Putting the FUN in Funeral!

I’ve had the details of my funeral mapped out for awhile but I met with my pastor and Rolf and Wilson last week to discuss it all while I can still talk. It hasn’t been an easy task…knowing how much to do by myself (which isn’t fun) and when to consult my family (who would rather not discuss it). Pastor James described it well…my death is something the family doesn’t want to think about and something I think about all the time. So true. I dreaded calling this meeting together but I also knew it would give me peace of mind to leave a plan in place and hopefully make it easier on everyone when the time comes. One could argue that this is something we should all be doing anyway and it is but, let me tell you, it would be a whole lot easier to stomach if the felt need wasn’t so imminent.

As you can imagine, there were tears at this meeting but, as is the Geyling gift, there were also a number of straight up jokes at my expense that made me laugh big belly laughs too. 🙂 I’m a woman of tradition & order and my choices reflect that but I also value community and creativity so that is evident too. And, of course, no Trish-organized-event would be complete without a party favor (already ordered and received!). Hopefully the details won’t reveal themselves for a very long time but when the time does come, I want my family and friends to carve out a space to grieve and embrace whatever unfolds while making room for big belly laughs too.

FYI, speaking of death and the need for funeral plans, today is the 25th and I miss my boy.

2nd Lieutenant Geyling

Our attention toward and various celebrations of Wilson in recent weeks culminated at his commissioning into the US Army as a 2nd Lieutenant Infantry Officer on Saturday.  It was beautiful, sobering, full of hope & promise and overwhelming all at the same time…7b1a8251



“Wilson Geyling is from Goleta, California. He is graduating with a Bachelors of Arts in History and Humanities. He is branching Active Duty Infantry. He is being pinned by his parents, Rolf and Trish Geyling, his siblings, Max and Olivia Geyling, and, in spirit, by his youngest brother, Rudy Geyling, who sure would have been happy to be here today. May he rest in peace. CPL(R) Joe Zombrano, U.S. Marine Corps will now render 2LT Geyling his first salute.”

Our family had the honor of presenting Wilson with his bars.
Olivia’s godfather and Marine veteran Joe Zambrano flew in from FL to give Wilson his first salute.



‘So grateful to many of our friends and family for being a part of this special milestone
Longtime friends Ryne and Miranda from youth group days surprised Wilson – so sweet
Some circle time fun and sharing


Words of affirmation from Uncle Steve
‘Grateful Gma Jo and Oma could join us too





The following day, the veterans in our church prayed over Wilson.  It was rich and sacred.



Will you join us in their prayer?




As if we hadn’t packed in enough goodness for one weekend, we tacked on a performance of Les Miserables at the Pantages in Hollywood.  I’m so glad we got to see this together as a family…it’s one of my favorite productions.



I remember when I first saw Les Mis, I was deeply moved by the theme of redemption and love throughout the whole story but this time around, as I watched young Marius and his peers battle for freedom and reform, I cried the tears of a mother of a young soldier and sobbed at Jean Valjean’s prayer…

Click here to take a listen…

God on high
Hear my prayer
In my need
You have always been there
He is young
He’s afraid
Let him rest
Heaven blessed.
Bring him home
Bring him home
Bring him home.
He’s like the son I might have known
If God had granted me a son.
The summers die
One by one
How soon they fly
On and on
And I am old
And will be gone.
Bring him peace
Bring him joy
He is young
He is only a boy
You can take
You can give
Let him be
Let him live
If I die, let me die
Let him live
Bring him home
Bring him home
Bring him home.
(Songwriters: Alain Boublil / Alain Albert Boublil / Claude Michel Schonberg / Herbert Kretzmer)

Oh! So moving!  Almost too much for this tender heart of mine.

Here’s another link to the whole 10th anniversary concert performance online…by far my favorite cast.

Sandwiched in between all that was Rolf’s birthday…it seems fitting he spent his birthday investing in his family.  I’m most grateful for the thousands of ways he invests in the children and influences their lives…critical thinking and humor are at the top of a very long list of attributes he is passing down.  Happy Birthday Rolfi!

Audio of prayer at church

A Sweet Tribute to Our Boy

My heart is deeply touched by Rolf’s dear colleagues who launched a precious tribute today for our little boy!  (I know, that’s a lot of descriptive verbiage but I’m excited.)

It is such an honor, I wanted to share it with you…


Naming rights are typically reserved for $100,000+ pledges.  What a generous gesture for our Rudy.  Oh, how he loved the time he spent at the rescue mission…especially the courtyard.  We have asked you to participate in fundraisers for organizations like the American Heart Association and Camp del Corazon in Rudy’s honor over the years and our collective effort has raised over $60,000 for kids living with heart defects!!  Amazing. We have one more opportunity to honor Rudy benefitting others in crisis.  No obligation but if you feel moved to be a part of this tribute, you can click the link below OR print out the pledge card photo, fill it out and send it to 535 E. Yanonali St., SB, CA 93103!  🙂

Click here to donate


Image 6
Playing hide ‘n seek in the courtyard.

