Nomination of Kevin Kobli for Police Officer of the Year by Officer Dan Claassen / Dan Claassen Read >>
Nomination of Kevin Kobli for Police Officer of the Year by Officer Dan Claassen / Dan Claassen
I would like to nominate Officer Kobli for a Letter of Commendation.This nomination is due to Officer Kobli performing “acts worthy of recognition in the line of duty or employment showing initiative and accomplishment”.
Officer Kobli last summer initiated a conversation with a young boy in a wheel chair at the Arby’s located at E. 116th St. and Allisonville Road.Officer Kobli, while eating at the restaurant on duty, noticed that the young boy appeared to be enthralled with the Officers he was eating with.After finishing his dinner Officer Kobli spoke to the boy and gave him a junior police badge.Unbeknownst to Officer Kobli at the time, this simple gesture really touched the young 8 year old boy named Gabe.Officer Kobli, as I will attempt to portray, seized this opportunity to plant a seed which has grown into a life changing experience for Gabe.
Several weeks later Officer Kobli was contacted by Gabe’s father, who passed on how much the badge and short conversation had meant to his son.The father explained that Gabe truly believed that he was a junior police officer.Gabe had instituted a policy of verbal warnings to family members for speed and seatbelt violations for their first offense, while he would write a written warning for non family members.Officer Kobli also became aware during this conversation as to the seriousness of Gabe’s illness.Gabe had fallen victim to Leukemia.Gabe was hospitalized for quite some time at Riley’s Hospital while battling this disease. There were numerous operations and procedures, all quite painful and aggressive.Officer Kobli, upon hearing that he was in the hospital, planned a visit.
Officer Kobli visited Gabe in the hospital in full uniform and brought along many gifts.Officer Kobli gave him a FPD toy car, FPD hat, pens, DARE shirt, and baseball cards just to name a few things.
Gabe was in the hospital for over a month, at the end of which they thought they had a good handle on his illness.Unfortunately recently Leukemia has reared its ugly head back into this little warrior's bones.Officer Kobli was notified by the father that Gabe was losing his battle and was not expected to live but for a few weeks longer.Truly touched by the strength of Gabe, Officer Kobli felt compelled to do something special.Officer Kobli, with the help of several other officers and detectives, created a special FPD shadow box to present to Gabe.When Gabe was given the gift all he could do was stare at it for over a minute in silence, after which time he let out an incredulous “awesome”.
Officer Kobli has visited Gabe and his family numerous times upon first meeting them at the Arby’s.Officer Kobli has touched this family and young boy in an immeasurable way.In an e-mail sent to hundreds of family, friends, and supporters of Gabe the family attached a monthly schedule of Gabe’s medical appointments.At the top of the schedule was a full page picture of Officer Kobli in uniform sitting next to Gabe at the hospital.Also in another more recent e-mail sent out by the father to the same list of hundreds of people he stated that Gabe’s highlight of the day upon returning home from the hospital on 3/9/2005 was a visit from his “best friend Officer Kobli”.The father went on in his email to state that “If every Officer of the FPD is like …Officer Kobli….he is …….certainly the envy of all police departments”.
I cannot think of a more worthy recipient for a Letter of Commendation.Officer Kobli has within this single situation personified what law enforcement is supposed to be about.Officer Kobli’s acts are worthy of recognition for not only the positive image that he has given this department but most importantly what impact he has had on Gabe.Officer Kobli has literally eased the suffering of, and brought joy to, a child who has tragically lost his battle with Leukemia.Officer Kobli has had no prompting in these matters, but instead took 100% of the initiative himself.Truly showing his humbleness Officer Kobli is embarrassed when congratulated on doing such a great thing.
I would respectfully request that Officer Kobli receive a Letter of Commendation for these actions.If the board would have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact me.
LOST/ Dylan Helminger (Brother)
Not long agao, I lost my brother, Gabriel. I was out shopping with my neighbor, Pat, who is realy more like a grandma than a neighbor. We were at the store trading my GameCube for a PS2.
