Category Archives: Friends

My Poor Tongue (Part Two)

Shelly and Jessica

I woke up the next morning feeling relieved that I didn’t have any more tongue-biting incidents. As my day rolled on I started to get nervous about the upcoming night because we didn’t yet have a solution for my problem. Earlier in the day Kelly searched the Internet hoping to find some answers and she found many but nothing I was willing to try. The more we talked about it the more anxious I got. Bryan suggested that we call our good friend Eric Sesselmann who has been a well-respected dentist in Muskegon for many years with the thought that he could recommend a simple solution we could try. Eric was out of town but said he would check on me in a couple of days when he returned home. Bryan then thought to call one of his best friends, Jessica Bodenberg, who just graduated from dental school and is now working in Muskegon at her family’s dental practice, Great Lakes Dental Excellence. Jessica said she would ask her family of physicians if they had any ideas and she would get back to us. That night I slept with my head facing up towards the ceiling and had no tongue biting issues.

The next morning Bryan called with excitement in his voice and said Jessica and her aunt Shelly would be stopping by to help us. When they arrived they made an impression of my teeth and said they would be back tomorrow with the finished product. The next day doctors Jessica and Shelly came with the finished bite splints. The splints fit perfectly and I no longer bite my tongue during the night. As a added bonus when I yawn my top teeth no longer crash down on my bottom teeth. Before they left, Shelly ground and polished my jagged front teeth.

Thank you Eric, Shelly and Jessica. We will never forget this.

Our Prince of Peace Family


I miss our Prince of Peace family.

Barb Perri religiously brings us Communion every week which is really nice but I miss going to mass. The Lambert and the Beckman families have been members of that parish from the very beginning, forty years or so, and it’s where all of our kids were baptized, received their First Holy Communion, Reconciliation and were confirmed. Kelly and Chris were married in that church and Harrison was baptized there. Our friends from the church helped us plan beautiful funeral celebrations for my parents, my brother, my sister, my aunts and a close friend. And now they are helping me plan mine.

What I miss the most about not going to church is seeing and talking to people. I miss catching up with friends after mass at coffee and donuts. We’ve formed some pretty strong bonds over the years because our families grew up together. Our Prince of Peace family has helped us with so many things, but the most significant was helping us plan and execute a very successful benefit dinner for my sister Jean who had leukemia. We gained a lot of new friends during that time and we are very grateful. Even if we don’t know your name we love all of our friends at Prince of Peace and we will never forget you.

May God continue to bless us all.

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The Power of Our Words

Corey and Amanda

Last week I received an email from one of Corey’s best friends, Amanda Stoerman. During one of Amanda’s routine visits to her dermatologist she found out that she had melanoma, which can be one of the most deadly forms of skin cancer if left untreated or not caught early enough. I asked Amanda if I could share her story on my blog in hopes that her words will save someone else and she said yes.

Dear Rosemary,

I think of you and your family very often and read your blog regularly. You have such an amazing ability to capture your experience and inspire others to live a life of grace and make the most of the time we are given, which makes me want to share a story of mine with you…

I think I mentioned once when I was visiting that this past March I was diagnosed with Melanoma, which can be the most deadly form of skin cancer if left untreated or not caught early enough. Needless to say, it was a very scary time. However, because I get regular skin checks with a dermatologist, we caught it very early and they were able to cut it all out. All I have now is a decent scar on my back, check-ups every three months, and a new appreciation for sunscreen!

At first I didn’t really tell anyone (minus close family and a couple friends) about what was going on because it was scary and emotional for me to talk about. But then one day I read your blog and realized how special and important sharing experiences can be. So I made a post on Facebook sharing my story along with an impacting video of people wishing they could tell their 16-year-old selves to be more proactive with their skincare. It felt good to share my story and spread the word about proactive health and regular dermatologist visits, and many people liked and commented on the post.

However, I did not realize the real impact my story had until last week when I received a message from a Facebook acquaintance who had seen my post and because of it, scheduled a visit to the dermatologist. At his check-up he had three moles removed and one came back positive for Basal Cell Carcinoma, a form of skin cancer. He told me how he was able to catch his skin cancer early because my post prompted him to make that appointment and thanked me for taking the time to share my story. Wow! This made me realize how important it is to share our stories because we never know how it can impact others.

So Rosemary, please know that your posts and stories are doing the same thing for so many others. It’s amazing what meaningful words can do to inspire and motivate people. I’m so thankful for you. I love you and your gracious heart.



The Gift of Reading


Have you ever had someone read to you? If you haven’t it’s a beautiful gift to give and receive. This past year my friends Marcy and Sheila have read to me weekly. Marcy often reads from her favorite book, the Bible, and on occasion will read me a children’s book with a beautiful message.

One of the books Sheila read to me was The Butterfly’s Daughter by Mary Alice Monroe. This book is about a daughter trying to find herself and learn more about her family. Along the way we learn about the fascinating life and migration of monarch butterflies.

This winter Mark started to read to me after my sister Deb brought us a signed copy of our family friend Terry Nolan’s book Reunion By Murder. Although Terry’s book is fiction he mentions many of Muskegon’s landmarks which made us feel like we were traveling around town with the characters in his book. Terry’s book is well-written and will captivate your interest to the final chapter.

The last book I want to talk about has not been published yet. Our good friend Bruce Olsen told us that when his sons Todd and Craig were young he would make up bedtime stories for them. He put one of the stories to paper. We loved Journey to the Pumpkin River. Look for it to be published some day.

It’s Called Love

A few weeks ago Corey was home for a short visit but extended his stay to help Mark care for me while I was so sick. We spent a lot of quality time together and he happened to be here when my Wednesday night girlfriends came to visit. Corey has a beautifully written blog of his own and in one of his posts he described perfectly what our Wednesday nights are all about so I asked him if I could share that post on my blog and he said yes.

It's Called Love

Earlier tonight, much like they’ve done on most other Wednesday nights since ALS bound my sweet mother to a wheelchair, three of her best friends journeyed to my parents’ condo from the far side of town for a visit. They used to hike and jog and throw outrageous backyard dinner parties together, did the four of them, but now, because my mom can’t do much else, they mostly just sit around my parents’ dining room table keeping one another company. Sometimes they laugh, sometimes they cry, but always, without fail, they show my mom and dad a rare and dazzling and inexplicable kind of love that blurs the line between friends and family and makes me wonder how we got so damn lucky to know so many of these kinds of people.

“Some people care too much. I think it’s called love.”

A. A. Milne