Playing with trucks in the courtyard.


Playing by  his own rules.


Keep your eyes out for photos of the renovated facility and new Rudy courtyard next month!!   So special!  Thank you.

On Earth and In Heaven

My last post didn’t end with it’s publishing…God heard my heart and spoke directly to my concerns.  So here’s the rest of the story…

After writing about my struggle with “fading away”, the boys randomly shared one of their latest favorite songs with me and the third verse of the song took my breath away:

“Should the fire that once burned bright become an ember my eyes can’t see, I will remember Your sacrifice, I will abide in Your love for me”

Click HERE to listen to the whole song.  It is like salve to my soul every time I listen to it.  Now, I know that abide means to live or dwell but I wanted to see if there was a deeper meaning I could explore so I looked up its definition.  As if Merriam Webster wrote the third definition especially for me, I marveled at it’s relevance:


Although the definition is in reference to a feeling or memory, it has a much more literal application for me..should the fire that once burned bright become an ember my eyes can’t see, I will remember Your sacrifice and continue without fading or being lost in Your love for me!!  Amen, Amen!!!!  Thanks Boys, your song recommendation rocks and the tender reminder of this simple truth helps cut the sting of today a bit – as do all the sweet, generous and inspired comments & messages from you, dear friends, thank you! 😉

Hey, speaking of inspired, the DP girls lacrosse team endured a tough loss at the championship on Friday but surfaced with big smiles thanks to good friends and some post-game IHOP pancakes!!


The tears we shed, we all agreed, were over the fact that the season is over.  Selfishly, I wish lax were a year-round sport.  Thanks Girls for such a thrilling season and so many wonderful memory-making moments!!!



Another season ended this weekend.  I officially handed my worship baton off to the kids on Sunday.  Although it’s not something I planned to do on Mother’s Day specifically, it seems poetic in retrospect.  😉  God used my involvement in worship ministry over the years to shape me and give me a special community of friends with whom I share a love for God and music!  To be entrusted with the task of leading others in worship is something I always considered an honor and never took for granted.  Though my heart will continue to worship, I’ll miss leading desperately.  How grateful I am it’s one activity done on earth AND in heaven!IMG_3610

Someday I’ll be able to do this again!

Livy and I got to go to a friend’s baby shower on Saturday too so I dusted off the Anna Quindlen essay I’ve given to all my new mom friends for decades…best advice ever and a sweet reflection to be reminded of on Mother’s Day weekend!



So true!!  Olivia asked me at dinner last night what age I enjoyed parenting the most and I couldn’t choose.  I simply adored my babies, my toddlers were soooooo cute, I loved all the activity of the school years and, like Anna, I wound up with the three people I like best in the world (plus Rolf and Rudy, of course).  How grateful I am that love is something that exists on earth and in heaven!  😉  Praying for peace and lightheartedness in the midst of a string of emotionally packed days.


A Gradual Fade

Our family had another special evening out last night ;)…Olivia was honored at the SBART annual awards ceremony as athlete of the year for girls lacrosse.  ‘Such a sweet affirmation and I’m so grateful for the positive year she’s having.  I pray all this goodness is seared into her heart (all the kids’ hearts frankly) and buoys that precious heart for a long while!  After a string of evening commitments, however, I’m glad we’re staying in tonight, I need to rest up before tomorrow’s big game!!  Ha, ha




The past couple of weeks have not only been an exercise in pacing myself physically, they’ve been an exercise in us pacing ourselves in midst of this disease as well.  I say “us” because, as you know, this is a team effort and the continual adjustments impact all involved in my care.  We’ve had a lot coming at us…more dr. appts than usual, the delivery of my breathing machine and not-so-smooth learning curve, the boys’ return and their adjustment to my greater dependency, my first cortisone shot to combat the tweaks that come with my continual loss of muscle, an increase in choking incidents, a brand new issue with pressure points and my losing the ability to lift a cup to take a drink depending on the time of day.  Frustration and irritability on my part seem to be on the rise too…understandable, no doubt, but certainly not optimal for all involved.  I so want to endure this journey with grace and dignity and patience…but sometimes that requires more energy than I can muster.  My frustration came to a head last night when I wanted to engage in a discussion with the kids about general life stuff and I just couldn’t…the brilliant insights 😉 are all there, what I lack is the ability to express them and that breaks my heart.  ‘Thousands of thoughts but only a few words.  Today I’m grieving all the things I feel I haven’t taught the kids yet…oh, I know, they’re smart and will figure life out beautifully, it’s just that we do life so well together and a big part of that for me has been the processing of life we’ve done together.  It’s one thing to fade from public life, it’s entirely different to feel like you’re fading from personal life.   How foreign it all is!

Ok, boo hoo, that’s enough.  I’m still praying for healing or a plateau or, better yet, Jesus’ second coming…join me?  Thanks friends!!!

