Friday, June 19, 2009

The Rockford Thunder and Brian

From 6-18-09

We went to a Thunder game last night.  It was very good.  Cat threw a 1-hitter, 14 strikeouts, and Rockford won 2-0.  After two days of sadness and tears, it felt sort of good to celebrate a win.

We got this picture of Brian and the entire team.  He liked getting this picture taken!  ;)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

One more picture

Of the entire Kellen Family!

Neil, Susan, Michelle, Mom, Dad, Laura, Sharon, Vince

John Joseph Kellen 7/14/1930-6/11/2009

My dad passed away this morning after a lengthy battle with cancer and Parkinson's.  I know he is finally free of his health problems now.  I am SURE he is in heaven.  I am going down to Mom's tomorrow, to help get the arrangements started.  Here are a few pictures:

Bad jokes, stories about the Korean War, the smell of a cigar, a cold beer with lunch, watching the Notre Dame football games, fish soup at Christmas, all will always remind me of my dad.  Baseball, Touhy Avenue, 618 East Golf Road, taking flowers to the wholesaler's market at 5am and watching the sunrise, countless trips to the zoo, or museum, or downtown to see Buckingham Fountain, and yes even a Cubs game...  Do you remember the giant hunk of tootsie roll we had in the basement refrigerator?  Or how about the time Dad with his bandana tied around his head, no shirt, came buzzing along in Larry's Nova to pick up Laura, and her friends thought Dad was actually her brother?  ;) 
The more I think about this day, the more I think that we always were a close family, despite the miles between us, and we always did the best we could to help daddy through these past few years.  I am glad Heather and I got to spend the afternoon with him a few weeks ago, even though he told the same stories, I always liked hearing him talk about his good ol' days.
I was always interested in those stories he told about when he was a kid.  Those are always fun to listen to.  I am glad he started talking with his siblings a few years ago, and at least he had HIS family back together again. 
I am also very very thankful that Mom has Aunt Linda nearby.  She spent the afternoon with Mom today.  (they got drunk on Southern Comfort Old Fashioneds!)Tomorrow Susan and I will help Mom get through the first planning stages for Dad's funeral and wake. 
This is gonna be tough for any of us....   all of us.  Dad was so well-loved and well-respected by everyone who knew him.  I am sooooo glad I got to visit with him just a couple  weeks ago.  We swapped stories, ate cheese/crackers/salami and beer for the afternoon.  it was great...
I gotta go to bed... gniters