So... its been quiteee a while since Ive posted an entry. After how this week has gone though Im going to get better with this because I think its important to write daily.
This has been by far the hardest week of my life since I lost Davey in December of 1998.
Lets start from the beginning.. a timeline of the week step by step.. more for me than anyone reading it..
Saturday Jan. 30- went to Miami with Alyza. Had an awesome audition. Shuan remembered us from the year before. It went great. We went and took pictures on the beach and just hung out like best friends which was nice since we havent gotten to do that in a long long time. Then we headed back. On the way back I find out my brother is newly single.. yes ladies, this is right.. single. So I came back and went to Buffalo Wild Wings and with Alyza and met up with him and the crew (Shanna, Ryan, Wilson, Goodiejon, KT, etc).. little did I know while I was out taking care of my brother.. a huge catastrophe was taking place.
Sunday Jan. 31- Was awaken to a text from Greg Hosko saying "Please Pray for John, he was in a head on collision last night and is in ICU." I sprinted out of bed got a hold of Danielle and Kayla, Allison came over and Kayla ended up getting in a bad accident on her way here. Thank god shes ok! So Deej, Allison and I get over to the hospital and all the guys are there. The doctor took Danielle and I back in to see JohnAy.. words cant even describe what he looked like.. it was like a doll. It wasnt it, this wasnt real. His skull was shattered when he was ejected from the truck.. which caused brain damage and excess amount of swelling. His head was like a blow up doll. It was awful. We broke down outside the room. along with everyone else who saw him on this day. The day went on, we never left the hospital. Late after we got to see him one more time Deej and I came back to my apt showered, changed, got clothes and went back for our sleepover at the hospital. There was about 13 of us, it was amazing how much we came together during all of this. It was Danielle, Kim, Cody, Lally, Bezer, Jappy, Dusty, Luke, Logan, Paul, Skinner, and myself that stayed. We played some card games and the name game and tried keeping a positive and hopeful attitude for John.
Monday Feb. 1- Woke up in the trauma waiting room with everyone at about 9am. Today was a day of waiting. At around 1 we got to go back in and see him. He looked so much better. Almost like himself again. We talked to him, told him we love him and werent leaving this hospital till he did. <3 It was heartbreaking. There were close to 50 people in the hallway of the hospital for John. It was amazing. After we knew we werent allowed to see him any longer an entire huge group of us went to Ale House to cheers a drink in Johns name. John was 100% officially brain dead at 2pm on this day though we didnt know it until around 9 or 10 this evening. The blood circulation to his brain had failed. At this time we knew his way of leaving the hospital wasnt going to be how we'd wanted it to be... Greg, Kayla, Deej and I came back to my apt after Ale House. Greg and I went back to Cody's and I stayed there with him. It was nice to have the guys around, made it very comfortable and consoling. This was the day they really pronounced John to be gone, but they kept him on life support so his brothers could say goodbye..
Tuesday Feb. 2- Hardest time. We got up and went back to the hospital to get to see him for the last time. He looked amazing. Completely like himself again. The SB 03 girls went in together to say our last goodbyes. I told him since he was an organ donor that he was going to save the lives of many people but that he got to keep his liver which I knew he'd be happy about. It was rough. I came to school to turn in a paper then back to the hospital. After they took him off life support and we knew for sure he'd become an angel.. we left the hospital. It'd been like a home to me fore 3 days and I just couldnt be there any longer. Jessie and Kayla came over and we went and got something to eat and tried reflecting on good memories we've all had with JohnAy. I went back to the island we had a girls dinner (Me, Deej, Kayla, Sarah and Jessie- the SB 03 girls)) at Frankies, our spot.. then stayed with Greg at Cody's again.. being there just really helped me.
Wednesday Feb. 3- A day to mourn. I spent the day with all the girls. We decided to do some collage boards for the memorial held Friday. I went and got about 220 pictures printed out got cardboard, tape and some ribbon.. and we went home and decorated. It was a nice day to spend with my favorite girls. This time really brought us back together. I stayed at Deejs.
Thursday Feb. 4- Danielle and I woke up and baked. We made cookies and cupcakes for the memorial then went back to my parents to finish the collage boards. Sarah, Jessie and Kayla came over as well. It was another wonderful girls night together. Sarah and Kayla and Shanna stayed the night. We finished the boards.