My mom called to ask me when I was coming home. I didn't know then, but that was when my brother had already died. My dad came to the store to get me and I went home. I tried to talk about my new PS2 but he looked upset and didn't want to talk much.
We got out of my dad's van and there were about fifteen cars at my house. I knew something was wrong. I went to se emy mom and I was crying badly. Afterwards, it actually felt better, because Gabriel was not hurting anymore.
I am starting to feel better, but sometimes I think about him and I start crying. I hope he is having fun and he knows I love him very much. He died at about 5:15 p.m. on March 30, 2005. He was only eight years old. Close
Friend with Cancer - A Satire I Love / Michelle (Mommy)Read >>
Friend with Cancer - A Satire I Love / Michelle (Mommy)
October 12, 2005
BISMARCK, ND—Three months ago, Mark Sennis received the news that everyone dreads: Ben Murphy, a friend and coworker with whom he "occasionally went out to lunch," had been diagnosed with cancer.
"You never think you're going to be the one," Sennis said. "At first, I remember thinking, 'How can this be happening to me? What have I done to deserve to have a friend with cancer?'"
Sennis, who has known Murphy since they started working in the same department at Motorola in 2003, said having a friend with cancer is "a life-altering experience."
"People ask me how I'm doing, and I say, 'I'm scared and I'm angry,'" Sennis said. "Unless you've personally experienced the pain and hardship that comes with having a coworker you're fairly close to get cancer, you wouldn't understand."
Sennis said that, while it initially seemed like "life had come to an end," he "made the decision to keep living."
"One thing I've learned in all this is that life goes on," Sennis said. "Well, maybe not for Ben. But for me. The only thing I can do is take it one day at a time."
Sennis said he doesn't want people feeling sorry for him.
"A lot of my friends start to say 'I have a friend who's just been fired,' or 'I have a friend who tore a tendon,'" Sennis said. "Then, they realize that I have a friend with cancer, and they get quiet, like they think they can't discuss their problems with me anymore. I just want people to treat me like normal."
Sennis said he wishes he'd appreciated the good times he enjoyed with his friends before he got the news.
"You never understand what you have until your friend's cancer takes it away," Sennis said. "Like, I used to complain about having to go to Wednesday Wings with the guys from sales, but last week we had to cancel because Ben was getting a bone-marrow biopsy, so I sat at home alone all night."
"It was a pretty depressing picture," he added.
Sennis said chemotherapy has been particularly hard for him.
"Ever since the chemo started, it's been a whole other story," Sennis said. "I had to spend a good part of my Sunday hanging out in the waiting room last week. I was so exhausted I could barely move."
"Just try finding something decent to eat out there," Sennis added. "I ate a sandwich from the hospital deli, and the bread was, like, Wonderbread, and the turkey tasted terrible, like it was day-old or something."
Sennis said that, ironically, the presence of Murphy's family made the situation more difficult." I'm going through an emotional time," Sennis said. "Ben's entire family was the last thing I needed at the hospital. Do you realize how hard it is to talk to people you don't know at all?"
Sennis added: "The hardest part was talking to Ben's girlfriend. I never liked her, but because of Ben, I had to go through these awkward conversations. 'How many more chemo sessions does Ben have?' 'Is Ben keeping down his food?' It was really hard."
Sennis said his struggle has made him reconsider his relationship with God.
"I wonder why God would do this to me," Sennis said. "It's like God is punishing me for something by giving cancer to a friend of mine."
Due to the adversity he has faced, Sennis said he has had to take special care of himself.
"I don't consider giving up an option," Sennis said. "So, for the past two months, twice a week, I've been treating myself to a massage. It's expensive, but it's the least I can do for myself as I go through this really tough time."
Added Sennis: "I'm not going to let Ben's cancer beat me."
From Scott LeCompte (Dean's Dad) To Michelle / Scott LeCompte Read >>
From Scott LeCompte (Dean's Dad) To Michelle / Scott LeCompte
Do you cry when you write your journal entries? I get watery eyed reading them I can tell you that. My heart just breaks to hear the deep sorrow in your words. Heaven holds a special place for those who have suffered here on Earth. I have no doubt that you, Scott and Gabey will have front row seats. Try to remember three things:
-To continue to turn to Jesus and pray for his help to get through this. I'm sure he gets watery eyed as he feels your pain.
