Sunday, November 21, 2010

JON'S MEMORIAL


If you had told me just a few days ago that I would be speaking at my son's memorial service I would have said it was impossible.  Your prayers changed all that.  Tim and I were able to do the eulogy and Jennifer got brave and spoke beautifully, as well.  I have much to tell you, but right now here is a video that Tim and I put together for the memorial.  Just a glimpse of my boy...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU .....................

I have been trying for days to thank you all for the hundreds of personal emails, cards, and messages on my blog, Facebook and Twitter. When I posted about our tragedy I had no idea of the impact it would have on so many around the world. Yes, around the world! How this happened I’m still not sure, but I think cyberspace had some part in the speed the news traveled and multiplied. We have been so comforted, not only by your love and prayers, but by the fact that many of you reached out in your own pain. I now believe there is hardly anyone that is not directly affected by addiction. Doesn’t the word addiction seem like such a mild word compared to the torment, torture and suffering that it produces? I told a new “friend” that it’s like I was inducted into a club that I did not want to be in, but was sure glad I wasn’t the only member.

I apologize if I sent you a Facebook invite to Jon’s memorial. I’ve warned you many a time that I’m not the sharpest tack with my computer capabilities. Actually I’ve never done most things I’m doing these last several days. But for any of you not following me or Jennifer on Facebook there is a memorial service for Jonathan as follows:

We would like to invite you as we honor and celebrate the life of our son, our brother and our friend Jon.

Saturday, November 20 · 11:00am - 2:00pm at
 Grace Community Church in Noblesville, IN 
5504 East 146th Street
Noblesville, IN

11:00-12:00 Memorial Service
12:00-2:00 Friends and Family Gathering
light hors d'oeuvres
 In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in honor of Jon to Central City Concern. Tax deductible donations may be made via mail or online.

Central City Concern
232 NW 6th Ave
Portland, OR 97209
http://www.centralcityconcern.org/
Tax ID #93-0728816

I do want to share some miracle slides that we just unearthed in the bottom of a box. Even though I was married when I had Jonathan, I was truly a single mom with no family. But I had friends and lots of them. Someone came to the hospital when Jonathan was born and took slides through the window as they were cleaning him up and came back a couple more times at the hospital, then gave them to me. I never had a way to view them. Tim went out and bought this handy dandy film scanner the other night that instantly turns a slide into a digital image. How interesting that at Jon’s death I finally am viewing his birth? For that I am truly thankful. He was pretty darn cute once he got cleaned up (I think I probably expressed those same sentiments to him at various phases of his life).






Lord help me!
Jonathan also had some amazing friends out in Portland who loved him well as they all tried to stay clean and sober together. Many of them have reached out to me and we are now bonded through our loss. They had a memorial for him this last Sunday and are sending me photos and letters and words of their own journey through addiction and their love for my boy.

Thank you again for your love and concern, your words of encouragement and virtual hugs. Please say an extra prayer for Tim and me to have strength on Saturday as we have decided to give the eulogy. Much love back to you!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

JONATHAN, WE MISS YOU

Warning: this is not a lighthearted post.

JONATHAN AND ME   BETTER TIMES 2001
 Startled, I sat straight up in bed. Did I just hear strong knocks on the front door? My heart started pounding. It’s not the first time, so the memories of those past late night knocks and phone calls were quickly flooding my scared mind. Our 16 year old dog is now so hard of hearing that he couldn't confirm anything. By some miracle, Tim, who has been gone almost non-stop on business for months was actually asleep beside me. I hoped what my gut and heart were telling me wasn’t true, but deep inside I knew. I glanced at the clock on Tim’s side: 1:33 a.m. I touched Tim and told him I think someone is at the door. From past experience we both moved quickly. We each looked out different windows to down below. From my angle I saw a car with the headlights on in front of the driveway and Tim saw at least one person on the front porch. They knocked again just as the phone rang. Tim headed for the stairs and as I reached for the phone I saw it was the police department. “Is this the Prass residence? There are officers at your door and you need to let them in”. I knew. I clutched my chest to keep my heart from leaping out as I tried to make it down the stairs. As I was heading down, afraid I would collapse, I heard the officers asking, "Are you Tim Prass?" “Are you the father of Jonathan David Prass?” My poor Tim, he was weak in the knees and I needed to get to him. “Do you have any medical conditions we need to be aware of?” “Is there anyone we should call?” STOP SAYING THAT. “We need to come inside and let’s sit down”. I finally made it to level ground without collapsing and we all headed towards the family room. Tim’s knees were not supporting him sufficiently and I was clutching my chest still trying to prevent my pounding heart from escaping. We finally reached the sofa. One officer got on bended knee and as politely and respectfully as possible said what we didn’t want to hear: Our son Jonathan was found dead in Portland, OR of an apparent overdose. He had been dead for some time.

