Thursday, February 13, 2014


February 12, 2006 was a Sunday. Jeff had been in the hospital, ICU, for over 2 months, 2 very painful, emotional, long months. Saturday evening, the 11th, he looked good, he was quite responsive and alert. Prior to dad arriving and me leaving this evening, Jeff and I in our odd way of communicating (as he couldn't speak or write) agreed things were going well. He felt pretty darn good and for the first time since he’d been in the hospital I was going to take a day off to spend with our 2 youngest boys. As I was leaving, I felt a comfort looking into his eyes, seeing a light, a sparkle I hadn't seen for far too many days.

Arrangements were made for sisters to take shifts spending Sunday with him. With confidence I entered Sunday a bit less burdened, my breath a bit less quickened and shallow. The day simply eased on with a surreal grace, nothing notably memorable other than the grace of which carried me though the day and cradled me into a deep peaceful sleep.

At about 3 AM Monday the 13th the peace was shattered by the ringing phone. I knew who was calling and why. There had been 2 previous early morning calls over the past 2 months; Jeff had crashed again. By about 6 AM he was stable. I needed to go home. From the shower I could hear the phone ring. I don’t want to go back, I can’t go back. Finally, I answered, it was our daughter Heather, “Momma you need to get here now, it’s time.”

Time, was a complete blur. Arriving, I cleared the space around his room of our children and family.  I watched as attempts were made to revive my husband, shocks, equipment, alarms, frenzy, panic for hours and yet time was a sluggish blur. There was an ICU nurse standing over Jeff, on his bed, working frantically, she’d look over at me and then at Jeff and back at me. His head was purple, his face ashen. I knew, I knew and then looking at me again, “What do you want us to do?” she asked.

“It’s enough.” I quietly said, “It’s enough.”

Family went to our house. I needed to wait for the coroner; it was something I just had to do.

When I got home, seeing all our families cars parked outside, I felt like whatever happened today was not real and I was coming home to a family gathering, a joyful family gathering. Jeff was there, his truck was home, of course, silly me, where have I been, there’s a family gathering and we’re all here, we’re all okay. Entering the kitchen I noticed a huge bouquet of roses, 2 dozen gorgeous, fragrant red roses. Hanging from the vase was a small wooden heart which read, “husband and wife together for life.”

Jeff’s sister, Tonya, came up to me and told me during her ‘shift’ with Jeff on Sunday, it took 4 hours for him to express and for her to finally understand his request. “He wanted you to have 2 dozen red roses delivered not on Valentine’s Day, the 14th, no, he was very specific they needed to be delivered on February 13th.

In Loving Memory
Jeff Frehner
2-26-60 - 2-13-06


  1. Love to you Julia and your family as well. Your compassionate heart and inner strength are so healing and inspirational to those that you connect with on this journey.

  2. I will always be grateful for the influence Jeff had on me as a childhood friend and for you Julia who has helped me learn so many lessons in my middle age. I will never forget the last thing I could do for Jeff was to carefully put his casket in his vault at the New Harmony Cemetery and close his grave. I would have never thought when we were young kids racing his red Honda minibike around the streets of New Harmony that I would one day be asked to lay him to rest. I will never forget all the flowers of love by his grave and the bitter cold wind at his graveside. Rest In Peace my friend Jeff. Brent Prince

  3. Oh beautiful...There is a saying by Ram Dass "Its only forms that change not essence" Love lives on forever. Comfort to you lovely on this special day. So grateful to know you.

  4. Oh, Julia, you have lived many lifetimes of pain and growth. I love how you channel it all into healing for others and yourself. It is an honour to walk this path with you. ♡