Thursday, July 31, 2014

Just Call Me Grandma

Hi Everyone,

It is still fairly quiet around here. Mark and I are working a lot. We are enjoying the summer weather. We have gone on a few bike rides, but mainly I enjoy sleeping!! We have our good days, but out of the blue a bad day smacks us in the face. I think this will be the norm for us for the rest of our lives. Mark had to have routine labs drawn the other day and while he was there, a code was called to come and resuscitate someone. All the emotions from when Wo was in the hospital came flooding back and he said he felt like he was having a panic attack. This kind of thing happens now and then and it hurts. Every day as I am going to the cemetery after work to say hi to Wo, I often think that it is not right that I have to visit my beautiful daughter in a cemetery. I should be going to her house and having dinner. Not talking to a stone with her name and picture on it.

On a lighter, happier note, Kristen and Bruce are going to be parents!! I am going to be a Grandma!!!We couldn't be happier to welcome a new baby to our family. Did I mention the baby is a precious girl!!! So very excited. I know this baby won't take away the pain of losing Wo, but she will add a new dimension of love that will fill our hearts.

I am excited for this weekend because the whole family is getting together on Sunday at my Mom and Dad's house. Our sweet, little great-niece will be there for the first time. We always have fun when we are all together.

We had to have our 13 year old dog, Frank, put to sleep last week. I hope he is keeping Wo company in heaven. We will miss his sweet face.

Frank in his younger days.
That is about it for now. I will probably only check in once a month or so from now on because I really don't have much to say that hasn't already been said. We are all just trying to live our lives and heal our hearts. Thanks so much for still caring.



 The Pink family back in the day before Ryan. Kind of blurry and cut off. Sis and Wo are so precious.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Life Goes On

Hi Everyone,
 I have not posted in forever, but I see people are still checking out my blog, so I feel an obligation to keep posting. Our lives are anything but interesting. But, as promised, as long as you are reading, I will keep writing.

 We had a quiet 4th of July at home. We swam in the pool and got Old Carolina for dinner. Mark and I did not go to fireworks as it is still too painful for us. Wo loved fireworks and she went every year with us since she was a tiny kid. Seeing families all together is still too difficult for us. Ryan and Stephanie did go downtown Canton to see some. Sis and Bruce went somewhere in Michigan to see fireworks and hear a symphony orchestra. We are happy that our kids are having fun. One day we hope to be able to to enjoy the 4th again!! Mark and I did go to the cemetery on the 3rd and lit sparklers for Wo. Mark said they were the kind she loved the most. Always thinking about our sweet girl.

I so wish our lives were how they used to be. So much laughter and fun before Lauren was sick. She was definitely the life of the party. I was just remembering when I was in the pool the other day that Wo was such a stinker. Always trying to tip me over in my float, splash me and get my hair wet, or create a huge tidal wave in the pool by pushing a float up and down, making lots of water splash everywhere. Her being gone has left such a huge hole in our lives.

We are doing better, but holidays are just too hard to deal with sometimes. I'm sure as years pass, it will get better for us. I hope you all are doing well and have loving families in your lives. That is the greatest gift of all. Until next time...


She was so beautiful!!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Father's Day

Hi Everyone,

Time for an update, I guess. There has not been much happening around here. Mark and I have been working a lot and are so tired most of the time. We have a fun weekend coming up so we are looking forward to that.

Father's Day came and went. Poor Mark was home by himself most of the day. Ryan and I both had to work and Sis and Bruce were in Seattle for Bruce's sister's wedding. Mark seemed to be ok that day. We went to the cemetery that evening and saw Wo for a bit. I promised him that I would make him a good dinner so I will do that today. I might even make him brownies since he loves chocolate. I remember seeing a little poem about Dads that I wanted to share with you. It is so true. I know Mark hurts so much sometimes, but I feel he spends most of his time comforting me.

I also made a video for Mark featuring the song, 'Who Made The Moon" by the Little River Band. It is such a beautiful song and so appropriate. I hope you like it. It is a tear jerker.
I hope everyone had a special day with their Dads whether they are here on earth or in heaven. I will get to see my dad this weekend. We are going to Michigan for Bruce's graduation from residency. I will have pictures next time!! Here is a picture I just love of Wo. She is at my mom and dad's house
in Oak Harbor. This is the view they have of the river.
Thanks to my friends for making me laugh at breakfast on Monday. You are all so much fun and I love each and every one of you!! It was great to have some new people there with us too!! Please say a prayer for my friend Dawn's great grandson, Billy as he just had a stem cell transplant and is fighting Neuroblastoma. Until next time,

Saturday, June 7, 2014

One Year

It is 12:00 midnight as I start this post. I can't sleep as so many things are running through my head. I feel bad that I just called off work for tomorrow. I really don't have it in me to go there and act like everything is great and be so cheerful. I did have the good sense to request Monday off, as it is the one year anniversary of Lauren's death. Mark said tonight that he thinks I am way better than I was six months ago. True, I don't sit and cry for hours each day, but I still feel as though I have a broken heart and miss Wo more each day. I will never get over the fact that she is gone. I still hope she will walk through the front door every day and think about her hundreds of times each day. I never ever thought this nightmare would happen to us.