-The time we spend on Earth is like a speck of sand on a beach compared to the eternity you and Gabey will have in Heaven. An eternity of health and joy and laughter.
-Remember your Family loves and needs you very much. Scott and the boys depend on you.
When Goodbye is a Gift - by Joan Halifax Roshi / Michelle (Mommy)Read >>
When Goodbye is a Gift - by Joan Halifax Roshi / Michelle (Mommy)
When Goodbye Is a Gift For those left behind, the last words of loved ones can offer comfort, insight into death, and lessons about living. By Joan Halifax Roshi
With his life ebbing, two miles beneath the earth's surface, Martin Toler, Jr. took what precious little energy he had to scribble a note to his loved ones. Toler, who died in the Sago Mine incident last week, turned his finals thoughts to those closest to him: "Tell all - I [will] see them on the other side..." "It wasn't bad, I just went to sleep." And at the bottom: "I love you." In reaching out to his family through the darkness, Mr. Toler also touched many of us.
I have often sat by the bedside of dying people with their relatives close, waiting for those "last words." The threshold between life and death imparts poignancy to the utterances of the dying. Some believe the veil between this world and the next is thinnest at this time, that we can somehow penetrate the mystery of death through their experience. Perhaps those closest to death can tell us what we long to know: What is this mystery we call death? And, knowing that death is inevitable, what do they treasure most? Mr. Toler answers with words of reassurance and compassion: His dying was as gentle as falling to sleep, and, he told his loved ones, his connection to them will transcend this world. His note is a gift to all of us. His simple message seems to honor the best in our human connectedness, suggesting that it is the relationships in our lives that are most precious and holy.
Last words can also raise profound questions for the living, and propel us on a search for our own answers. The writer Elizabeth Barrett Browning uttered the word: "Beautiful," as she was dying. We ask ourselves, Can death be beautiful? Charles Darwin exclaimed, "I am not the least afraid to die," and we wonder, Am I afraid to die? The last words Thomas Edison uttered were, "It is very beautiful over there." Where is this 'over there'? Will I get there? Who will be there? The last words of Jesus, from Luke 23:46, were "Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit." To what will I commend my spirit?
All of these last words are teachings--not only about death, but about how we live. Ultimately they help us understand the truth of impermanence, the fragility of all that we love, and can be a wondrous admonition to appreciate the life before us right now. Some believe we will meet each other on the "other side." Yet in this hope, we may ask ourselves: Can we meet each other now? Gautama Buddha said, "the whole of the holy life is good friends." He too seemed to believe that relationships are what give depth and meaning to our lives.
"I love you," said Mr. Toler. "Beautiful," said Elizabeth Barrett Browning. We cannot know death except by dying: This mystery lies underneath the skin of life. But we can learn something from those who are closest to death's door.
My Perspective Journaling from Gabriel's 9th Birthday Remembrance Scrapbook / Michelle (Mommy)Read >>
My Perspective Journaling from Gabriel's 9th Birthday Remembrance Scrapbook / Michelle (Mommy)
I am me, plain & simple. Since losing Gabriel, I’ve turned into kind of a “you get what you see” person. I am incomplete without Gabriel in my life. I don’t feel I will ever be whole again. Even now, as time is passing, I still always have a feeling of emptiness within the depths of me. I thought I had been lonely before, but I guess I never knew what true loneliness felt like. I am a seeker of peacefulness. I believe God would not take Gabriel from me, so I am so scared that He is not powerful enough to ever stop cancer.I am Gabriel’s mommy… forever.
