, for the matchmaker, the tables had turned. Yes, her matchmaking skills had proved to be very keen. Nevertheless, in the end, she did lose her friend…so to speak. Not only was her friend, Rachel, now her Aunt Rachel, but she had to move 4 hours away, so getting together became much harder. Sometimes, a person can “good deed” themselves right into a situation they don’t particularly like…at least not totally. Nevertheless, Ron, Rachel, and Machelle really wouldn’t have this situation be any other way, because each one is right where that should be. Today is Rachel’s birthday. Happy birthday Rachel!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
Any time you have two girls whose mom gives birth to a baby brother, you have two little mothers in training. They want to be involved in everything, even if they are only 5 and 7 years older than the baby brother. In fact, that might even make it more likely that they will try to show off their skills. Smaller sisters might not give much thought to a baby brother, but when they start thinking they are big now, they want everyone to know it. And for that little brother…well, he can plan on a lot of years of being bossed around by those sweet, innocent looking little bossy mommies in training. This was the world my brother-in-law, Ron Schulenberg was born into. Oh, those first couple of years were probably great, being cuddled and pampered by his big sisters, who just loved the baby, but then, he became a toddler, and the terrible twos came about, and suddenly those nice big sisters were just as bossy as they could be.
I first met Ron, when his older brother, Bob and I started dating, and I can tell you that Ron always seemed to find himself in the wrong place, at the wrong time, doing the wrong thing…especially where his older sisters, Jennifer and Brenda were concerned, and older sisters, Marlyce and Debbie agreed. Boys will be boys, but I guarantee that their older sisters are not amused by that fact. I can remember Jennifer and Brenda telling Ron to “knock it off, and behave himself” more than times than I can count. Here he was, just trying to show off for company, and what do those darned big sisters do…well, they just go off and embarrass a guy!! Thankfully, though there were also good times, when they would do things with him and life would be great again, or he might have just had to not like his sisters at all.
It was also a good thing for Ron, that he had a big brother, among those four big sisters, who didn’t mind hanging out with his little brother, even on a date. I suppose it was a matter of Bob having had to live with two older sisters all his life and two younger ones for quite a while. Bob knew what sisters were like, and he had to take sides with his little brother…guys have to stick together…right? I mean, it was four to two, and those were tough odds. And for Ron, the added insult of always being the baby brother, even when he was a great big 5 year old…well, you get the picture.
The good news is that Ron grew up, and as most siblings, with age comes friendship. His sisters found out how handy he was to have around…especially when they needed a helping hand with things. Ron is a great mechanic, and he’s pretty handy with most carpentry tools too, so anytime someone needs something built, he can usually get it done. He will always be their baby brother, but we all agree that he isn’t a baby anymore…in fact the youngest is the tallest!! Maybe that was for self defense, who knows. Today is Ron’s birthday!! Happy birthday Ron!! We love you!!
Our family has been taking care of my mother-in-law for several years now, and caregiving, as anyone who has done it can attest, is a team effort. Many families have very small teams, due to few children in the family, or the inability of the family members to help for whatever reason. Sometimes family members are physically or emotionally unable to help, and sometimes they live too far away. I think every family has those who live too far away to help, and our family is no different.
Every family also has a variety of skills in it that can be put to use is the care of a patient. Sometimes, like in our family, you are blessed with a nurse, and other times, also like ours, you have people who have done this before and have acquired the necessary skills to be of assistance. That said, this story isn’t about those people. This is a skill of a different kind and a caregiver who has been a blessing in her own way, whether she knows it or not.
Machelle is a part of the family that lives in a different town than the rest of us. She lives in Powell, which is about 4 hours away from Casper. While Machelle isn’t able to be here to help on a daily basis, when she is here, she is so willing to help, that it really warms my heart. She is a licensed Cosmetologist, and when she comes down, all I have to do is ask, and she cuts and perms my mother-in-law’s hair, and cuts my father-in-law’s hair. She is willing to clip their nails if I haven’t already done that, and any other grooming thing we need.
And if that isn’t enough, when she was here last weekend for a wedding in the family, she took the time to paint the frames on several windows for my father-in-law. She has done yard work too. She is just a very sweet and very helpful person. Machelle gives of herself without asking for any kind of special recognition, but those who know me and have read my blogs know that I like to give credit where credit is due. Machelle deserves a lot of credit for all she has done to help. We really appreciate it Machelle. You are a great blessing and I love you very much.