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A birthday wish, an apology and a good laugh

February 9, 2009

by Jen Bakken

Last week, Delano resident Jean Johnson turned 95 years young. Regularly he visits Edie Mae’s for coffee and visiting with friends.

On Monday, Feb. 2, their morning ritual included a homemade cake to celebrate Johnson’s birthday.

After 65 years happily married to his wife Frances Johnson, he has many things to be thankful for.

This amazing couple is still living in the same Delano home they built 50 years ago.

I’m sure they still dance to Lawrence Welk on the linoleum of their kitchen and Jean certainly continues to enjoy Frances’ delicious cooking.

Witnessing the love they feel towards each other, after all these years, is something to envy.

When I first met this the Johnsons two years ago, while writing a story for the Delano Herald Journal, I was instantly taken with them.

Their story began with a chance meeting on an elevator in 1942 during World War II and so many years later is still being written.

Happy Birthday, Jean, I wish you another great year and many more of Frances’s wonderful lemon pies.

An apology

It was time for my daughter’s eye doctor appointment at Delano Eye Clinic with Dr. Kristina Pupp.

At eight years old, my little girl knew this might mean having drops put in her eyes.

“Please don’t let them put drops in my eyes, please mommy?” she begged next to tears.

Of course, this pulled at my heart strings, but I told her she would probably have to get the drops.

When we arrived at the clinic, she was nervous and didn’t want to leave my side. During the eye tests she did fine, but when it came time for the drops she lost it.

Jumping off the chair and running to me, she began crying and screaming. She was in full force meltdown mode and I thought she may run right out of the clinic.

It was one of those times it was difficult to be a parent. Whether it be eye drops, a trip to the dentist, medical procedures, or vaccinations – we parents can feel like crying right along with our children.

Even though we know it’s for their own good, it’s tough to force them to endure a moment of pain and even harder to convince them it is something they have to do.

I do know that this must be a frustrating situation for doctors and nurses to deal with. They would probably prefer us parents to leave the room so they can get the procedure over with quickly.

Sometimes we can make things worse, I think, by wanting to talk to our children, explain things, and calm them down, rather than just hurrying up and getting it over with.

Honestly, I was a bit embarrassed as I looked from Dr. Pupp to my screaming daughter.

“Let’s just do it,” I said. We had to hold her down and a second later the drops were in. After all the fuss my daughter looked up at me and said, “That didn’t hurt at all.”

She did tell the doctor she was sorry for throwing a fit and maybe I should apologize, from one mother to another, for allowing the fit to last so long.

Sorry Dr. Pupp, and thank you for your patience!

A good laugh

Sometimes one has to wonder if our children ever think before they act. They can do things that cause us to just shake our heads.

The other day, my 18-year- old son walked in the door and what I saw shocked me so much I was speechless for a minute.

When I finally did speak, I said, “What in the world did you do?”

Even though he was grinning from ear to ear, I could not see anything except his completely bald head.

Apparently, he and some buddies decided shaving their heads would be funny, without thinking about it – they just did it.

To my dear son, this is not one of your best moments, or best looks, but it does make for a good laugh.