I live so I can have eternity in heaven with Gabriel. I feel that is like saying I live because I have no other option. It may sound negative, but it sums up the last years of my life – I have had to realize I am not in control. Sometimes this concept has been a difficult for me when I wanted so desperately to “fix” things… other times there has been a peace in knowing things are beyond my power. I have no fear at all of death now. I live for the day I can hold Gabriel again. Most days since he died, I just feel like I’m going through the motions. Sometimes even small tasks seem like such a big effort. I live to take care of Braxton & Dylan, because I feel they still need what little I have to offer.
I miss so many things about Gabriel. I miss his voice & the way he could chatter for hours about the things he loved - he had such great passion. I miss how he would always want to be touching me, whether it was simply holding hands or I would be teasing him because he would be sucking all of my oxygen away when he was ½ of an inch away from my face at night, with his legs wrapped around me. I miss his quirkiness & individuality. He was truly a one-of-a-kind snowflake… my single pea-in-a-pod. I miss his wisdom. I miss the way his wheels were always turning trying to find a way to bend the rules.
I go to the cemetery to take Gabriel new flowers when the weather is warm. I really miss that ritual now that it’s turned cold outside. I go to my grief support group where people understand me & don’t look away from me when I say Gabriel’s name.I really love & care about the friends I have made there.I go to church irregularly. Sometimes I need to go to receive strength or the message or to hear the voices that spoke & sang at Gabriel’s funeral – other days all I can imagine is Gabriel being in his casket in the front of the sanctuary. I am working from home, so generally I don’t go very far. I am kind of a homebody!
What do I need? Hmmm… I’m not even sure I know what’s essential anymore. Water & food for sure, but love & laughter would be great bonuses. Normal needs seem so trivial to me right now.I need to keep Gabriel’s memory alive. Each night before I go to sleep I try to remember Gabriel’s body from head to toe or toe to head. I don’t want to forget anything. Not a hair, not a mole. More than anything, I need to remember how every inch of Gabriel’s body looked. I greatly fear that one day I will not remember what he looked like. I need to keep my precious memories with Gabriel strong, so I talk about them over & over & over with anyone that will listen… and when I cannot find anyone to listen, I journal.
I watch Gabriel’s Star Wars Episode VII movie countless times. It was his last movie. He quit filming in September 2004 when he relapsed the first time. It’s short, but I just adore his voice & actions. Sometimes I watch all of the videos from his life, but there are so few. I wish so much that there were more to see. I watch the seasons pass & think of what Gabriel loved to do in each season. Today he would have wanted to play in the snow. He loved winter. I watch Gabriel’s friends growing up & it’s bittersweet. I am so proud of their accomplishments, but I wish he could be growing up right along with them.I watch Gabriel’s pussy willow tree grow.
I read things I find inspirational. I read Gabriel & my journal. I am so glad now that I journaled throughout Gabriel’s life. I need those journals so much now so I can remember. I love the funny memories from back in the care-free days. Sometimes I read books that validate my feelings of loss & other times I read to leave my life & let my mind escape to a safer, fantasy world. I read songs, letters, poems, that remind me of when Gabriel was with me or how I imagine he is in heaven.
I love that I was chosen to be Gabriel’s mommy. On my peaceful days, I like to believe that God must have trusted me an awful lot to give me such a big responsibility & to know I would not be mad at Him when Gabriel had to leave me so young. I loved every moment I was blessed to be with Gabriel & now I love my memories of happy times with Gabriel. I love so many small things now that I probably would have overlooked before losing Gabriel. I love new people in my life who don’t want me to be someone different than who I am & I love some my old friends who have stood by me. I love all of the kids who are battling cancer… most who I have not even met.
I believe in angels. I always liked the thought of angels, but I felt them the night Gabriel was diagnosed & throughout his journey & I believe that they really came to Gabriel to tell him he would die soon. I believe no one will ever love me unconditionally like Gabriel did. Gabriel loved so completely. I believe that although short, Gabriel’s life was a gift to me & I will forever be thankful for it. I believe that the littlest things are really the heart of the matter.
I grow by talking to people who listen. I grow by writing down my feelings. I grow by helping raise awareness & funds for leukemia. I grow by commemorating, celebrating & remembering Gabriel. I grow when I feel like something I have said or done has helped another grieving parent. I grow at night when the rest of the world is quiet & I can get lost in my thoughts & try to find out who I really am & where I really am in my grief.