Friday Feb. 5- Got to Kiwanis around 8 to help set up. Mingled around and said hi to as many people as I could. 1030 the memorial began. Jewish memorials are so much different and definitely not as sad. The slideshow was wonderful, the boards were a success, I had paper and pens on tables for everyone to write about john where I put it in a notebook to give to his mom. The guys (ryan paddock, ryan kirklin, Keith Coapland and Grady all spoke about John) the service was nice. Immediately following the 1st memorial was the actual funeral/burriel up in swanee at his grandma's place in the country. So I picked up Deej and her Sarah and I followed Jessie and Kayla up to the house. The ride was nice, catching up with everything and having girl talk. When we got to the cemetary we were way earlier than the guys. Once they finally got there we did the service, it was much more emotional than the memorial earlier. Norma sang Wind Beneath My Wings and did the Cup Runnith Over poem, that got everyone. The burriel was very nice as well. After we left the site we went up to his grandparents where they had a huge room set up at the church with tables and Sonys catered BBQ. We all ate together and talked with his family then headed to the retreat house where there was a ton of rooms with 2 queen size beds in each. The night all in all was nice, we all sat around and talked, played games, watched movies and celebrated the life of our dear friend John Ashpes. Keith got shirts made that say on the front left "Do It Live" and on the back says Team Ashpes with his number 24 under. Perfect Idea. (Bezer, Lally, Keith, Luke, Dusty, Joel, James, Greg, Kirklan, Brittany, JR, Lindsay, Kim, Cody, Caitlin, Paddock, his gf, Stephanie, Logan, Sarah, Kayla, Jessie, Deej and me were who stayed and went to swanee)
Saturday Feb. 6- all packed everything into the cars and took a ride down to Kathy (johns moms) place on the Swanee. We took pictures and walked around and then headed back to the cemetary to say our last goodbyes. Hard time. Then to Grandmas to see her place and say our goodbyes to her. The SB girls are gunna try and make it a point to go see her at least once a year if not more. The time up there was extremely nice. We headed back to MI after that and Sarah, Deej and I went to Chili's for lunch. There was a party that night at Cody's to celebrate Johns life like he'd have wanted us to do. It was a good time. We played the games John loved, talked out by the bon fire and just all bonded over the life of someone we call a dear friend. The night ended a little roughly but I knew it would be patched up so I went home and slept at my parents.
Sunday Feb. 7- Superbowl Sunday. Johns favorite day. Matt came over I got to spend some time with him which was nice, then picked up Kayla and Deej, we got some wings and pizza and came back to my parents to watch the game. I had a long and very good talk with Greg which made me feel better about everything and which I'll disucss in a different post.. but it went well. Kayla stayed the night with me, the Saints won their 1st super bowl game ever and Drew Brees was named SB 44 MVP.
Monday Feb. 8- Time to get my head back on straight and back on track. I got everything I needed to get done in Merritt Island and then headed back to Orlando. It was weird being back here again since the last time I stayed in my own bed John was still alive.. but it was good for me. Im having a rough time with this as I know we all are. I went and got iKiwi with Ryan Garret and Alyza and had some catch up time with my bests that I havent seen in a week now. Then came home and Matt came and stayed with me. Its surreal to me that he's here now. Like living in Orlando and is going to be coming over, staying with me, hanging out with me, going out with me.. on a regular basis. I love it.
All in all as hard as this week was it opened my eyes to a different way of life. Its a fragile thing, life is. Never ever take a single moment, friend, family member, memory, for granted because you just dont ever know when you wont be here or someone wont be here to share it with again.
The bond that was made with all of us who spent the week together, even though weve all been friends for a long time, will change our friendships forever. We will stay close and connected, we will make time for each other, we will make sure everyone stays safe. This time has shown us the meaning of life. It was John wanting to bring us all together again, to teach us things and to make sure we knew the meaning of friendship.
John Norman Ashpes.. will live on in us forever, we will live everyday to the fullest, we'll Do It Live like he'd want us to and make sure we Live Love and Laugh just like he did. He will forever be with us and watching over us. Heaven just got the best angel and us friends just got the best guardian. <3