My, Oh My!

This week has had so many fun thrills and it’s not over yet! The DP lady laxers pulled out a great win over Thatcher last Thursday to advance to the playoff semi finals!!!





After a late night of celebrating…well, late for a school night…Rolf hit the road by 5am the following morning to get to San Diego, get Max and his stuff loaded and back up to Azusa in time for Wilson’s baccalaureate.  It was a long day I couldn’t do but I’m grateful Rolf and Max managed to make it all happen seamlessly.IMG_3454

Saturday was graduation and we all headed down together that day!  Wilson graduated with a double major in History and Honors College.  He had a full plate the past four years with ROTC and his on campus involvement (ie chapel band)…his determination served him well and it was a gift to celebrate him…










Tuesday night was the semi finals game back at home against Valencia and, again, the girls emerged winners…



Greg captured a sweet shovel shot on goal by Olivia that left the Valencia defense scratching their heads a bit 😉





And Brooke had some amazing one-armed face-off saves like this one..so pretty to watch!


Another solid goal pic (thanks Greg).



A win so much sweeter with brothers home to cheer and share in the celebration!








The championship game is THIS Friday!!  Win or lose the season will be over and that makes my heart hurt.  I wish it weren’t ending but I guess it’s time to move past the spring season and on to whatever summer has in store.  Go get ’em girls!  Finish strong!!!



There is a lot of life being lived by the Geylings these days.  Max has a full week of finals, music juries, auditions for next year and packing during this last week on campus before summer break, Wilson finished up all his coursework and is reveling in all the senior fun to be had these last couple of days before his graduation and Olivia is play-off bound!  We’re hoping the girls advance on Thursday so the boys can come to the semi-finals next Tuesday :).  Olivia was given a special honor by the SB Athletic Round Table yesterday voting her as the female athlete of the week.






Again, her success is a reflection of her amazing team as a whole and we look forward to cheering on the DP Lady Laxers in the first play-off round at DP this Thursday, 6pm.

Wilson has had a full calendar of events including the Veterans’ Graduation Banquet and annual military ball…


Veterans’ Graduation Ceremony Comments

Wilson was awarded the saber at the ball for his leadership.

…and playing with kids on campus!  Ha, Ha




Awww, that warms my heart!

As for me and Rolf, we sit back and gleefully observe all the goings on.  Rolf works doubly hard to make sure I’m able to participate as I’m physically able and I’m forever grateful.  The weakness in my arms and trunk is growing as is my dependency on others.  😦   A trip to the pulmonologist last week revealed my need for some breathing support.  I’ll wait to share more once I receive the machine and am trained on how to use it.  It’s a disappointing development but there is far too much fun happening to be too melancholy about it.  We’ve got to strike while the iron is hot and embrace all there is to celebrate right now…so much to celebrate!



Quadruple Overtime!!!!

That’s right folks!  Yesterday’s game against Thatcher went into QUADRUPLE OVERTIME!!  It was another heart-stopping, nail-biting game…Thatcher started the game strong scoring two goals right off the bat.  DP fought back to tie it 2-2 and then the two engaged in a back and forth battle with DP pulling ahead at the end of the second half.  Thatcher got a shot on goal with 2.6 SECONDS left on the clock to tie it up 5-5 sending the game into  4 overtimes until Brooke Essig’s sudden death, game winning goal!  (PC Greg Lawler)

Livy’s approach…


1 of 4 goals for the day.


Brooke’s game winning goal!

Phew! A happy (albiet winded) celebration!


One thing that amazes me is the girls’ ability to keep their cool in tough games like this one…not something I seem to be able to do and I’m just sitting there!!!  😉  Well done League Champs!






A Night To Remember

To say that last night may have shaved a few months off my life would not be an exaggeration but OH. WAS. IT. WORTH. IT!!!  Not only was it DP GLAX’s last home game of the regular season AND Senior Night AND Olivia’s 100th Varsity Goal but it also included a nail-biter of a game that went into double overtime with friendly local rivals San Marcos!!  Oh my gosh.  SO FUN!!!!

This is a story better told in pictures and, lucky for us, Greg Lawler captured all the action!


7B1A5626San Marcos played a really strong game from the start and the SM defense targeted Olivia most of the game 🙂 …

…but she was able to score 3 times and this is the celebratory stick click after goal #100!




We’re not bitter or anything but Greg captured proof of a bad crease violation call that cost Brooke a key goal!  Look at her amazing foot placement (white cleats) outside the blue line  ! !  😉  Ha



Celebrating Sydney’s double OT, sudden death, game winning goooooooooooooooooal!








Celebrating with friends




The boys were close at heart as evidenced in the family text thread after the game!!!




My heart is full and I share in Olivia’s Insta-gratitude…



The girls have one more big game against Thatcher before play-offs.  Watching Livy and her team play is the highlight of my weekly routine right now…oh how I hate to see the regular season end…may they go far in the play-offs!