Breathe. I kept telling myself to breathe. I was just hearing the worst words that I thought I had already prepared myself for, but my mind was jumping to other things. Like I wondered how old these two officers were…I bet Jonathan’s age. I thought about my mismatched nightwear. When I grabbed my favorite pajama pants out of the drawer I realized the matching top was in the dirty clothes. Tired and thinking, “Who cares” I grabbed an extremely old t-shirt that I’d never throw away. I quick glanced down at myself and wondered what they thought of my mismatched attire and if through my clenched hands they could see the worn words World’s Greatest Mom. Isn’t it amazing that Tim was here in town instead of in San Diego. I had to force myself to stay focused on what I didn’t want to hear. I thought what a tough job these officers have and Tim thought it too, because as they were leaving Tim was thanking them for all they do.

It still feels like it’s Friday….just a very long day that won’t end. I know I’m breathing now because I can hear my sobbing. It comes in waves. Tim said it’s like the flu. You think you’re starting to feel better when suddenly your body revolts again.

JENNIFER AND JONATHAN   SPRING 2001
While many of you know our Jennifer, only the people closest to us or who have known us a long time know much about our other child Jonathan or of his constant and intense battle with addiction. It wasn’t that we were embarrassed that he was our son (even though his behavior and choices were often quite embarrassing). It’s just that he stayed in Portland and we didn’t always know the Portland Jon. Frankly, we fervently hoped for the day he could beat this, which appeared to be closer than ever, and we could shout it from the rooftops together with him. I’ve told him that three months sobriety was equal to a college degree in my eyes. The things we rejoiced in looked way different in our little family. Knowing he wasn’t sleeping on the street was a good day for us. Hearing he was still alive after another severe beating brought us to our knees one more time. I haven’t been able to say it outloud or even bear to think it because it’s not the outcome I wanted for my boy, but I hope I will soon be able to rejoice that his suffering is over. He put up a really good fight. I was amazed at his strength, that he was able to pull himself up by his boot straps each day and give it one more try.

We are finalizing plans for a memorial here in Indianapolis and I hope to have that information soon.  His friends in Portland are having theirs on the 14th.  We all need to share how Jon made us laugh and how much we will miss him. 

When we are too weak to pray, your prayers and kind messages are the strength we need to put one step in front of another. One of my Facebook friends grew up in Nashville with my kids and sent me this note.  I thought of all my fabric friends:

I pray that the strength that has sustained you these many years comes to wrap you up like a big quilt and carry you until you are strong again.

MAKING ME LAUGH

Monday, November 1, 2010

SHOW + TELL BATHROOM SINK MAKEOVER


BEFORE
Remember this hideous bathroom I reluctantly shared with you a few months ago here?  I inherited 4 such bathrooms (2 full, 2 half baths) when we purchased a fixer-upper a few years ago.   We have tackled a room at a time, and it was high-time we tackled this one to the ground. My goal was to transform this guest bath using readily available items and use more elbow grease than money. 
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Even though this is the guest bath, it's primarily Tim's bathroom.  He is so into demolitions that we barely had the conversation and I found him up there ripping out the classic country plaid wallpaper.  I grabbed a piece out of the trash and rehung those wicker mirrors to try to show you the before.
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Tim wanted vessel sinks, and since new cabinetry is too tall for vessels, we used the original cabinet base and Tim custom made new doors and drawers which I painted a rich, dark cappuccino.  The glass vessel sinks, faucets, carrera marble and glass tiles for the backsplash and handles are from Lowe's.  The countertop is honed cultured marble we custom ordered from Home Depot.  The mirror is from World Market. Towel bar and towels are from Home Goods.  Behr paint is a wonderful soft aqua/green to match the vessel sinks.  I wish you could see the wall's true color but my camera keeps washing it out.  Voila.
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(And, no I didn't attach my name to the wall.  I usually forget to add my mark on my photos and then find them elsewhere on the web without mentioniing the source).  

AFTER




 We are so pleased with the results.  Like proud new parents we find ourselves peeking in on our new pride and joy.  However, while the dust was still settling I found my Mini MacGyver tearing out the country blue wallpaper in the master bath and ripping out the cabinetry.  Zero "before" pictures this time folks!!!!  He's too fast for me.  Oh, and while he was waiting for the new sinktop we ordered to arrive he ripped out the powder room floor and toilot and layed new tile.  I clearly gotta keep my eye on this guy.  He's a human wrecking ball.  The amazing thing is he does all this when he's home on the weekends.

That's all I can talk about today.  I do have so much to tell you...some very big happenings which will have to wait for another day. 
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