Memory for Gabriel's 9th Birthday / Jeremiah Bontreger (Husband of Cally, Father of Kaitlyn & Trinity )Read >>
Memory for Gabriel's 9th Birthday / Jeremiah Bontreger (Husband of Cally, Father of Kaitlyn & Trinity )
Thank you so much for your friendship. We love and care so much for you. No words I say will ease the pain. When I lost my baby brother (age 2 1/2), my step-mom asked only one thing thing. Not to forget and always share good memories.
One of my fondest memories of Gabe was around Halloween. I remember everyone being there. You, Scott, Cally, Dylan, Kaitlyn, Trinity & myself. We were all talking & Gabe was so excited about a samurai costume he had gotten. He was so proud of his sword. He had invented a unique fighting style, and he was anxious to show us his impressive motions. In my heart I locked away these feelings. I will share them now. I remember thinking what an honor it would be to be his parent. Gabe had such a peace. He didn't confuse being high strung... with being whiney or discontented
Gabe will always be remembered and NEVER be forgotten
WE ALL LOVE YOU SO MUCH. My prayer for you and your family; May God give your souls rest, your hearts peace, and your bodies strength.
Response to Dylan's "Your Face" poem. / Patti Carroll (Patti is Gabriel's friend, Ryan Knight's, mom. When Gabe was four, he asked: "If you die, Mommy, then can I go live with Miss Patti? Ummmm... when are you going to die?" )Read >>
Response to Dylan's "Your Face" poem. / Patti Carroll (Patti is Gabriel's friend, Ryan Knight's, mom. When Gabe was four, he asked: "If you die, Mommy, then can I go live with Miss Patti? Ummmm... when are you going to die?" )
Dylan and Michelle,
I didn't read your poem until 12:30 Wednesday night. I don't know what to say except it took my breath away. It made me cry. Made me laugh. Made me remember that his lips did turn the most vivid color of blue , even when the water was warm! It made me smile while I remembered sillly moments with Gabe while he and Ryan played. It made me remember his unbearable pain that over took his body. It made me remember just how special he really was!! That was absolutely beautiful, Gabe would be so proud to hear you read that to him! Although, when he heard it, he might have even made a revision here and there! He wasn't afraid to let you know just how he felt. I hope God carries some of your pain and heart ache over the holidays, and fills some of your empty heart with Love and Peace!
Happy Thanksgiving to you all! I love you! Patti Close
Gabriel's Favorite Song - I can still hear him singing it LOUDLY from the depths of his beautiful soul... / Michelle (MOMMY)Read >>
Gabriel's Favorite Song - I can still hear him singing it LOUDLY from the depths of his beautiful soul... / Michelle (MOMMY)
by Jesse McCartney
I don't want another pretty face I don't want just anyone to hold I don't want my love to go to waste I want you and your beautiful soul You're the one I want to chase You're the one I want to hold I won't let another minute go to waste I want you and your beautiful soul I know that you are something special To you I'd be always faithful I want to be what you always needed Then I hope you'll see the heart in me
Your beautiful soul, yeah
You might need time to think it over But I'm just fine moving forward I'll ease your mind If you give me the chance I will never make you cry, c'mon let's try
Am I crazy for wanting you
Baby do you think you could want me too I don't waste your time Do you see things the way I do I just want to know that you feel it too There is nothing left to hide
Kenny Chesney: Who You'd Be Today / Paula Sebasty (Aunt)Read >>
Kenny Chesney: Who You'd Be Today / Paula Sebasty (Aunt)
Sunny days seem to hurt the most Wear the pain like a heavy coat I feel you everywhere I go See your smile, I see your face I hear you laughing in the rain Still can't believe your gone
It ain't fair you died to young Like a story that had just begun But death tore the pages all away God knows how I miss you All the hell that I've been through Just knowing, no one could take your place Sometimes I wonder, who you'd be today
Would you see the world Would you chase your dreams Settle down with a family I wonder what would you name your babies Someday's the sky's so blue I feel like I can talk to you And I know it might sound crazy