I find it harder each day to have hope about this horrible cancer called Cholangiocarcinoma. It seems as though someone that I know or know of dies every week or so. This cancer is one of the absolute worst cancers there are. The suffering these poor people have to endure is gut wrenching. I do have a few friends that are doing well and I am grateful for that. I find it all too much to deal with at times so I have pulled away from the website where I am a moderator. I had so much hope that Lauren would pull through and live a long, happy life. My hope faded when that wish became impossible.

I'm not sure what Mark and I will do on Monday. I'm sure we will talk a lot about Wo. But, we do that every day. Not just about Wo, but Sis and Ryan too. We had a bonfire tonight and roasted hot dogs. Our kids loved having bonfires when they were younger. Wo always had to have tarps layed on the ground and sleeping bags, pillows, and blankets put on top of them. We would lay out there and talk and eat. We would lay on our backs and look for shooting stars. Usually, we would all fall asleep snuggled under the blankets until Mark woke us up. Now it is just Mark and I. It seems so quiet without all the kids giggling. I sure miss having them all around. Ryan still lives here, but he is always out and about.

As always, thank you for caring enough to even read my blog. I know this will be a tough week, but we will manage. I will leave you with a few pics of our sweet girl. Say a few prayers that she is happy in heaven and that she knows how much we love and miss her.


The whole family.

Wo and Papa Ron.

Wo, Sis, Ryan, and Grandma Tommie in Sis's dorm room at UT.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Family Minus One

Hi Everyone,

I haven't posted in a bit, but I don't feel much has happened that is interesting. We had a nice visit from Sis and Bruce last weekend which was fun. They got here Friday evening and left Sunday evening. They hadn't been here for a long time, but we had seen them at my mom and dad's house since then. They brought me a beautiful hanging basket for Mother's Day and tickets to see Oprah in Michigan in September for my birthday present!! I was so excited. I love Oprah and it is a 2 day event, so Sis and I will have a great time.

We went to dinner Saturday night at Desert Inn. They serve Syrian food and it is delicious. Ryan and Stephanie also joined us, so the whole family was together. I sure wish Wo could have been there as well. We went back to our house and had german chocolate cake and strawberry pie!!

Ok, as if we hadn't eaten enough, we went to breakfast Sunday morning at Farmer Boy. My friend, Chyrel is the manager there and Kristen worked there when she was in high school. It was nice to see Chyrel and have some great food!

Mark and I are hanging in there taking things day by day. Some days are better than others. We really never know how we will feel. I'm just glad I have him to lean on when I am sad. I went to the doctor today and told him that I still am having some hard times and just want to feel happy. He suggested I increase the medication I am taking to see if that helps. He is so wonderful and caring and really listens to me.

As promised, here are some pics of Lauren's memorial garden:

Here is the spot for the garden. Mark removed a tree that had died here.
Figuring out the heart shape with a rope.
Mark digging the heart.
The tree is a weeping cherry tree. Weeping signifying that we are sad and Wo loved anything cherry flavored and anything with a cherry printed on it, appliqued on it or shaped like a cherry!! She even had cherry earrings!
Mark layed all the bricks and I planted the flowers. We both did the mulch. The angel was from my mom and dad.

The view we have when we sit on our glider. We have also added the lantern that the cemetery made us remove, so when we look out our bedroom window at night we can see the candle glowing.

It is almost the one year anniversary of Wo's death. I cannot believe it has been that long. I miss her so much and talk to her every day. I believe she sends me signs through the time. I can be doing something and out of nowhere look at the clock and it is almost always a time like 1:11, 2:22, etc. This happens every single day. When it does, I always smile and tell Wo that I love her. Mark and I still go to her grave every day and it never gets easier. Some days I cry and some days I don't. I touch her face on her stone and pretend to smooth her hair. I tell her I love her and miss her. When I pull away, I always wave goodbye to her. I am so glad we live so close to the cemetery. We will never move away from her.

I will leave you with a sweet picture of Wo. As a little girl, she always had a big smile on her face. I pray she is happy in heaven. Thank you for your continued support. Sometimes we feel so lonely, but your comments really help us. Love to all,


Our sweet smiling little punkin.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Keeping Busy On Mother's Day

Hi Everyone,

I hope all you moms had a great day yesterday. It was kind of hard for me, but not nearly as hard as I thought it would be. Probably because Mark and I stayed busy all day and I didn't give my mind time to wander. I was thinking about two special girls yesterday a lot. Kristen has a friend that lost her baby girl at 30 weeks and only got to see her when she delivered her. My Mom has a friend whose granddaughter lost her son at four months old from SIDS. These mothers were just as much mothers as we all are, but never got the chance to fill their heads and hearts with a lifetime of memories. I am lucky to have that.