Sunny days seem to hurt the most I wear the pain like a heavy coat The only thing that gives me hope Is I know, I'll see you again someday
Every Minute That I Breathe by Jana Alayra / Jenny Mosier Read >>
Every Minute That I Breathe by Jana Alayra / Jenny Mosier
Photos on the mantle I won't change For they still remind me of a day You filled our hearts with laughter and your smile How we loved you... for a while
The day came in the blinking of an eye When suddenly we had to say goodbye As you were soaring homeward through the blue Part of me went right along with you
Every time I hear you in my mind Though my heart weeps, my soul takes flight To the place where you are Somewhere far beyond the farthest star Now every minute that I breathe You live what I believe
You gave me so much more than joy In you I saw a reason for each morn' In a world unwinding as it spun Holding you would make me still again Many say your days with us were too few But they were numbered by the Lord for you A message of your life remains through time Jesus gave you everlasting life
Every time I hear you in my mind Though my heart weeps, my soul takes flight To a place where you are Somewhere far beyond the farthest star Now every minute that I breathe You live what I believe Every time I see you dancing through my mind Though I long to hold you, my soul takes flight To the place where you live To watch you sing and dance, what would I give Now every minute that I breathe You live what I believe
One day I will see Jesus come for me No one knows the hour He will come I will fall at His feet for all He's done for me Then straight into your arms I will run... Close
My condolences / Alma Mills
I am so sorry for the loss of your precious Gabriel. I understand your pain. I lost my baby boy on Jan. 2005. I pray the Lord will comfort you and cover you with his healing love. I know our angels are together watching over us. Hugs, Alma www.angel-mills.memory-of.com Close
Forever Young - Rod Stewart / Michelle (MOMMY)Read >>
Forever Young - Rod Stewart / Michelle (MOMMY)
This is the song I always planned to play at Gabriel's granduation party. When I chose it, I never imagined he would truly remain Forever Young. When I sang it to myself yesterday, I realized that Gabriel did all of the things I wanted to wish for him. He was proud, true, used The Golden Rule, courageous, brave, followed his guiding light & built a stairway to heaven.
May the good Lord be with you Down every road you roam And may sunshine and happiness surround you when you're far from home And may you grow to be proud Dignified and true And do unto others As you'd have done to you Be courageous and be brave And in my heart you'll always stay Forever Young, Forever Young
May good fortune be with you May your guiding light be strong Build a stairway to heaven [be] a prince or a vagabond
And may you never love in vain and in my heart you will remain Forever Young, Forever Young
And when you finally fly away I'll be hoping that I served you well For all the wisdom of a lifetime No one can ever tell
But whatever road you choose I'm right behind you, win or lose Forever Young, Forever Young For, Forever Young, Forever Young Close
Wish I had the right words.... / Grandma To Another Angel Read >>
Wish I had the right words.... / Grandma To Another Angel
Im so sorry for the loss of your handsome Gabriel..I also lost my beloved grandson Sept, 10 2005 at the age of 14 with cancer ( neroblastoma)...I know that they are both in Gods arms now, pain free and cancer free....Gabriels memory will live on and he will always be with you and looking down on you...I am familar with caringbridge, my daughter has created a site for her son and its heartbreaking when I hear of another child s life ends so early..http://lance-fowler.memory-of.com/About.aspx
Another Mum / Jenny Tavendale
My thoughts are with you and your family. at this sad time I too have lost my son at the age of 22, he was waiting for a heart transplant and because of the huge shortage of donors, although he got his dearest wish, it all came too late. We like you spent many times throughout his life in hospital and feel the necessity to promote organ and blood donation. Our hearts go out to you and know the pain you are feeling. God bless you all and may you get comfort in the days to come for the wonderful memories that will hopefully find there wat through, THOUGH HE IS NOT IN SIGHT HE WILL ALWAYS BE IN YOUR HEART Close