Matching shirts at Christmas, Wo with the haircut that Sis lovingly referred to as "Mush" (short for Mushroom head). Love the glasses Sis. Haha!

Mark and I went to breakfast yesterday and then hit Home Depot for a few more flowers, potting soil, and mulch. We went to the cemetery and Mark dug up the soil in front of Wo's grave. I planted five hot pink geraniums and we put down mulch. It looks really nice. We got a letter in the mail that said we can't have the lantern at the cemetery with the candle in it. We were kind of upset, but we have a new home for it. I don't mean to be mean, but I think they should worry more about mowing and less about a lantern. The cemetery was a mess this weekend. Long grass and dandelions everywhere. I would have been so embarrassed to have anyone see it. Mark to the rescue. He went up Saturday morning and took our push mower. He mowed all around Wo's grave so at least her area was nice. It is just so disrespectful to Wo and everyone else that is buried there to let it get that way. I sure hope they mow soon. I feel bad for all the other families. It is so weird the things that offend you after you lose someone. Remember that area that was overgrown and weedy last year that Mark and I cleaned up. It is getting bad again too. Grrrrrr!!! Here are some pics of us making Wo's grave beautiful.

Mark always working so hard.

And working some more.

I think it looks really pretty. Hopefully, the grass will fill in where we wore it out this winter.

We also got most of Wo's memorial garden done at home. It is beautiful. Mark layed all the stones yesterday. We planted flowers, mulched, and put the angel in it. It still needs a few things, but we ran out of steam. Mark worked like a dog all day just to make me happy on Mother's Day. He did such a great job and I am so grateful. I will post pics next time because this blog is getting way too long.

I wanted to mention that my sister, Linda, was named Employee of the Year at Ohio Wesleyan University. We are all so proud of her. To know her is to love her.

Thank you for continuing to read my blog. We are trying our best every day to keep Lauren's memory alive. Until next time,


I am sure Wo is happy with Cleveland's draft picks. She loved going to Browns games and tailgating.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Memories of Wo

Hi Everyone! These next couple months are going to be kind of tough on all of us. We are remembering everything that happened last year and it is very dificult. It doesn't help that Mother's Day is coming up and I don't have one of my daughters. The commercials on tv really get to me. Wo always got me a very thoughtful gift and wrote a beautiful card for me every year. I will miss that from her.

Yesterday was my nephew and his wife's one year anniversary. Their wedding was the last time our entire family was together. I remember Lauren looked so pretty at the wedding and nobody would have ever even known she was sick except she walked with a cane. (A fancy zebra one at that!!) We all had so much fun laughing and dancing. I remember it all got to be a little too much for her and she was sitting alone at her table while we were all whooping it up. She had already had her first surgery and was awaiting the second one two weeks from then. My heart broke for her because I knew she wanted to be normal like everyone else. I went over to comfort her but she would have none of that. She got very stubborn and sometimes cranky during the last few months. I think she was just angry that she was dealt such a crappy hand at life and I don't blame her one bit. She did go on to have a great night at the hotel with a bunch of the people from the wedding, Sis and Bruce, and my sister's family.

I found a little book Lauren made for a school project when she was 11. She had to write a story for each year she had been alive. I would like to share a few with you because they really made me laugh. I typed them exactly as she had typed them.


Hello my name is Lauren Patrice Kunklier.On a snowy Thursday night my mom was laying on the couch watching "St. Elsewhere." My mom started feeling weird so she called my grandma named Tommie to watch Kristen, my sister. My dad took her to the hospital and my mom was in labor all night. The doctor slid into a ditch on the way to the hospital. I was born at 9:40am at Wadsworth-Rittman Hospital and I weighed 8lbs. 9oz. and was 20 inches long. My mom said I was the easiest birth of all three of her kids. I was born on my Daddy's birthday. He was born on March 6, 1959 and I was born March 6, 1986. My dad said it was the best birthday present he had ever received-Lauren Patrice Kunklier

The picture of Lauren and I in her book.

1994- 8 years old

When I was 8 years old we decided we wanted to get another dog since our dog, Gretchen, died. We went to the Animal Shelter and there was a litter of nine puppies. They were found under an old truck right after they were born. They were cute but kind of goofy and lanky. There were two sad looking ones that were in separate cages because their sisters were picking on them. We decided to take one of those. My dad named him Buster. The people at the shelter said he would be very big because he had huge paws. We didn't think he would get that big. Well, he gained like 10 pounds a month and today he weighs around 100 pounds. He is a very sweet and gentle dog, and he loves to play catch. You don't want to pet him right before you leave to go anywhere because your hand will stink really bad. He is a little smelly but I love him very much.

Wo and Buster

I hope you enjoyed Wo's stories. I miss her so much sometimes I can't stand it!! She was one of the three lights of my life and I will never forget her. At least I have many precious memories. Thanks again for following my posts!! Until next time,


Pretty girl celebrating her birthday a few years ago. Fitting since today is Cinco de Mayo!!